Minerals Program on the White Mountain National Forest

Minerals Program on the White Mountain National Forest


Hi, I’m Elaine Swett with the White Mountain
National Forest. Recreational mineral collecting is a great
outdoor activity that is fun for all ages, and the White Mountain National Forest has
several good collecting areas In fact, over 50 different minerals have been
identified at one popular area. Do you know which one?
Is it: Deer Hill, Moat Mountain Smoky Quartz collecting area, or Lord Hill
Stay tuned for the answer. There’s nothing like the thrill of discovery.
Mineral collecting is one of the activities in the White Mountain National Forest that
lets you capture that thrill. Here are some popular collecting sites: Moat Mountain Smoky quartz collecting area
is a popular site located in North Conway. Most common finds in this area are smoky quartz
crystals and amazonite (or green feldspar) embedded in Conway granite.  Look for minerals
in the rock fragments.  Scan the ground for shiny pieces of smoky quartz that have been
overlooked by others.   Deer Hill is located in Stowe, Maine, off
Rte 113 near the southern end of Evans Notch.  This location has produced a large amount
of amethyst (also known as purple quartz)  along with many other minerals.   For best
results, use a shovel and a sifting screen to find amethyst located in the sandy soil. 
Don’t forget to scan the ground for amethyst before you start shoveling and sifting! Just a little east of Deer Hill is Lord Hill,
the answer to our trivia question. Over 50 types of minerals have been identified here,
including many rare types. Lord Hill was mined commercially at one time.  The mine is an
open depression on the summit of the hill.  Most common minerals found are feldspar,
quartz, topaz, “books” of mica and garnet.  Look for minerals in rock fragments or in
the walls of the mine.  You can also find minerals in the rivers of
the White Mountains. Want to pan for gold? Popular rivers include
the Wild Ammonoosuc River, Tunnel Brook, Little Ammonoosuc, Baker River and other drainages
on the west side of the WMNF. Here are some things to consider for anyone
mineral collecting on the White Mountain National Forest: * If you are going to use a rock hammer don’t
forget your gloves and safety glasses!  Other recommended items, include a magnifying glass
and a field guide to rocks and minerals. * Leave No Trace.
o Take home all buckets, sifting screens, tools and trash.
o Don’t cut or undermine trees to collect minerals.
o Avoid collecting in stream banks and adjacent to trails.
o Don’t excavating holes larger than 1 cubic yard and fill in the hole in at the end of
the day. o Consider taking photos of your favorite
rocks and leaving what you find or deciding to take just one? Remember….   Millions
of people visit the WMNF every year and we want there to be rocks and minerals here on
the WMNF for your children and grandchildren to enjoy. * Deer Hill mineral collecting permit area
is the only mineral collecting area on the White Mountain National Forest where you need
a permit. * For mineral collecting in other areas on
the White Mountain National Forest please refer to the Recreational Rock and Mineral
Collecting Standards and Guidelines posted on our website.   Enjoy your time mineral collecting in the
White Mountain National Forest.

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