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​​UPRVC: Underground Petrified Rainforest of Vermilion County!

300 million year old fossilized rainforest discovered in 2007 in East Central Illinois 250’ below ground in two coal mines – Riola and Vermilion Grove

Latitude: 39.93725, Longitude: -87.67200

Petrified Forest Radio Interview 5/27/23

by with Scott Elrick & Richard Berner on WITY 980 Danville

We encourage your comments and suggestions to make Vermilion Counties’ two coal mines in Riola/Vermilion Groves “World’s Largest Underground Petrified Rainforest” into a national/international historical landmark, educational visitors museum, and nature theme/event park for generations of visitors to experience.

Riola Mine Portal
Spoil (Shale) Pile
Seed Fern
Spoil (Shale) Pile
“Vein” of Coal
Calamite Fossil
Lycopsid Stump
Raised Hands reveal 6ft wide by 120ft long Lycopsid plant

Terminal Phase of Herrin Peat Mire

Lycopsid Branch
Surface of Riola Mine
Seed Fern
Rain Forest Illustration from 300 million years ago – resembling actual fossils found

Map of of abandoned coal mines in Vermilion County

More Resources




Pennsylvanian Age Mire Forest - Lycopsids


Fantastic Fossilized Forest Found near our Hometown

Richard Gerard Berner

Berner Plumbing & H2O Inc.

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