Alabama has been known to be among the best productive states for precious stones and mineral gathering.
Actually, during the gold rush era, Alabama, was the central point of focus, especially along the Mississippi river banks.
If you are in Alabama or planning to visit, and rockhounding is among your top list to do activities, then you should visit these 10 places to quench your quest.
Rockhounding Mobile (A Guide)
The information provided in this article by YesDirt.com is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.
Probably gold and gemstones are at the top of your mineral list.
You will accomplish this in Alabama Gold Camp, which is 10 miles east of Lineville and ranges 179 sections of land along both the Crooked and Wesobugla creeks.
You can also collect citrine, garnets, and fossils here.
You must first get permits for gold mining.
Don’t worry much about the mining tools and protective gear because you can find them in the stores near the camp.
Charges here include a $5 fee for regular visitor’s fee and a $15 to $40 dredging fee.
If you are with your family or a group of friends, intending to spend a few days, you can camp in the grass fields or alongside the streams.
You will pay camping a small fee though.
Washrooms are available at all times.
There is no electricity and water nearby, so be prepared.
There are shacks for rent at about $75 a night to access amenities such as water, electricity, and WIFI.
The area in Ashland, located in Clay County, has several mineral and rock gathering points.
You can find all sorts of mineral types, such as smoky quartz, apatite, kyanite, garnet, and tourmaline.
At Ashland, please visit the below-listed location to collect various rocks and minerals.
M & G Mine: Located at 9387 NW Highway 10, Ramsey, MN 55303, you will collect Apatite, Garnet, Smoky Quartz stones
Gibson Mine: This is found near mount Gibson. Here you can gather Garnets. Please use a 4X4 vehicle, it is a mountainous site.
Shirley Mine: located just around Shirley Lake, Wisconsin, good for collecting Magnetite, Garnet, Kyanite, Tourmaline
Pleasant Grove Road: This is a visible location while driving along Pleasant Grove to gather Quartz crystals.
Buzzard Creek & tributaries: Chlorite, Green Quartz
Looking for Crinoids, Bryozoans, Cephalopods, Brachiopods, and a variety of other fossil organisms?
Then schedule ahead of time a visit to Falkville, located interstate 65 south of Athens.
This place is highly rated because it is rich in marine fossils.
Be sure to collect full Crinoids and many other volcanic materials.
Hence pack protective eye wears, hammering gears, and bags for storing your collections.
There are many quarries, hence groups will be given educational tours.
It is a good idea to follow the instructions given by the quarry staff for safety and key information.
The Gemstone Mine at Cathedral Caverns is an adventurous site for rockhounding activities.
Rest assured to find discoveries.
If you have kids, then you have hit the jackpot, since panning the gemstones will be a fun experience for all of you.
You just need to purchase a bag with prepackaged gemstones to serve as your identification guide to what you are looking for.
You will collect these from the dirt of the water that flows through the flumes that are custom-built for that purpose.
Information about the Cave history is readily provided in the many plaques placed strategically for viewing.
Shops and stores are many, so you can buy drinks and snacks. At the front of the cave’s entry, there are public bathrooms.
At the Caverns, business hours are 9.00 am to 5.30 pm.
From the pails and satchels around, you will be able to buy mining dirt with a description of possible minerals to be found at price ranges of $6 to $50.
Buckets and bags are prefilled with a variety of fossils, cut gems, and seashells collected from the ocean.
Get yourself a 4X4 and head to the river.
In the river’s proximity, at the Alabama border with Georgia, you will discover the star blue quartz.
Many sections of the Flint River are very shallow, having chert pebbles, marbles, gemstones, and other precious stones lying along the edges of the river and some lightly covered by the gently flowing shallow waters.
Walking along the river edges with a pickle or hand shovel will help you to collect as many as you can.
A vehicle will come in hand to cross areas where you cannot walk.
Paint Rock River Valley
To get here while coming from HWY 72, exit at Paint Rock, and head towards the north of HWY 65.
The ideal place here would be Trenton.
This location is readily accessible and has a high probability of encountering gems and fine stones.
The area has a lot of paint rock discovered in nodules and seams.
Gravel bars are in abundance along the streams on every side of the mountains.
Red carnelian bits can also be found in the river bents.
Since It is an area with mountains and uneven ground, your adventure-seeking will be a lot easier if you have put a 4X4 on your budget.
Your packing list should contain picks, shovels, rocking chairs, and hiking boots.
It is advisable to wear long pants to avoid cuts on your legs from the vast vegetation. Please carry with you plenty of water to hydrate yourself when the need comes.
Pudding Stone Quarry
A location to find a matrix of Hematite, gemstones, red Chalcedony, and jasper.
The directions to this site, coming from Mississippi, once you cross the Alabama border on HWY 72, look for the quarry on the right.
If you find yourself at Bear Creek, then you have passed the place and you should turn back.
This area is a functioning quarry; therefore, you must seek authorization to go gemstone hunting.
Many quarry sites allow the visitor to pick stones as long as they stay out of the way and won’t place themselves in peril on steep inclines.
Your mine tools should include a rock hammer, pickles, collecting buckets, and protective eyewear.
Geodes having Quartz or Calcite Linings are found in streams and meadows surrounding Athens.
It is located in North Alabama at the Interstate 65 and Highway 72 road junctions.
The southern and western parts of Athens have most of these stones.
The town has antebellum buildings and is home to the historic Athens State College and the fiddler’s convention held in autumn every year.
The people here are very lively and there is always country music in the atmosphere.
You can also find some antique finds in the shops here.
Thus, the area is a lovely one for your rockhounding activity when you visit in Autumn.
Just remember to pack handheld mining and picking devices, rock hammers, and waterproof shoes or boots that come in handy when you alight from your 4X4 vehicle to walk and pick the stones.
Paint Rock Valley Lodge
If Agate is on your rockhounding list, you will find it around Paint Rock Lodge, which is popularly visited by rockhound groups, family events, parties, and hunting groups.
The best time to visit and get some good deals is during the deer hunting season and Bluegrass festivals to enjoy the music and parties.
The area traverses a few hundred acres of land; therefore, you will find some staggering Paint Rock Agate and carnelian.
It is controlled by the Prince family, which likes to invite many people together with the Miners to enjoy their property tours.
While going there, take with you some pickaxes, shovels, hiking boots and plenty of water.
Rather than climbing into the mountains, you should stroll along the waterway, looking for Agate washed down from the slopes.
Erin is a town that emanates from the railway stop.
It has plenty of good rockhounding activities with various rocks and minerals to find.
Here, you can expect to encounter garnet, turquoise, albite, chlorite, apatite, beryl, and many others.
At the west side of Goldmines Creek, you will collect Albite, Microcline, Apatite, Almandine, Muscovite, Beryl, Rhodolite, and Tourmaline.
At the East, there are plenty of placer Gold, Olivine, Pyrope, Actinolite, Sillimanite, Chlorite, and Talc.
Near Pleasant Grove Church, there are Turquoise and copper minerals.
The area has quarries and creeks. So please have a 4X4 vehicle with you to enable easy maneuvering around the places.
Wrapping up, if it is your first rock hunt, it is better to choose the simplest routes.
Many people in the localities can offer you tips on the best ideas to hunt the rocks and what to look for.
Be careful that hiking requires authorization from the neighborhood landowners when you are looking for where to get gemstones.
Although many landowners will let one gather the rock if that is the only activity that one intends to do.
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