Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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The Fisk Quarry Preserve is part of the Chazy Fossil Reef and a national natural landmark. Tucked away on quiet Isle La Motte, this spectacular piece of natural history goes relatively unnoticed by the many visitors to the Lake Champlain region. The preserve was once a limestone quarry, the product of which was used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The limestone is actually a fossilized reef that began to form 450 million years ago.

To a casual observer, the preserve is a bit lackluster. Bluish-gray stone creates a nearly level floor, while tall grass and weeds fill in the cracks. The deeper-mined parts of the quarry hold stagnant water, home to various amphibians, while several species of birds flit to and from its vertical walls. It's a great place for birdwatching, but it is otherwise unimpressive.

That is, until the quarry's ancient history is revealed. Visitors stand on the remains of the oldest community-built reef in the world. Bryozoa, stromatoporoids, and extinct algae make up the bottom portions of the reef, while sponges, algae, and early corals form the upper levels. While many sections of this reef can be seen from Newfoundland to Tennessee, Vermont is one of the only places the reef has been tilted, revealing these layers to the earth's surface.

In addition to these tiny reef builders, fossils of larger organisms like cephalopods, trilobites, crinoids, and gastropods can be found. It's easy to spend several hours looking for fossils in the quarry.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Many fossils. ADA accessible. Ancient reef.



Pets allowed



Geologically significant
ADA accessible



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