As cold as it may be as we step into this new year, it’s never too cold to sit by the beach and listen to the waves. It can be even more relaxing to sift through the sand and find shark teeth. There is one such beach in Montross Virginia, Westmoreland State Park, that has all of this.
Parking up by the visitor center there are picnic tables along the cliff side. I and my family ate up there, for even though we could have ate down on the beach, it was nice not having to carry more stuff along the half a mile trail. Also the beach during the heavy time of summer can be slightly crowded. During winter there is no fear of it being overcrowded and the beach being below and between white sandy cliffs, the wind isn’t bad off the Potomac River.
The trail down to the beach isn’t hard. I’ve done it in bare feet multiple times. It is mostly an uphill trek going back to the parking lot. Once you’re on the beach it’s perfectly okay to set up camp anywhere. I suggest bringing towels and beach sifters. The sifters are for going through the sand along the water to find shark teeth.
The good news is that even though it’s cold, the odds of you finding shark teeth don’t go up or down if you go far into the water or even step a food in at all. As long as you’re near the water line and dip your sifter into the rocky wet shoreline you can find one.
I tend to have the luck of finding one shark tooth per visit. At first you wonder if everything you see is a shark tooth, but once you find one, trust me you’ll know what it is. There isn’t just shark teeth to find though. There are jaw bones and whale teeth too. When you go into the visit center there are pamphlets that will show you what you can find and what each thing looks like so you can compare.
Once you collect all that you wish to you can always go to the visitors center afterwards and ask the workers there if what you found is truly anything. This helps if you are uncertain of what you’ve found or are afraid of throwing away a cool looking rock without double checking it’s something important. Sometimes there is a park ranger wandering the beach there to answer any questions and are happy to help. If you don’t wish to talk to anyone the pamphlet is the way to go, or just tell people a cool rock that you found was a fossil, no one will probably question you.
This picturesque spot is great for those who wish to hunt for treasure in the form of shark teeth, gaining a hike and a beach all in one day.