The 30 Verified Sites To Find and Dig For Crystals In Vermont In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The 30 Verified Sites To Find and Dig For Crystals In Vermont In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Updated

Crystals can be found all over the world, including the picturesque state of Vermont. With so many places to explore, though, it can be challenging to identify the best spots to find these precious wonders.

So we scoured our state to give you the ultimate guide to find crystals in Vermont. We’ve found the most fruitful places for crystal hunting here, including Ely Copper Mine, Grand Isle, Eden, Lake Willoughby, and Devil’s Den. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, our guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your trip to Vermont’s crystal hunting sites an unforgettable experience!

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in Vermont
We spent a lot of time determining which of the many options for digging and mining for crystals that we have available would be recommended. We wanted to have a good mix of locations for experienced and novice crystals hunters in a variety of settings. Here are the main factors we used when determining the recommendations we set out :

  • The extensive local experience and understanding of our team
  • Input from multiple local crystal hunters and crystal collecting groups
  • The accessibility of the crystal mining locations
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Private and public locations
  • A desire to include locations for both experienced crystal hunters and those who are just starting out

Using these weights we think we’ve put together the best list out there for those who love finding new crystals for our collections!

The Types of Vermont Crystals You Can Find

A stunning piece of Blue Quartz attached to rocks on both sides

Vermont is home to a remarkable array of crystals, with a rich diversity of mineral deposits spread throughout the state. From the rolling hills of the Champlain Valley to the rugged peaks of the Green Mountains, crystal hunters can find a treasure trove of specimens here, such as the ones listed below.

Rare crystals found in Vermont

  • Fuchsite
  • Garnet
  • Green Aventurine
  • Kyanite
  • Rhodonite
  • Tremolite

More common crystals found here

  • Agate
  • Calcite
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Epidote
  • Galena
  • Hematite
  • Jasper
  • Malachite
  • Muscovite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz (Blue, Cabochon)
  • Serpentine
  • Tourmaline

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Vermont

A bunch of polished, deep blue green Fuchsite crystals in a wooden bowl

These are our top verified crystal hunting places where we had the most success finding crystals in Vermont. We highly recommend prioritizing them when you visit here.

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

Ely Copper Mine is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Vermont

A close look at the rock formations in Ely Copper Mine covered in snow

Orange County, VT

First discovered in 1793, Ely Copper Mine was operational until 1906. During its peak years, it produced over 11 million pounds of copper ore. Today, the mine is no longer active, but it remains a popular spot for rockhounds and mineral collectors. In fact, it’s among the best places to find gems in Vermont.

Ely Copper Mine is truly stunning, with rolling hills and verdant forests. It’s situated on a hillside, which means that there are multiple levels to explore. This location’s geology is also interesting, with a mix of igneous and metamorphic rocks that have been weathered by time and erosion.

One of the reasons why the Ely Copper Mine is a great spot for crystal hunting is because of the diverse range of minerals that can be found here. If you want to go here, take Exit 1 on I-91 and follow Route 5 north for approximately 8 miles. Turn left onto Brook Road and continue for about 2.5 miles until you reach the mine. There is limited parking available, so plan accordingly.

Where we found crystals at Ely Copper Mine

You can find amazing pieces of Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Garnet, Malachite, Pyrite, and Tourmaline crystals if you follow the dirt road 0.75 miles to the Ely Copper Mine dumps.

Rock pick being used

The tools every crystal hunter will need

When you're out looking for crystals 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 crystal miners which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding supplies 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 crystal-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 

Northeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Northeastern 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.

Grand Isle

Aerial view of the landscape and seascape at Grand Isle

Grand Isle County, VT

Located in the northwest corner of Lake Champlain, Grand Isle is the largest island in the lake and boasts a rich history of geological activity. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, with rolling hills, dense forests, and breathtaking views of the lake.

Grand Isle is diverse with a mix of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. It was formed during the last Ice Age, when glaciers deposited layers of sediment and rock. Today, these rocks are exposed along the island’s shorelines and provide ample opportunities for crystal hunting.

To get here, you can take Exit 17 off of I-89 and head north on US-2 until you reach the town of South Hero. From there, take the Grand Isle ferry across the lake to the island. Once on the island, you can explore the numerous beaches, rocky outcroppings, and quarries to find your crystals.

Where we found crystals in Grand Isle

We recommend going south of west end of the Sand Bar Bridge to find crystals here. Specifically, you can look into gravels and outcrops of Grand Isle to find crystals like Calcite, Quartz, Pyrite, and many others.

If you’re curious about crystal prices, checkout our guide on that.

Eden

A stunning view of the colorful, thick forests of Eden reflecting on a nearby lake

Lamoille County, VT

A small town nestled in the Green Mountains, Eden is known for its beautiful scenery and abundance of wildlife. But what’s seldom known is that it also has a rich history of geological activity.

Eden is characterized by a mix of metamorphic and igneous rocks, which make it a great crystal hunting site. One of the best places to search for crystals here is along the Lamoille River. The river cuts through the town and exposes a wide range of rock formations, including some that contain beautiful specimens.

Planning to visit here? Take Exit 19 off of I-89 and head east on VT-104 until you reach the town. Once you’re here, you can explore the numerous hiking trails, riverbanks, and quarries to find your next collection items.

Where we found crystals at Eden

Search through the area quarries near Belvidere Mountain in Eden, where you can find stunning samples of Calcite, Epidote, Garnet, and Serpentine crystals.

Lake Willoughby

Aerial view of the stunning landscape surrounding Lake Willoughby

Orleans County, VT

Lake Willoughby is a stunning glacial lake that’s surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests. Just look at the photo! The lake is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and boating, but it’s also a hidden gem for crystal hunters.

In Lake Willoughby, there’s a mix of metamorphic and igneous rocks, including some that contain beautiful crystal specimens. One of the best crystal hunting areas here is along the shoreline, particularly around the cliffs and rock formations that line the lake.

If you want to visit here, you can take I-91 to Exit 23 and head north on VT-5A until you reach the lake. When planning your trip to Lake Willoughby, be sure to bring appropriate gear such as sturdy hiking boots, gloves, and eye protection. And as always, be respectful of the area and follow the “leave no trace” principle by taking your trash with you and avoiding damaging the surrounding ecosystem.

Where we found crystals at Lake Willoughby

You can find amazing specimens of Garnet, Muscovite, and other crystals if you explore the outcrops on the east side of Lake Willoughby.

Devil’s Den

Interesting rock formations at Devil's Den

Rutland County, VT

Devil’s Den is a historic and scenic location located in the town of Mount Tabor in southwestern Vermont. It’s a unique geological formation that’s made up of a series of caves and tunnels that were formed by the erosion of marble and other sedimentary rocks over millions of years.

The caves of Devil’s Den have a rich history and have been used for various purposes over the years, including as a shelter for early settlers and even as a hideout for outlaws during the Civil War era. However, today, the location is known as a prime spot for crystal hunting.

Devil’s Den is known for its marble formations, which are known to contain a variety of mineral specimens. This makes the location a fascinating and rewarding location to explore for any crystal enthusiast!

Where we found crystals at Devil’s Den

Explore the schist outcrops of Devil’s Den to find samples of Pyrite and Quartz crystals, among others.

Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

A bunch of rough, yellow green Serpentine crystals

Aside from our top recommendations, there are still plenty other crystal hunting sites that you can checkout here. Many of these are also great spots to find Vermont geodes, so take your time exploring thoroughly exploring them.

Where you can find crystals for free in Vermont

Firstly, we’ll discuss the free-to-search places that do not only contain some of the best crystals in our state, but also serve some of the best sights here.

County Location
Addison Quarry and old lime kilns at the south of the Cross Otter Creek and railroad tracks
Bennington In road-cut north side of Rte. 9, 6 miles east of Bennington
Essex In the road-cut on Route 102, 0.6 miles south of Bloomfield opposite a small cemetery
Franklin A small manganese prospect between Richford and Berk-shire
Lamoille Area Talcose slate exposures
Orleans Near summit of Jay Peak, in the rubble from ski lift constructions
Rutland West side of the Green Mountains, in a saddle on the north side of Round Hill
Washington At the Cobble Hill Quarry group in the Wheaton Quarry
Windham Grafton area quarries
Windsor Chester area quarries

Even for those with trained eyes, it can be very easy to confuse some of the more common crystals that are found here, so we created a few guides to telling specific crystals apart:

Other great places to dig for crystals

If you’re willing to spend some money to search for crystals, these are the other places to think about. Fees may vary depending on the season (and occasionally, it might be free), so before setting out, make sure to contact them and confirm the cost.

County Location
Chittenden Area mines near Lake Champlain
Lamoille At a former GAF-owned asbestos mine that closed in 1993
Orange South Corinth area mines, Elizabeth Mines, and Copperas Hill Mines
Orleans In mine dump at the gate to the Ruberoid Asbestos Mine
Rutland Chittenden area mines

How to find crystals in Vermont

A bunch of clear and white Calcite crystals atop a wooden plate

Most of our suggestions cover expansive spaces, so to guide you in choosing a specific location for your crystal hunting, there are some more precise recommendations. When it comes to finding crystals, some of the most productive areas to explore are:

Quarries

A quarry is a large, open pit mine where stone, gravel, sand, and other minerals are extracted from the ground. These quarries are often rich sources of crystals that can be found in the rocks that have been excavated. Offering a glimpse into the earth’s geological history, the crystals that are found here are often formed under intense pressure and heat, resulting in unique and fascinating specimens.

Road Cuts

Road cuts are sections of exposed rock created by the construction of roads and highways. Offering a unique opportunity to observe the geological makeup of the area, these road cuts are also great locations to find crystals. And since these cuts are usually created by excavation equipment, they expose a range of geological formations that might otherwise be hidden deep underground.

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are excellent locations to find crystals because they naturally erode and expose rocks and minerals from the surrounding geological formations. Over time, the water flow wears away the softer rock layers, revealing crystals. But the best thing about finding these natural wonders in streams and creeks is that it’s a great activity for all ages. You can wade in the water and collect crystals at your own pace, making it a fun and relaxing activity for anyone.

Vermont Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

It’s perfectly legal to do crystal mining in Vermont, provided that you follow all existing local laws, especially those from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation who regulates this kind activity. This include securing any necessary permits or permissions from concerned government offices (for government land) or owners (for private land). Also, observe any rules and regulations that aim to protect the environment and wildlife in the area. By abiding by these, you are helping ensure the sustainability of crystal mining in Vermont for years to come.

The Best Crystal Shops In Vermont

A look at the showroom and crystal selections of Spirit Dancer VT

It’s common for some collectors to spend some money to find specific crystals for their collections. If you’re one of them, the following are the finest crystal shops in Vermont that we’ve discovered, ideal for those seeking exquisite and uncommon additions to their collection:

  • Spirit Dancer VT – 180 Flynn Ave, Burlington, VT 05401
  • The Crystal Cottage of Vermont – 176 Battery St, Burlington, VT 05401
  • Paula’s Rock Shop – 126 Washington Ave, Bennington, VT 05201
  • Sita Crystals – 486, Montgomery Center, VT 05471
  • Karen’s Crystal Caravan – 155 Dorset St, South Burlington, VT 05403
  • Boho Bahia – 91 Village Green #931, Quechee, VT 05059
  • Moonlight Gift Shoppe – 174 US-7, Milton, VT 05468
  • Cool Jewels – 2 State St, Montpelier, VT 05602
  • Vanessa Valente Crystals – 360 Kelly Rd, Stockbridge, VT 05772
  • Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center – 120 Merchants Row, Rutland, VT 05701

Additional places to find crystals in nearby states

If you’ve already tried all of our recommendations above or are planning a trip out of the state, you should check out our guides for neighboring states:

If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments below!

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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