Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve – Isle La Motte, Vermont - Atlas Obscura

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Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve

Isle La Motte, Vermont

Journey through various trails to discover a land before time along the Chazy Fossil Reef. 


Across 85 acres, visitors to this prehistoric wonderland are treated to 480 million years of history. The park is home to the Chazy Fossil Reef and its residents are immortalized in stone. Open year-round and free to all, the Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve guides intrepid explorers along various trails and paths that detail the history of the Chazy Fossil Reef. 

The reef itself underlines most of the bedrock throughout this region of Vermont. The fossilized remains of creatures such as gastropods and cephalopods, as well as other forms of marine life that lived along the reef are visible throughout the park. One pathway that stands out in this land before time is aptly named the “Walk Through Time Trail.” The outdoor exhibit covers more than 4,000 feet and is complete with 80 panels bursting with an array of colors that depict the history of life on Earth. All of which is easily navigated through self-guided tours. 

Winding trails with fossils hidden around every corner isn’t the only thing that the Goodsell Fossil Ridge has to offer curious minds. Also located at the fossil park is a large barn that almost appears out of place for the park’s prehistoric offerings. The former dairy barn has been restored and converted into a small museum, complete with a collection of exhibits and videos that further explore the history of the Chazy Fossil Reef and leave visitors clamoring for more.

Know Before You Go

The parking area is located at 69 Pine St, Isle La Motte, VT. 

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January 15, 2022

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