A few places to spot
Petoskey Stones: 

  • Anywhere along the shores of Lake Michigan. 
  • The stones can sometimes be found near the inland lakes and beaches, including one of my favorites, Crystal Lake! 
  • This spring I found three walking along a dirt road on Old Mission Peninsula (in the dirt!).
  • You can find some great stones inside jewelry stores across Northern Michigan! And lots of fun rocks, home accessories made of rocks, and rock jewelry at summer art fairs! 
  • A great spot to rock hunt is on the shores of Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, however since this is a National Lakeshore, visitors are not permitted to take stones out of the park.
  • Once you have your rocks, make your collection even better by polishing them! There are some great rock tumbler kits available: 

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Petoskey Stone Hunting 
in Northern Michigan

Petoskey Stone hunting is one of my personal favorite past times, it gets you outside, enjoying the serene shores of Lake Michigan. I especially enjoy a spring hunt, when the weather is still a little chilly for other outdoor activities, but you are aching to get outside! 

 

Unique to Up North Michigan is the Petoskey Stone- known for its unique markings which consist of small six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the once-living coral polyps. Petoskey stones aren’t just found in the Northern Michigan town of Petoskey… Unique to the Great Lakes region, it can be found along the shores of Michigan’s lower peninsula, and even inland sometimes as well. Technically, it is fossilized pre-historic coral fossilized rugose coral, Hexagonaria percarinata. The stone is not only unique to Michigan, it’s the state’s official stone. 

Abundant along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, visitors to the National Lakeshore are not permitted to take the stones out of the park. This should not detour you from looking, simply snap a picture and leave the stone for the next visitor! Officially, it is illegal to take any natural thing from a National Park, even rocks, flowers and sticks, unless explicitly permitted.

My favorite rock-hunting time of tear is Spring: You can find Petoskey Stones year-round in Northern Michigan. However, if you are really looking to score BIG I suggest heading out in early spring… When the stones are fresh after the winter weather has moved them. Head out just after it rains (or during) so the stones are wet and easier to spot!

Keep an eye out for the rare “Pink Pets” Petoskey Stones have a pink hue that is due to iron that permeated the coral as it was calcified. Happy Hunting!


  1. Kristy’s Secret Spots! I have found a lot of Petoskey Stones on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay in front of my friend’s house (I won’t reveal the address)- no one has ever looked there, so they are plentiful! 

  2. Do you have a secret Petoskey Stone spot? Share below in the comments section. Don’t worry, the exact location is not necessary, just let us know you have one!  

Treasure Hunting Tips:

The unique stones can be hard to spot for first-time hunters, but we have some tips to help you discover your first Up North treasure: 
-Take your time and be patient! Try not to get frustrated. 
Hunt just after a light rain, the stones will still be wet and easier to spot. 
Early Spring is a great season to search for newly uncovered stones as waves and ice from winter have uncovered new stones. 
-Seek an area of Lake Michigan shoreline that is not heavily visited
Carry a bucket to collect your treasures! 
-If you are searching on the shore of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, remember, visitors, are not permitted to take the stones out of the park. You can still hunt, just snap a picture and don’t take the stones home! 

 

 

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