The Blue Ridge Mountains have a rich history of mining for the valuable resources found deep in the local earth. Hidden in the complex layers of rock that form these mountains are myriad deposits of minerals and gems. In addition to useful materials like quartz and mica, gemstones and gold can be found as well. Find out more about the history of mining and minerals found in the Blue Ridge here: http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/attractions-destinations/gems-minerals
You and your family can experience some of the excitement of finding your own gemstones and ore at a local gem mining attraction. These attractions offer raw ore and a water flume (a trough with flowing water) for sorting through the mix. Blowing Rock’s own Doc’s Rocks is a great place to visit, as it’s also an education-based gem mine operation. This means that Doc’s geologists and rock hounds will help you find every gem in your bucket of mine ore, and teach you about where and how each one was formed.
These folks know their rocks! The outdoor flumes are great for those sunshiny mountain days, and Doc’s Rocks also offers an indoor heated flume for cooler or rainy weather. Inside, you’ll also find a rock and fossil shop, jewelry, and services for getting your found gemstones cut and set. You may also meet a couple of the family pets, as the business is run by a family and their friends. You’ll feel welcomed and right at home. Doc’s Rocks has a fossil museum and coffee shop on site, too.
Other gem mining attractions in the area include the Greater Foscoe Mining Company and Foggy Mountain Gem Mine. Tweetsie Railroad also features gem and gold mining inside the park.
Everyone loves to find a treasure, and gem mining is a great way to search for yours! Click to docsrocks.org to find out more about the attraction, including hours and prices.