MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi is the home of the only petrified forest east of the Mississippi River in the southern United States. It’s located in Madison County near Pocahontas and Flora. There’s another one in the eastern U.S., but it’s way up in New York.

The petrified logs in Mississippi date back some 36 million years. The theory is there was an ancient river that ran through here, and there must have been a gargantuan flooding event that washed trees up from their roots and swept them away until the got to their current location. And then, over time, the logs were buried under silt and mud. The logs absorbed the ground water, which eventually replaced all of the plant material with minerals dissolved in it.

Then in the 1800s when settlers began moving into the area, plowing began uncovering some of the petrified wood. And every time it rains, more and more of the petrified wood is uncovered.

In the 1960s, Mississippi’s Petrified Forest was given National Landmark status, and people began touring the area. It’s an interesting place to visit.

The Petrified Forest is open seven days a week all year long, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.