I have spent days of my summer vacation each year for the last half a dozen years searching for the elusive Petoskey stones that are found in Lake Michigan. If you have never found one, this might help you out.

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What is a Petoskey Stone?

A group of Petoskey Stones on a Lake Michigan beach.
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I had never heard of a Petoskey stone until about 6 years ago when I was on a vacation with my family in Arcadia, Michigan.

A friend of my brother-in-law was constantly looking through rocks and even panning with them and I was like, hey, what are you doing? That's when Dave said, "looking for Petoskey stones."

Boy looking for petoskey stones on Michigan beach.
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At the time I had no idea what a Petoskey stone was because no one had one that I could see. Lucky for me it was Arcadia days and someone was selling polished Petoskey stones and I got a really good look and then knew what to look for.

corfoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto
corfoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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A Petosky stone is a rock and a fossil. The stones are formed as a result of glaciation in which sheets of ice pluck stones from the bedrock, grinding off their rough edges and then they wind up on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Where Do You Find Petosky Stones?

Sanya Kushak/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sanya Kushak/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Michigan's lower peninsula along the northwest side of Lake Michigan is the best area for finding Petosky stones. Obviously, an area like in the photo above is a great place to start where you have a ton of exposed rocks.

A little tip, it never hurts to where a water shoe or a sandal to make it easier on your feet while you search for the stones.

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google maps
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The beaches from Traverse City to Petoskey along Lake Michigan are the best places to look if you really want to find some good stones.

I have yet to get up there and look but I think next summer my son and I will make a little trip during our family vacation.

Pamela Carpenter/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Pamela Carpenter/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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When the Petoskey stone is wet, you can really see all the lines really well. When the stones are dry, they are much harder to see and sometimes you almost can't see them at all unless the stone is wet.

OnyxRain/Getty Images/iStockphoto
OnyxRain/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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As you can see in the photo above, Petoskey stones are beautiful once you get them polished. You can pay someone to polish your stones or you can buy your own kit to polish them yourself.

I found a small one a couple of years ago and this summer my son found a pretty good size one you can see in the photo below.

Tommy Carroll/TSM
Tommy Carroll/TSM
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My son actually found this one in deeper water while he was diving down. He and I both were very happy at his find. Now that we have two, it is time to get them polished.

You and your family can spend some quality time walking on the beaches of Lake Michigan looking for Petoskey stones and creating some memories of your own.

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