Where to Find Chert in Alabama: A Guide to 11 Most Likely Places

Have you heard about the many mining locations in Alabama?

Chert, a hard, fine-grained sedimentary stone made out of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz, must have caught your attention.

If you need to collect some samples of your choice but don’t know where to start or where to locate them, the listing below consists of eleven sighting locations, to serve as your guide in your mining endeavor.

Where to Find Chert in Alabama (A Get Started 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.

Southern Alabama

Irregular sightings of Tallahatta Chert formation crop out in a belt across southern Alabama.

Sensibly great sedimentary segments can be found along Highway 69 north of Coffeeville, close to Little Stave Creek close to Jackson, and along Highway 17 close to Butler (Copeland, 1968).

Tallahatta Chert used for knapping is found as a float in a restricted region, which means you must seek proper permission to access it.

Set-up crease material is somewhat uncommon, yet huge sheets are usually found in waterways and stream channels, probably because it was concentrated there through the activity of running water.

A hand shovel can be used to collect the cherts along the sedimentary sections.

Coosa Valley in Alabama

Called the Great Valley in Georgia or the Coosa Valley in Alabama, this is a somewhat low-lying locale between the Blue Ridge (66) toward the east and the Southwestern Appalachians (68) to the west.

Because of outrageous collapsing and faulting occasions, the generally equal edges and valleys arrive in an assortment of widths, statures, and geology, including but not limited to the materials limestone, shale, siltstone, sandstone, chert, and marble.

Land cover is blended and present-day woods cover around half of the district.

The ecoregion has incredible sea-going territory variety and supports different fish fauna.

As such, a 4X4 vehicle is mandatory to move in such a valley.

Along the banks of the creeks, you can dig out Cherts sometimes hammering to separate them.

Do not forget to carry with you some bush clearing tools in case the Cherts are covered with vegetation.

Blountsville, Blount County, Alabama,

Blountsville is a welcoming, friendly, low populated, and active town found in Blount County.

It is a hilly and irregular topography having higher elevations where you can find Chert covered by soils that are cherty, acidic, and low to moderate fertility.

If you are heading there, you will need to drive a 4X4 vehicle due to the hilly and uneven surfaces.

The Chert can be collected by digging the soil using shovels and chisels.

Streams are described by coarse chert rock and sand substrates with spaces of bedrock, low to direct inclinations, and moderately clear water.

Albeit the more extreme, dissected side inclines will generally be forested, a large portion of the normal vegetation has been taken out from the expansive, level uplands for field and cropland.

Dairy cattle keeping is locally critical, and feed, cotton, and soybeans, with some wheat and corn, include a large part of the cropland.

So, you might need to have the proper local arrangement to excavate the area.

Interior Plateau

The Interior Plateau is a different ecoregion reaching out from southern Indiana and Ohio to northern Alabama.

Rock types are unmistakably not quite the same as the waterfront plain residue of ecoregion 65, and heights are lower than the Appalachian ecoregions (66, 67, 68) toward the east. Mississippian to Ordovician-age limestone, chert, sandstone, siltstone, and shale make the landforms out of open slopes, sporadic fields, and tablelands.

It is a significant agrarian locale in Alabama.

The normal vegetation is essentially oak-hickory timberland, with some blended mesophotic woods and spaces of cedar meadows.

The springs, lime sinks, and caverns add to this present area’s particular faunal conveyance.

You will need the necessary permissions to cross Indiana to northern Alabama.

You can easily identify the Cherts while walking along the slopes collecting and sometimes digging with a shovel.

The lower valley of River Tennessee Alabama

Bangor Chert is found in knobs in the Bangor Limestone development and structures in edge and valley areas of the lower Tennessee River valley of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

The Tennessee River courses through the Sequatchie Valley in Alabama, turning west close to Guntersville and leaving the valley.

This is a horticulturally useful district, with spaces of the field, feed, soybeans, little grain, corn, and tobacco.

Therefore. Local arrangements with farmers and authorities will keep you on a safer side while digging out the Cherts.

Northcentral Alabama

Here, you can find the Attalla Chert Conglomerate Member of the Chickamauga Limestone formation of north focal Alabama.

Essential outcroppings happen around Attalla, Etowah County, Alabama.

The Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachians comprise most of the long, low edges like Red Mountain, Sand Mountain, and Coldwater Mountain around here, and make noteworthy settings in the Greater Birmingham, Gadsden, and Anniston metropolitan regions.

The easternmost piece of Central Alabama around Anniston has the steepest mountains and most noteworthy rises of the district.

Therefore, having a 4X4 vehicle is crucial to driving along.

The Cherts can be picked on the surface, though it is important to have with you a shovel and hammers just in case.

Northern Alabama in the Pickwick Dam region

Horse Creek Chert, a type of chert found in the Tuscaloosa Formation of northern Alabama in the Pickwick Dam region and into Savannah, Tennessee.

Pickwick Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Tennessee River in Hardin County, in the U.S. province of Tennessee.

The dam is one of nine dams on the waterway claimed and worked by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

It is found almost 207 miles (333 km) from the mouth of the Tennessee River, a couple of miles north of where the provinces of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi meet.

This stretch of the stream is additionally a geographical limit between the dissipated slopes of the Western Highland Rim toward the upper east and the flatlands of West Tennessee toward the northwest.

A boat or 4×4 and light digging tools will come in handy in mining the Cherts in this savanna-like area.

You will need permission from the Tennessee Valley Authority to do these activities.

Bibb County, Alabama

Bibb Chert is related to the Bibb Dolomite Member of the Knox Formation.

Essential outcroppings are situated in Bibb County, Alabama, and in the encompassing region.

The Cahaba River goes through Bibb County from north to south, and its feeders, the Little Cahaba, Sixmile Creek, and Shultz Creek, course through the eastern and western pieces of the province.

Various springs meet its southwestern area. U.S. 82 in Bibb County’s significant transportation course, running east-west through the southern piece of the region.

Bibb County Airport is the region’s only public air terminal.

Mining is common in this county; therefore, you might want to visit the county offices for directions about permission.

Southeastern Alabama

Southeastern Alabama is home to the Flint River Chert that is related to the Flint River Formation of northwestern Florida.

The Flint River is very low, having Chert pebbles 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 aid you to collect as many as you can.

A vehicle will come in hand to cross areas where you cannot walk.

The Flint river Chert is easily notable, ranging from a yellowish-brown to medium brown color.

Black Warrior River region near Birmingham, Alabama

A variety of Fort Payne Chert has essential outcroppings in the Black Warrior River locale close to Birmingham, Alabama.

Cobbles and knobs are also located downstream.

The Black Warrior River is a stream in west-focal Alabama in the southeastern United States.

The river has sections with shores exposing Cherts and other stones which can be handpicked or picked with a hand tool.

There are other sections where the land is not exposed such that the water borders thickets and bushes.

Such vegetation needs to be cleared so that a miner can cross to the other end, or use a 4X4 vehicle to move around.

Vegetation will be affected, so please seek the necessary permission or directions on how to handle such maneuvers to avoid inconveniences.

Lay Dam Formation

Some diamictite facies of the Lay Day Formation in Coosa and Chilton Counties have cobbles and quartzite, chert.

The dam has interbedded greenish-dim metasiltstone and quartzite, dark phyletic metasiltstone, medium-dim to greenish-dim arkosic quartzite, and dim pyritic quartzite.

The upper piece of the Lay Dam purportedly contains plant fossils. This terrain composition requires you to properly choose your transportation and Chert picking tools.

Wrap Up

This guide has introduced you to 11 Chert locations in Alabama.

A short description of the location, terrain, soil types, and vegetation has been included to help you choose your vehicles and maneuver carefully when you visit.

Remember to note each sighting for the proper permits required to mine in the particular area.

You might also like:

Where to Find Chert in Alabama