The 26 Verified Spots To Find And Mine For Chert In Georgia In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 26 Verified Spots To Find And Mine For Chert In Georgia In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist


From the rolling hills of the Piedmont to the wide, open spaces of the Coastal Plain, Georgia’s diverse geology provides an exciting backdrop for your next rockhounding expedition. This is especially true if you’re on the lookout for chert.

If you’re wondering where to mine for chert in Georgia, you’re in luck because there are plenty of spots to explore. You have the Flint River, Chattahoochee River, Cartersville, Lake Sinclair, and Lookout Mountain.

As we share with you the best places to explore for chert here, we invite you to take time to appreciate the beauty and history of our planet, too. So, grab your gear, and let’s get to know the verified spots to uncover Georgia chert!

What Is Georgia Chert Anyway?

A spiky piece of raw flint specimen
Spiky flint photo provided by and available for purchase at MyLostGems

Chert is a rock that’s both hard and made mostly of tiny pieces of quartz, a mineral that’s found all over the world. It’s so fine-grained, it looks smooth and sometimes even shiny like glass.

It comes in many colors, like black, green, red, and white, depending on what other minerals got mixed in when it was forming.

Thousands of years ago, people found out that chert breaks with a sharp edge. They started using it to make tools and weapons, like arrowheads and knives. Today, this rock is used in jewelry, decorations, and some industrial processes.

What makes chert even more special is where and how we find it. It forms either from the tiny skeletons of creatures that lived in ancient oceans or from volcanic ash that’s turned into rock over millions of years.

You can find it in many places around the world, often in areas that were once underwater like river valleys and old sea beds.

The Types Of Chert Found In Georgia

Since chert forms in several environments, it also comes in many forms. The different types of chert you can find in Georgia include:

  • Agatized chert
  • Flint
  • Novaculite
  • Radiolarian chert
  • Siliceous sinter
How We Found The Best Chert Locations in Georgia
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Georgia chert there are plenty of things we consider. Many of the best locations are closely guarded secrets which can make it really difficult for more casual geode hunters to find success. The key factors in our recommendations are:

  • The deep experience and understanding of our team about the area
  • Recommendations from local groups and clubs
  • How easy it is to get the a particular location
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Weighing private and public locations
  • The ability for both experienced and novice geode enthusiasts to find great samples

With these factors in mind we’ve been able to put together a fantastic list that just about anyone can use!

The Best Places To Find Chert in Georgia

Tumbled pieces of novaculite
Tumbled novaculites photo provided by Gabriela Pagano

As a state endowed with immense natural resources, it’s no surprise that there are many gem mine sites in Georgia, but not all of them have chert. So, if you want to uncover this rock, here are the verified spots that we encourage you to explore:

Always Confirm Access and Collection Rules!

Before heading out to any of the locations on our list you need to confirm access requirements and collection rules for both public and private locations directly with the location. We haven’t personally verified every location and the access requirements and collection rules often change without notice.

Many of the locations we mention will not allow collecting but are still great places for those who love to find beautiful rocks and minerals in the wild without keeping them. We also can’t guarantee you will find anything in these locations since they are constantly changing. 

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding. If you want even more current options it’s always a good idea to contact local rock and mineral clubs and groups

Flint River

Aerial view of the stretch of Flint River and its gorgeous surrounding landscapes

The Flint River stretches over 344 miles, winding its way through the heart of Georgia. It starts near Atlanta, in the Piedmont region, and flows southward to the Gulf of Mexico.

The journey of this river takes it through varied landscapes, from rolling hills to flat coastal plains. True to its name, it has an abundance of flint, a type of chert known for its high quality and utility in making tools and weapons.

If you want to go to Flint River to see its flint deposits for yourself, it’s easy. Major highways and roads follow the river’s path, providing plenty of spots for you to start your adventure.

Just make sure that you’ve reviewed Georgia’s collecting guidelines and ensure that you are following them throughout your exploration.

Where we found chert at Flint River

The Flint River and its surrounding areas, particularly in Southwest Georgia, are known for high-quality flint chert. Areas along the riverbanks, especially after floods when new material can be exposed, are promising for chert hunters.

Rock pick being used

The tools every geode hunter will need

When you're out looking for geodes having the right tools for the job is very important. You don't need a lot for most trips but there are a handful that are critical and will make your life a lot easier.

We get asked a lot about the equipment we use. Over the years we've found a handful of tools that we recommend to both new and experienced geode hunters which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding tools and kit guide. These are quality options that also happen to be relatively inexpensive.

Below are the basic tools that make your life so much easier and save you a ton of time. Check out the full guide to see everything we recommend bringing. One quick note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but we try very hard to only recommend gear we would use ourselves and often recommend brands you can't find on Amazon.

At a minimum you should have:

1 - Sturdy rock hammer: The Estwing Rock Pick is our standard

2 - Rugged chisels: Try Kendo' 3-piece Chisel Set

3 - Compact shovel: The Koleiya 28-inch shovel works well

4 - Rock screen pan: The Wazakura Soil Sieve Set fits the bill

5 - Eye protection: DeWalt Safety Glasses are cheap and comfortable

6 - Head protection: Malta's Safety Helmet has been our go-to

7 - Jewelers lens with at least 20x magnification: Jarlink's Jewelers Loop is perfect

The geode-finding books that we use most

There are also a few books that have been extremely helpful in the search for gems. These books have great recommendations and tips:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America 

Southeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southeastern Quadrant 

We provide links to find these tools on Amazon but some can also be found at your local hardware stores. For more recommendations check out the link to our full tool guide above.

Chattahoochee River

A scenic view of the Chattahoochee River foregrounded with a fallen branch of tree

Stretching over 430 miles, the Chattahoochee River rolls from the North Georgia mountains all the way down to the Florida border. Its journey begins in the Blue Ridge Mountains, known for their stunning beauty and rich geological diversity.

In its upper stretches, the river flows through narrow valleys and gorges, with rocky banks and outcrops. Further south, it broadens, flowing through wider valleys and plains.

The Chattahoochee River is blessed with a wide variety of rocks and minerals, including chert. This rock forms in many places along the river, especially where ancient sea beds and sedimentary layers are exposed.

Luckily, going here is easy because it has many parks and public access points along its length.

Where we found chert at Chattahoochee River

Chert and flint deposits have been found in the gravels along the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries, so we recommend exploring them.


Aerial view of the beautiful landscapes of Cartersville

Cartersville is a city that sits right at the edge of the Appalachian Plateau and the beginning of the Piedmont region, giving it a unique mix of geological features. This means you can find a wide variety of rocks and minerals here, including chert.

The terrain around Cartersville is pretty diverse. You’ve got the Etowah River flowing through. Plus, there are lots of hills and forests around.

This city has access to areas where ancient seas once covered the land. These old sea beds left behind layers of sediment that turned into rock over millions of years. Within these layers, you can find chert.

Whether you’re driving from Atlanta or coming from another part of our state, getting to Cartersville is easy as it’s just off Interstate 75.

Where we found chert in Cartersville

The area around Cartersville, particularly near the Etowah River, lies within the Valley and Ridge Province. It’s where sedimentary rocks, including limestone with chert nodules, are common.

Lake Sinclair

Bird's eyeview of Lake Sinclair and the land it surrounds

Lake Sinclair is a big, beautiful lake near a town called Milledgeville. It’s made by a dam on the Oconee River, so it has lots of different areas to explore, from quiet coves to open water.

The lake covers over 15,000 acres and has a shoreline that stretches for more than 400 miles. The area around it is part of Georgia’s Piedmont region, which has a mix of rolling hills and flat plains.

Its ground is full of different types of rocks, including chert. Most of the time, they hide in areas where the water has washed rocks onto the shore or into coves.

To reach this place, it’s about halfway between Atlanta and Augusta. You can drive there by taking I-20 and then heading south on US-441. Once you’re near the lake, there are plenty of spots to park and start exploring.

Where we found chert at Lake Sinclair

You can find chert along the shoreline of Lake Sinclair. Always keep an eye on the ground as you walk along its edge because you might stumble upon this rock.

Lookout Mountain

A stunning view of the rock formations, falls, and view deck at the Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain stretches into parts of Alabama and Tennessee. It has some of the most amazing views you can find, with cliffs that look out over valleys and forests as far as the eye can see.

It’s part of the Appalachian Mountains, which are some of the oldest mountains in the world. It has a mix of different rocks and one of them is chert.

The mountain’s terrain varies from gentle slopes to rugged cliffs, which means you can find chert in different places.

If you’re planning to visit, going here is pretty easy. It’s near Chattanooga, Tennessee, but the part in Georgia is close to Trenton. You can drive there on I-59 if you’re coming from Alabama or Tennessee, or take I-24 if you’re coming from Chattanooga.

Where we found chert in Lookout Mountain

Chert nodules can be found in the limestone layers of the Lookout Mountains and its surrounding area.

Other Great Places To Find Georgia Chert

A white novaculite dalton point
Novaculite dalton point photo provided by Adrien Fauchois

Looking for more options of verified spots where Georgia cherts are? Below is a list that we’ve compiled for you:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Bartow Page No. 3 Mine
Burke Stony Bluff
Chattahoochee Area streams, road cuts, gravels
Chattooga Quarry on the west side of the road in Summerville
Chattooga Pit on the Roland Hancock farm
Chattooga Justice Deposit
Chattooga Shropshire Deposit 1
Floyd Area bauxite mines in Hermitage area
Floyd Freeman prospect
Gordon Bailey Bank
Gordon County Chert Pit
Meriweather Along railroad in Warm Springs area
Polk Etna Furnace Mine
Polk Georgia Loan & Trust Company Mine
Talbot S.W. Woodall property
Walker Richardson property

Common Chert-Hunting Questions

A black flint knapped into a tool
Flint knapped tool photo provided by piasa_lithics

Many rockhounds looking for Georgia chert share the same questions, so we’ll answer one of these common questions in case you have it in your mind, too.

Is it illegal to collect chert in Georgia?

On public lands, such as national forests or state parks, collecting rocks, including chert, often requires a permit or might even be prohibited.

On private property, you would need the landowner’s permission to collect chert. However, there are places designated for public collecting where you can hunt for rocks and minerals legally, as long as you follow any specific guidelines they have.

Always check local regulations before you start collecting. For more guidance, visit the website of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which regulates this activity.

The Best Places To Buy Chert In Georgia

Front store window at Stoneage Natural Rocks & Crystals

If you lack the time and resources to go on a full-blown chert-hunting expedition, you can also opt to buy it from our local rock and mineral shops. Some of our trusted ones are listed below:

About Keith Jackson - Geologist

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He is an active Geologist with a wealth of experience and information from across the country that he loves to share with the Rock Chasing crew.

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