Archive for the ‘Rock collecting’ Category

On November 9, 2016 I received a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Saco Ranger District, White Mountain National Forest, file code 2800; 1910, date November 1, 2016.


It reads as follows:

Dear interested parties

The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is in the process of improving the management of the mineral resources across the Forest. This change is under consideration because of the significant increase in mineral collecting on the Forest in the last several years. While we welcome the interest in mineral collecting, the increase has brought some adverse impact to the majority of the existing collecting areas. We are also finding new collecting sites growing in frequency and size across the Forest. Given the disturbance at these sites, it is apparent that some collectors do not follow the Forest Service standards and guides for mineral collecting. At this time, we are concerned about the steady expansion of collecting, its impact to the resource, and the sustainability of the collecting program. To address these concerns, we are exploring different strategies for the management of our mineral resources with the goal of providing collecting opportunities that will be sustainable into the future.


At this time, we are seeking input from the minerals community and other interested members of the public to better understand the resource issues we are observing and to discuss how we could manage collecting more effectively. The information we collect will better inform our management decision during the planning process. The WMNF will hold three public meetings to engage with collectors and other interested parties as a focus group and create a dialogue about mineral collecting on the Forest. The dates and times are listed bellow. If these meetings dates cannot be attended comments can be sent to Elaine Swett or in writing to the Saco Ranger District, 33 Kancamagus Hwy, Conway, NH 03818. There will be an additional public comment period once the formal planning process begins. Additional Questions concerning the meetings can be directed to Elaine Swett or Austin Hart at the Saco Ranger District 603-447-5448.

6:00PM Tuesday, November 29,2016

Location: Pemigewasset Ranger District

Weeks Room

71 White Mountain Drive

Campton, NH

6:00 PM Thursday, December 1, 2016

Location Androscoggin Ranger District

300 Glen Road

Gorham NH

2:00 PM Saturday, December 3, 2016

Location Salyards Center for the Arts

110 Main Street

Conway, NH


James Innes

District Ranger.

This is public information, other than the letter I don’t know where you would find this information, I can’t find it on the White Mountain National Forest web site so that is why I am sharing it with you. This is the time where you have a voice in the future planning of what takes place in the White Mountain National Forest and the future of mineral collecting therein. So please take advantage of this time, If you can’t attend a meeting then send a letter via snail mail or send an email. This may also be a good time to bring up sluicing in the Forest since as of June, 2016 it is no longer permitted, Gold is a mineral.

There are currently 3 locations where mineral collecting is allowed and they are Deer Hill, Lord Hill, and Moat Mountain, click on each one for information.  Gold Panning is allowed in some areas, click for information.



Maine has an abundance of minerals, we have heard of some great tourmaline finds of gem quality valued at several thousand dollars. While we were prospecting for gold in September in Maine we were met with an abundance of rain and we were tired of being wet and cold so two days before our adventure was over we decided to try our hand at mineral prospecting. We got our gear out of the river and got it all back to the camp site, and went and asked a friend who lives locally where they would go to look for tourmaline. We had been directed to a quarry about 25 miles away. The nice thing was the quarry was warm and there were a lot of piles to dig through.

Appalachian Prospectors Prospecting for minerals

Appalachian Prospectors
Prospecting for minerals

We were on the lookout for tourmaline, quartz crystals, beryl, apatite or anything else that looked interesting.

Hillbilly John Looking for that gem.

Hillbilly John Looking for that gem.

Rock Hound Heaven

Prospector Mike's Hole

Prospector Melissa checking out some gems.

Prospector Melissa checking out some gems.

Melissa inspecting another gem stone.

Melissa inspecting another gem stone.

Hillbilly John preparing to do some screening.

Hillbilly John preparing to do some screening.

Ross was very helpful, thanks for all your insightful information.

Ross was very helpful, thanks for all your insightful information.

We met Ross while we were there and he helped us identify minerals that we were not familiar with.

Muscovite, Montmorillonite in Pegmatite Matrix

Muscovite, Montmorillonite in Pegmatite Matrix

Here is a fine specimen that Hillbilly John found that he gave to me so I could show it at the mineral club I belong to. This is one of the minerals that Ross had helped us to identify. We had never seen Montmorillonite before.

Quartz Crystals in Matrix

Crystals in the crevice

Found this one on top of the ground.

Found this one on top of the ground.

Smokey Quartz

We found some tourmaline that would make some great micro mounts. Found some interesting specimens for my collection, met some very nice people and had a great adventure, priceless.

We have added more discussion topics at so stop by click on the forum tab and join in on the discussion. Together we can create an informative prospecting forum. Weather its gold prospecting, rock, gem or mineral collecting, metal detecting or treasure hunting your input would br greatly valued. If you don’t find a discussion topic you would like to join in on start a new one.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was early spring and I had the itch to do some prospecting. I had been surfing the web all winter and I came across this mine, the Shawangunk lead mine also known as the Mamakating lead mine, this place is not far from home near Wurtsboro NY. I had asked my wife Doris if she would be interested in going to check it out with me. I told her that it would be a somewhat strenuous hike up a mountain and that I was not quite sure the exact location and that we had to find it, she said yes. We put our son on the school bus, packed a lunch and we were off. We parked at the VFW which is an old rail road depot and we hiked down the old rail bed this is all state land, the tracks are long since gone. We hiked down this for almost a mile until we came to a road to the right that goes up the mountain. It was the second road which we should have taken the first road we came to. We followed this road and it split, I chose the wrong way so we back tracked to the split and took the other road. It was a beautiful day, the sun shone brightly it was a great day for a hike and we were glad to be out of the house. It took us about two hours to reach the mine adit. When we arrived we sat down on a large rock with a spectacular view of the valley below overlooking the Wurtsboro air port. After we finished our lunch we explored the site, the adit had been filled in so that people can not enter the shaft. On the side of safety it is a good idea to stay out of old mines for they tend to be unstable. This particular shaft has probably not been worked for over 100 years. Stay out, stay alive, keep that in mind while visiting old mines. There was a huge tailing pile, so I pulled out my rock hammer and went to work while Doris gave the metal detector a try. This is what you can find at this site: Galena; Sphalerite ;Quartz; Pyrite; Chalcopyrite; Muscovite. We easily found all of these specimens. I had read in a geological report that this mine also contained small amounts of silver and minute amounts of gold. I have some specimens that may contain gold, I don’t know yet I have to crush the rock and then pan it, I am saving that for a winter project to help stave off the gold fever.

For more information on this mine go to