Recreational mining refers to recreational activities undertaken using various types of mining gear. It is the kind of mining people do for fun, in their spare time – a family activity that revives the Gold Rush from the 1800’s – and shouldn’t be confused with the industrial mining done, in general, by corporations and for-profit.
Thermal City Gold Mine
Thermal City Gold Mine is by far the best known recreational gold mining camp on the East Coast and a great place where to find gold in north carolina The western part of NC is rich in many commercial minerals and gem stones, and you can dig for emerald, citrine, rose quartz, rubies, Aventine, moonstone, smoky quartz, tourmaline and many more.
Thermal City is easily reachable by car. Located on Highway 221 it is halfway between Marion and Rutherford, right at the Rutherford– McDowell county lane. Coming from the Ruther fordton/Marion exit on I-40, head south towards Ruther fordton for around 8 or 8.5 miles and keep an eye for the road sign on the left hand side. Follow then the directions to the mine.
Accommodation at Thermal City is affordable and fits everyone’s budget. You can camp on the riverside for as little as $15.00 per night or get a cabin with double beds, a bath and a kitchenette with a microwave for $50.00.
You may bring your own mining gear and supplies or buy it from Thermal City. They are authorized resellers of Keene Engineering equipment and can provide you with pumps, hi-bankers/dredges, prospecting and mining supplies, gold pans, a wide range of prospecting books, sluice boxes and many more.
The Lucky Strike Recreational Gold and Gem Mine
Lucky Strike is another recreational facility in North Carolina. The campground is located in Vein Mountain in the Marion County, quite close to Thermal City Gold mine, and is open to public, all year round, from 8am to 7pm.
Next to the regular mining and prospecting activities, Lucky Strike offers the Miner’s Diner – a restaurant for those who would rather be spending the whole day digging for gold than cooking – and, of course, accommodation at affordable rates.
Cotton Patch Gold Mine & Campground
Cotton Patch is another popular recreational mining site located in New London,NC. Their store comes with a wide range of prospecting supplies and they even organize training courses for beginners.
The campground is open all year round and prices start at $15.00 per night and consistent discounts are offered for longer stays. RV camping, for instance, starts at $25 per night but you can pay only $350 if you book a whole month. You are highly advised to call and inquire about availability.
The camp is located on41697 Gurley Road in New London. If you use a GPS device, plug in the coordinates: Longitude 80.1874, Latitude 35.4358.
This is where to find gold in north carolina