With rockhounding gaining in popularity, more and more people are looking for great places to do this.
Nova Scotia has many places where you could go rockhounding.
We suggest the following five rockhounding places in this province as options to get you started.
Rockhounding Nova Scotia
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.
East Kemptville Tin Mine
This Tin Mine is a great place for rockhounding and is located approximately 45 km northeast of the town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, just east of the tiny hamlet of East Kemptville.
It was the biggest main tin mine in the whole of North America while it was operational.
The mine has a diverse range of minerals, including mcauslanite, a novel mineral to science.
The mine is also the first known place for triplite in Canada, as well as the second place for childrenite-eosphorite.
The most common minerals you will be able to find at this location include quartz, plagioclase (albite), pyrite, orthoclase, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, muscovite, topaz, chalcopyrite, fluorite, cassiterite, and arsenopyrite.
Many highly mineralized rocks may be found in the mine heaps.
The high hardness of the granite makes collecting difficult; even a heavy sledgehammer simply bounces off.
Furthermore, the mineralization happened as thin seams rather than pockets, which means that the resultant crystals are either tiny or cross the seam, making them incomplete.
Almost all of the structures at this mine were demolished once the mine closed.
The hole has now been filled with water, and extensive effort has been made to restore the surrounding region.
The mine is accessible from Route 203 collector road. The mine covers a large area close to the road and is easily accessible from the road along short dirt roads.
Trout Point Lodge is a four-star hotel about three kilometers north of the mine on the northern side of Route 203 where you can stay if you want to spend some time at the mine.
Rooms are a bit pricey though, at over $1000.
In terms of affordability, the best accommodation can be found in Yarmouth.
Pegmatites of New Ross
Several pegmatites were discovered in the region of New Ross, in Lunenburg County, in the early 20th century.
The areas they were found in are now filled in, overgrown, and partially inaccessible, but they yield an unusual array of minerals.
Each pegmatite has its own mineralogy, but we look at them as a group for the purpose of this article.
The New Ross Pluton, which is mentioned here, is made up of both aplite-pegmatite (Reeves, Morley’s, Keddy, Long Lake, Walker) and greisen-type deposits (Walker, Turner, Long Lake) (Carruzzo 2003).
The specific types of minerals you will be able to uncover in the area are albite, apatite, tapiolite group, columbite group, wolframite, durangite, fluorite, micas, molybdenite, montebrasite, and many more.
The area has more than fifty minerals, to be sure.
These also include topaz, opal, and quartz.
Accessibility by road is reasonable but you will be required to go walking to get to some spots, although we are not talking of long treks here.
Accommodation can be found in New Ross.
These include country clubs like the Sherwood Gold and Country Club to bed and breakfasts and campgrounds. Take your pick.
Londonderry Iron Mining District
This iron mining region is located in Colchester County, approximately 20 kilometers south of the Cobequid Mountains, between the Portapique and Debert Rivers.
In the late 1800s, this was a highly significant mining sector for Nova Scotia.
Acadia Mines was the town’s name at the time, but it was renamed Londonderry in the early twentieth century.
Botryoidal goethite specimens, among others, may still be discovered in the region.
The East, Old Mountain, and West Mines are the three main mines in the region.
There are many minerals present.
Limonite was discovered on or near the surface.
Siderite that was devoid of ‘ankerite’ was classified as low-grade ore.
A handful of thin, vein-like aggregates of specular hematite were found in the ore and carbonate deposits, as well as goethite.
Manganite, calcite, pyrite, and aragonite are all present.
The often reported ‘ankerite’ is actually just iron-rich dolomite. Genuine ankerite is actually a very uncommon and rare mineral.
The area is easily accessible and there are various towns with more than enough accommodation for anyone who wants to overnight for rockhounding purposes.
Truro is the largest town on Cobequid Bay, which dominates the area.
For the sake of this page, we’ll look at a 2.5-kilometer stretch of coastline from Cheverie Point towards the south, past White Head, and up to Johnson Cove in the north.
The whole region is located just west of the little town of Cheverie.
Cheverie, in Hants County, is a lovely place to spend a day outside with friends or family. It is located at the Avon River mouth, with a stunning view of Cape Blomidon.
Within a very limited region, a number of intriguing geological characteristics may be observed.
Manganite, barite, calcite, pyrolusite, gypsum, fluorite, celestite, and pyrite are among the minerals encountered around here.
Anhydrite contains trace levels of borate minerals.
Recently discovered minerals include probertite and howlite.
Danburite and ulexite have also been reported.
At low tide, the region is readily accessible from the main road or the two side roads, and mineral collection involves little effort.
There are even picnic tables along the route. Accommodation is readily available in the entire area.
Bayers Lake and Highway 103
The granite boulders that cover much of the southern part of Nova Scotia begin on the limits of Halifax.
There are several minor veins, pockets, and lenses in the region near Bayers Lake and Timberlea.
In many instances, the crystallization turns coarse, resulting in the formation of pegmatite.
Muscovite, microcline, albite, quartz, cordierite, pinite, schorl, apatite, garnet, meta-autunite, beryl, and an unnamed green clay mineral have all been recorded from the Bayers Lake area and the roadway.
Anatase has been found in the Governor Lake pegmatite, and a single sample from Highway 103 possesses a TiO2 phase.
Don Doell, a collector from Canada, has identified many additional minerals from Governor Lake, including pyromorphite, zircon, metatorbernite, covellite, goethite, and sekaninaite. In the area of the 2018 expansion, certain undiscovered microminerals were discovered in an aplite dyke.
The Bayers Lake area is easily accessible and Halifax has more than adequate accommodation for any out-of-town rockhounds.
We would recommend this location to those starting out from Halifax.
Nova Scotia has a rich assortment of rockhounding sites that can still be discovered.
Don’t forget to check out the obvious places while you are on your way around the countryside.
Ocean beaches, gravel bars, creek beds, creeks, any areas adjacent to rushing water, or areas that suffer from erosion due to weather/wind are great places to stop to look for rocks.
You might not find something Earth shattering in an unassuming road-cut without a name, but you might also find something unique and beautiful to take home with you.
Carry With You
If you are planning a hike where there will be rocks to pick through, consider packing one of the following:
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (small book with pretty colored pictures to help identification)
- National Audubon Society Field Guide To North American Fossils (small book with pictures)
- Gemstone & Crystals Properties (durable fold-up guide)
- Small UV Flashlight
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