When searching for specific minerals, the best tool for any rock hunter to equip is the correct knowledge.
In this article, we’ll look at three specific locations where you can find agates in the state of Louisiana.
Where To Find Agates In Louisiana (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.
Location #1: Big Creek, North East of Pollock, Grant Parish
The first location you can try out lies just outside the town of Pollock.
Travel eastward on Patterson Street with your vehicle (leaving Pollock) until you reach an intersection that turns onto Big Creek Dam Road.
Travel north along it until you see a turnoff onto a private residence to your left.
Within Louisiana state law, most waterways and rivers are considered public land.
However, considering how close the agate site is to private property, make sure you get that landowner’s permission to travel to this particular site and ask if you can collect any agate samples.
If either you or the landowner are unsure about the private/public laws regarding your actions, consider visiting the webpage for Office of State Lands, Louisiana Division of Administration, to be sure.
Once you have the legalities all settled and done, the agate site should be a small, white island in the middle of the river (named Big Creek), about 600 feet north of the house within walking distance.
However, be sure to bring some sturdy rubber boots and chest waders just in case you have to cross Big Creek to get to your destination.
It’s not just the water and terrain you’ll need to be concerned about, but the dangerous wildlife that might be in the area as well.
Louisiana is known to host a variety of deadly creatures such as rattlesnakes, alligators, and brown recluse spiders.
So ask the locals for advice on how to avoid such dangerous critters, keep your eyes peeled for any large disturbances in the water, and watch where you step.
You’ll also need the right tools for the job.
Some you’ll need, but are not limited to, a 22oz steel rock pick, a field shovel, a steel chisel, and a backpack, if you’re willing to carry some extra weight.
Agates have been known to be exposed to air after hard rain, so going to this site after a storm could mean that no digging is required on your part.
However, bring all the necessary equipment with you anyway, as you never know what you’ll need upon arrival.
Once you’ve gotten to your destination, start looking on the small white island for any rocks that appear golf-ball sized.
Give them a quick rinse in Big Creek, and touch them for any waxy textures or signs of pitting (agates can form alongside porous igneous rock).
Agates can also be heavier than they appear, so if your rock is waxy to the touch and feels like one of the heaviest golf balls you’ve ever held, you just might have found an agate!
To be sure, take your rock pick and split the sample open.
If you notice multiple bands of color that are more-or-less parallel to the sides of the rock cavity, you have found what you’re looking for!
If you want your sample to have smooth edges for a pleasant display, take it to someone who owns a diamond saw.
Location #2: Tangipahoa River bank, East of Amite City
A good second location to try out is fairly close to the LA-16 highway that exits east out of Amite city.
You’ll need to drive to a bridge that crosses the Tangipahoa River and stop there.
Considering most river banks are considered public property, you might not have any issues parking just before the bridge.
However, if the terrain is unfavorable (too muddy, for example), you could try parking at the Amite animal clinic just across the bridge by turning on the second left onto Thomas Road.
From then on, you might have to proceed on foot.
Google maps show a lot of tire tracks on the site itself, but consider the weather conditions carefully.
If it rained beforehand, you’ll have a better chance of spotting agates amongst the river gravel, but it will be difficult for any vehicle to get through the area.
Starting from the bridge (the side Amite City is on), walk southwards along the river bank for about 1,875 feet to get to your agate destination.
Be sure to have all your equipment ready.
The ideal spot should be mostly sand, gravel, and mud surrounded by rows of trees on each side.
As mentioned in the first location, be cautious of any dangerous wildlife such as alligators and venomous snakes.
The terrain might have a lot of wet mud, meaning some rubber boots can help you maintain firm footing.
If you don’t see golf-ball sized rocks that feel waxy right away, start digging with your field shovel, preferably closer to the Tangipahoa River.
Use river water to help rinse off any solid objects you find.
Again, watch out for anything in the water indicating that something dangerous might be lurking nearby.
If you manage to find any rocks with irregular fractures and a waxy, pitted texture, split one open with your rock pick.
If you see multiple colorful bands inside, you have found yourself an agate!
Location #3: Amite River bank, North East of Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
The last location is situated within an area with a lot of urban sprawl.
You’ll need to travel eastward on Greenwell Springs Road all the way until you reach an intersection that crosses Magnolia Bridge Road.
Take a right and stop just before the bridge crosses the Amite River.
Similar to the second location, you might be able to park your vehicle just before the bridge.
If you’re unable to for any reason, try parking further ahead at a truck stop known as Frog’s at Magnolia Beach.
With your equipment ready to go, start from the bridge that crosses the river, preferably on the westward side.
From there, the shortest route to the agate site will require walking 1,620 feet, if you’re willing to cross through thick woods.
However, if you’re concerned about the terrain being too rough or not knowing what kinds of dangerous creatures you could encounter, you can walk along the river bank for about 2,245 feet instead.
Once again, mind your weather.
The terrain could be a bit water-logged due to rain or changes in the river route.
Bring rubber boots if the ground seems very wet.
The site has dense grass and trees covering it near the bank, so chances are you’ll have to use your field shovel quite a bit before finding any potential agates.
If you face the river, there should be a small, white or grey artificial structure behind you.
If you see both clear as day, you have arrived at the ideal agate location.
Collect rocks, rinse or brush them off of any excess sediment, and feel them for that distinct waxy texture.
Should you find some, crack them open with your rock pick and/or steel chisel.
If bands of multiple colors are inside your sample, you have found what you’re looking for!
When hunting agates in the State of Louisiana, know which places are public or private, ask for permission to tread and collect when appropriate, mind the weather and terrain, bring the necessary tools, watch out for dangerous wildlife, and most importantly, good luck on finding some colorful agates!
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