Monday, April 7, 2014

Canoeing for Sharks Teeth in Florida

Over Spring Break, my family and I canoed the Peace River in search of sharks teeth.  The Peace River runs through the southwest portion of Florida and is well know for it's fossilized sharks teeth and prehistoric mammal bones.  Spring is the best time for fossil hunting because the water level is still low and usually below normal.  The water level needs to be low so you can get out of the canoe in shallow water to sift and search for sharks teeth.

We drove the 2 hours down to the Canoe Outpost in Arcadia, to start our adventure.  There, we met up with the Taylor family, rented canoes, and borrowed sifters and shovel heads to help with our sharks teeth hunt.  The Canoe Outpost bus drove us to Brownville Park where we launched the canoes.  From Brownville back to the Arcadia dock was an 8 mile, leisurely, half day paddle.

The day was a bit cool to start with, but turned out to be gorgeous and just the right temperature.  Lots of animals were out soaking up sun along the river banks.  We saw too many turtles to count, two snakes and six alligators along the way, ranging in size from little to one huge 6 foot gator.

These were the little guys.  The gators stayed away from us and we stayed away from them.  They were not on the banks of the shallow water we waded in to look for sharks teeth.

The best part of this trip was getting out and playing in the shallow water.  My boys liked looking for sharks teeth but also enjoyed catching fish and playing in the water with their friends.

To find sharks teeth, we looked for shallow areas that had black rocks or sand.  Dylan and I found one large tooth.  It was broken but we were still extremely excited about our big find.

Taylor Family

Cutie pie Dylan in the middle of our canoe

Allana and Jared in their own canoe

Denise's daughter and Jared had their own canoe this time.  They did a fantastic job paddling on their own.  They zigzagged the river a little but moved at a fast pace.  Jared put his boy scout merit badge to good use on this canoe trip.  Jared only ran Allana under one low lying tree that resulted in a spider in their boat (my only fear when canoeing).

About a mile before we reached the unloading dock in Arcadia, we passed under a train trestle.  We heard a train coming in the distance so waited and got a super view of the train crossing the tracks above the river.

We found about 35 sharks teeth and had a fun family day outside with friends.  Our big shark tooth was 2 inches tall!  I'm so happy to be creating wonderful memories with my boys.

Do you have a great location for finding sharks teeth in Florida?



  1. That trip looks so fun! I never heard of looking for shark's teeth before. So cool! (And I would have been scared of those alligators!)

  2. Looks like a lot of fun!! We will have to try it out.

  3. It was such a great day! Thanks for setting it up! I cannot believe how many teeth you found! AWESOME!

  4. BTW...Love the photo of Liam on Jared's canoe! So cute! Liam had a blast and want to go "boating" again.

  5. Looks like such a GREAT day! Growing up in Venice I know all the good places to go to look for shark's teeth since Venice is the Sharks Tooth Capital of the World. :)

    1. We stayed on Venice beach many summers when I was a kid. My parents have a huge jar of sharks teeth. I remember every time the waves rolled up, they brought sharks teeth. Now that they've replenished the sand, there aren't as many. Is there still a great beach for sharks teeth?


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