Rockhound Sites in North Carolina

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My lady friend’s sister’s husband, got that, is a big supporter of American Geode. Their 2 kids were the first youngsters with American Geode t-shirts. When he mentioned in passing however over Christmas that his grandfather was a geologist, and he kept a journal of all the rockhound sites he rockhounded and mined, I interrupted Christmas supper with an “Excuse me, we are going to run an errand,” proceeded to go back to their home, rifled through an upstairs closet, found the journal, and while the rest of the family was watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I was studying and reviewing this geologist’s journal.

The American Geode team, Joe and I, were actually headed to North Carolina in the spring for EFMLS Wildacres retreat, so I paid very close attention to the North Carolina entries and rockhound sites.
The journal itself is labeled “Geologist’s Journal,” and is a ledger from the 1950’s. You can tell it’s the style of ledger or journal made for any kind of scientist, botanist, anthropologist, archaeologist, or paleontologist who needed to take notes.
Now the only place we have searched personally was near Morganton, seeking garnet. We do not have any garnets to report although the paths and trails along Laurel Creek provide a setting for a strenuous and interesting geological hike.
Below are the rockhound sites in North Carolina from the journal. This locality information is only for reference. The status of these collecting sites may have changed since this gentleman wrote these accounts, and the rockhound sites may now be private property. Always ask permission if the property is private, conduct your own research on the status of these sites (there could be condos sitting atop one of these rockhound sites since the 60’s), but otherwise, get out and rockhound!


Shelby, Morganton, Shining Rock

Franklin, Hiddenite, Lexington


Charlotte, Cowee Creek, Democrat

Jackson and Cleveland County

Buck Creek, Burnsville

Bluff, Bakersville, Brasstown