Rockhounding Near Atlanta, GA: 4 Must-Visit Areas To Find Cool Rocks and Minerals

Georgia is a great place to go rockhounding.

Here are just a few suggestions that anyone who enjoys the hobby should check out.

Rockhounding Near Atlanta (A Visitor’s Guide)

Disclaimer

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.

In Atlanta and the east Georgia areas, there are many rock hounding locations.

Some of the best rock hounding sites include mine dumps, gravel pits, selected stream beds, prospecting areas, and Graves Mountain.

A wide variety of minerals, such as Savannah River agate, corundum, quartz, and diamonds can be found in this region.

Troup Country, Georgia

Troup County is located in the western part of Georgia and is part of the Piedmont geologic region.

The area consists of metamorphic and igneous rocks.

In addition, the Hogg Mine, a gem and mineral mine, is located in LaGrange, about an hour from Atlanta, Georgia.

This is one of the most well known areas for rock hounder to search for minerals and stones.

This area is ideal for rock hunters, regardless of experience. It is known as a pegmatite site.

Gems and minerals that can be found in this area include:

  • Aquamarine crystal
  • Amethyst
  • Quartz
  • Black tourmaline
  • Beryl 
  • Schist
  • Amphibolite
  • Gneiss
  • Migmatite
  • Granite

Directions from Atlanta, Georgia via I-85 S to LaGrange, Georgia

This is the fastest route, at 1 hour, 14 minutes and 68.4 miles. 

  • Take  I-75 S/I-85 S from Washington St SW and Pulliam St SW
  • Stay on I-85 to GA-219 N and then take exit 13 from I-85 S
  • Follow GA-219 N until you reach your destination

Directions from Atlanta, Georgia via I-85 S to Troup County, Georgia

This is the fastest route, at 1 hour, 16 minutes and 69.0 miles.

  • Select I-75 S/I-85 S from Washington St SW and Pulliam St SW
  • Continue on I-85 / I-75 S. Then proceed to take exit 13 on I-85 S
  • Follow S Davis Rd and Davis Rd Bypass to Priscilla Dr

Hogg mine is extremely exclusive. The mine only offers a select number of dig days throughout the year.

Price: $35

Morrow Trail, Morrow, Georgia

Morrow is located 15.9 miles south of Atlanta. It is a 20 minute drive.

Morrow, a city in Clayton county, Georgia, offers 69 trails covering 409 miles.

Area creek beds in the area are ideal locations for rock hounding. 

Gems and minerals that can be found in this area include:

  • Diamonds 

Directions from Atlanta, Georgia via I-85 S to Morrow Trail, Georgia

  • Merge with I-75 S/I-85 S from Washington St SW and Pulliam St SW
  • Continue on I-75 S to Morrow. Take exit 233 from I-75 S
  • Follow GA-54 N/Jonesboro Rd then take the turn off to Morrow Rd to Oakridge Dr

The trails are accessible year round. 

GPS coordinates: 

33.587011, -84.346124

Stone Mountain area

Stone Mountain is a city near Atlanta, Georgia and is the gateway to Stone Mountain Park.

Stone Mountain is the largest granite dome east of the Mississippi River.

Although it is not the largest in the world, it is still very impressive in size.

The granite that forms in this area is about 300 million years old.

Stone Mountain is of volcanic origin.

There are several quarries in this area that rock hounders can visit, each offering its own treat to the rock hounder.

Gems and minerals that can be found in this area include:

  • Block quarry – A granite quarry
  • Britt quarry –  A granite quarry
  • Coffey quarry – Not stated on website
  • Ethel quarry – Minerals: Opal, Zoisite, Uranophane
  • Hayne quarry – Minerals: Opal, Uranophane
  • Kellog quarry – Minerals: Lazolite, Tourmaline
  • Powell quarry – Minerals: Toumaline
  • Flatrock quarry – Minerals: Uranophane
  • Quartz crystals
  • Granite

Directions from Atlanta, Georgia via Memorial Dr SE and Rockbridge Rd SW.

It is a 27 minute drive along 16.2 miles via Memorial Dr SE and Rockbridge Rd SW.

  • Access I-20 E from M.L.K. Jr Dr SE and Hill St SE
  • Continue on to Memorial Dr SE to Rockbridge Rd SW in DeKalb County
  • Proceed on Rockbridge Rd SW. Drive to Stonehaven Dr

GPS Coordinates:

33.799904, -84.157142

Paulding County, Georgia, USA

This is a great source of a large variety of minerals.

Pauling county is situated in the northwestern part of Georgia.

It is a 38 minute drive, 32 miles from Atlanta, Georgia.

It forms part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. hounder will find Almadine Garnet in this region.

It is an iron aluminum silicate.

Almadine Garnet ranges in colors from deep red to reddish purple.

There are a range of prospecting sites in the area for rock hounders to choose from, as well as several mines in the area where you can pay to dig. 

Gems and minerals that can be found in this area include:

  • Mica
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Gold
  • Almadine garnet
  • Aggregates
  • Sulfur

Directions from Atlanta, Georgia via  I-20 W from Washington St SW and Memorial Dr SW

  • Merge onto the I-20 from Washington St SW and Memorial Dr SW
  • Proceed on I-20 W. Take GA-6 W and continue on to Old Harris Rd in Dallas
  • Choose Winndale Rd and Cochran Ridge Rd to Garnet Ridge Rd

GPS coordinates: 

33.883500, -84.798167

Many of the areas listed here are easily accessible by main road and do not require a special vehicle to reach the sites.

Rock hunters should make sure they have the proper tools and clothing for the trip.

Most of these sites are accessible year-round, but some are only accessible on certain days of the year.

The average price for most sites is between $35 and $50 per day for rock hunting.

General Thoughts


There are many great areas for rock hunting in the state of Georgia.

Some of the best places include creek beds and gravel pits.

These places contain pegmatite minerals.

There are several open access lakeshores, mountainsides, and mines in the area.

Some of the most popular sites in Georgia include the Graves Mountain Mine and the Hogg Mine.

Before you take any rocks home, you should confirm that it is in fact legal to remove any material, and how much.

Also, you should not cause any major ground disturbance in the process.

For the purposes of this article, only a one hour radius was covered around the city of Atlanta, Georgia. 

Some may be familiar with the fact that the actual first gold rush occurred in the state of Georgia.

There are prime areas where the public can also dig for diamonds.

Agate can be found in Withlacoochee River, Lowndes Co., Georgia, USA.

This may be outside of the one hour radius but still worth mentioning. 

Jacksons Crossroads Amethyst Mine is another prime area in the greater Georgia area where rock hounders can find a great selection of minerals and rocks. 

The best time to plan rock hounding excursions in Georgia is in the winter.

Spring and summer are ideal times to rock hound in these areas and offer rock hounders a variety of gems, minerals, and a variety of rocks.

Proper gear and clothing, including shoes, is required for the expedition to ensure the safety of the rock hounder. 

rockhounding near atlanta