Rock & Mineral Hunt at Graves Mountain, GA with VIDEOS
Graves Mountain is a well known site in Georgia and probably a favorite dig site to visit for many rockhounders and collectors. This site has a long history of mining and now it is managed by a single caretaker that coordinates group digs and a free rock dig & swap twice a year. There is a long list of potential finds: large, multiple twinned rutile crystals; rutile, lazulite, pyrophyllite, kyanite, hematite, pyrite, ilmenite, muscovite, fuchsite, barite, sulfur, blue quartz, quartz crystals, and microcrystals such as woodhouseite, variscite, strengite, phosphosiderite, cacoxenite, crandallite.
Accessing the Quarry & Dig Sites
Make sure you look for their sign, as my Google Maps wanted to keep me driving past the small entrance. There is no entry or gate fee, but the parking area for accessing the path up can get pretty crowded as you have to park on either side of the driveway if the upper grass areas are full. Once you check in and sign your liability wavers, you can either take a hike (I'm guessing 30 minutes mostly up hill, then down and around to the main quarry dig site or a little further to another site we didn't make it to). Thankfully for this event, they provided golf carts with drivers that accepted tips, so bring some cash and tip!
This day was a special event, a FREE dig & rock swap with vendors, and the option to bring children under 12! Ava is 4 years old and loves to metal detect with me, so this was the perfect time to come. They even had grilled food for sale which was nice if you didn't bring your lunch. They do accept donations to help cover bathroom and golf cart rentals, so consider donating something at least! I recommend you visit the official site for Graves Mountain to check dates, times, rules , etc. They list recommend tools to bring as well which was helpful since this was our first dig experience.
Digging Around The Mountain
You aren't allowed to climb/scale the rocky cliffs, but you can mosey up some of the areas if you want some digging excitement and have the right tools for it. We stayed mostly on the flat areas because of Ava, but it was OK because they occasionally dig areas out with heavy machinery so you can dig the piles they place around for less physical effort. Ava and I mostly were able to find great pieces sticking up that were clearly visible due to recent rains!
Our Amazing Finds
I haven't had the opportunity to go back and research what we found yet because we left the mountain directly to go home and pick up Marlowe and the camper to run to our campsite at Stone Mountain (stayed tuned for the campground review!). Please comment below or on the video link on your suggestions of what we picked up. Some were so beautiful, shiny, sparkly, while others fell apart like sandstone or left red tints on you or in the water when we washed them. It's was too cute to see Ava and her friend helping me to wash each rock, and to find "gold" on some of them!
Regardless of the short visit, it was really neat to take my girls to see a piece of geological history in our beautiful state of Georgia. Visit while you can!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES VISITING GRAVES MOUNTAIN OR CAN YOU IDENTIFY ANY OF OUR PRIZES? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!