51 Impressive New Hampshire Rockhounding Sites In 2023

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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51 Impressive New Hampshire Rockhounding Sites In 2023

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Have you ever wondered why New Hampshire is called the Granite State? It’s well-deserved nickname alludes to its iconic granite formations. Backed by a rich granite mining history, our state boasts of an equally rich geological heritage that makes it a must-visit destination for rockhounds.

From the rugged White Mountains to the serene seacoast, New Hampshire’s varied landscapes hide a treasure trove of natural wonders. With its mix of ancient mountains, glacial deposits, and volcanic activity, you’re bound to stumble upon a wide range of interesting rocks and minerals during your adventures.

The combination of our state’s breathtaking landscapes and the promise of finding unique rocks and minerals will leave any rockhound spellbound. So prepare to be dazzled as we share with you the impressive rockhounding sites in New Hampshire.

How We Found The Best Places For Rockhounding in New Hampshire
We spent a lot of time putting together the list of which of the many options for New Hampshire rockhounding we were going to recommend. We wanted to have a nice variety of locations for experienced and novice rockhounds 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 rockhounds and rockhound groups
  • The accessibility of the various locations
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Private and public locations
  • A desire to include locations for both experienced rockhounds 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 rocks, gems, and minerals for our collections!

What You Can Find Rockhounding In New Hampshire

Stunning cluster of Smoky Quartz held out on a palm
Smoky Quartz photo provided by and available for purchase at newcrystal2020

In New Hampshire, every step is a treasure hunt! As you traverse our diverse terrain, you’ll stumble upon a remarkable assortment of rocks and minerals, each with its own unique story etched into the Earth’s crust. Below are some of the fascinating finds that you can discover here:

Rare rocks and minerals found in New Hampshire

More common desirable rocks, minerals, and gems found here

In-depth guides to finding specific types of rocks in New Hampshire

We’ve prepared different guides focused on finding specific types of rocks and minerals in New Hampshire. If you’re looking for them, better check out the following:

You can also refer to our comprehensive guide to rockhounds near you, with more than 3,000 proven sites all over the country.

But if you want to focus your eyes on New Hampshire and all its rockhounding opportunities, just continue reading here.

The Best Places To Find Rocks and Minerals in New Hampshire

Sparkling pink Apatite crystal on orange brown Muscovite
Apatite on Muscovite photo provided by Fine Art Minerals – @fineartminerals

As a rockhounding paradise that abounds with incredible sites to explore, it can be hard to choose the best ones to visit in Arizona. So we did the hard work for you and selected the most amazing rockhounding sites here based on our experience, research, and recommendations by other rockhounds.

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.

These requirements are subject to change without notice and may differ from what we state below.

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding.

Victor Head

View or the peak of Victor Head

With its accessibility and scenic beauty, there is no doubt that Victor Head belongs to any rockhound’s must-visit sites here. Situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s captivating landscape, it offers breathtaking vistas that add to the overall experience of exploration.

Victor Head is a prominent geological formation that showcases an array of fascinating rocks and minerals, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking the thrill of discovery. Its rich geological history provides a fertile ground that ensures you with rewarding and memorable discoveries.

What you can find there

When you explore Victor Head after a fun hike, you can find samples of Albite, Amethyst, Beryl, Chlorite, Feldspar, Fluorite, Limonite, Microcline, Molybdenite, Muscovite, Pyrite, Smoky Quartz, Sericite, and Topaz.

Rock pick being used

The tools every rockhound will need

When you're out looking for rocks and minerals having the right tools for the job is really going to make or break your success. 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 rockhounds 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 rockhounding 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.

Moat Mountain Mineral Site

Close up look at one of the rock formations at the Moat Mountain Mineral Site

Located in the scenic White Mountains, the Moat Mountain Mineral Site is a rockhound’s paradise, inviting enthusiasts to explore its captivating geological wonders.

This renowned site is a hotspot for mineral collectors due to its rich diversity of specimens. It offers a variety of collecting opportunities, from surface finds to digging in the quarry, ensuring that rockhounds of all levels can indulge in the thrill of discovery.

Aside from its abundance of rare minerals, what sets the Moat Mountain Mineral Site apart is its accessibility and scenic surroundings despite its richness. As you explore here, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, adding an extra touch of magic to your experience.

What you can find there

You can find amazing specimens of Amazonite, Granite, Smoky Quartz, and Topaz during your rockhounding adventure here.

Quarries in Redstone

A distant look at the quarries in Redstone

Redstone is renowned for its historic quarries that have been a significant source of granite for construction purposes. However, beyond its utilitarian value, these quarries also hold a hidden gems for rockhounds.

Exploring the quarries in Redstone allows you to witness the geological wonders shaped by human hands, with towering granite cliffs and exposed rock formations, creating a stunning backdrop for your rockhounding adventures.

You can expect to find a wide variety of rocks and minerals when you go here. Its exposed walls and abandoned pits provide you with ample opportunities for surface finds, but if you’re more adventurous, you can explore deeper into the quarries in search of hidden treasures.

What you can find there

Exploring here will give you the chance to find different rocks and minerals, such as Amethyst, Apatite, Clear and Smoky Quartz, Microcline, and, Topaz.

Charles Davis Mica Mine

Clear Aquamarine crystal with cream white Apatite inclusions
Aquamarine with Apatite inclusions photo provided by @finemineralphotography

Charles Davis Mica Mine is a historic mine that offers a glimpse into our state’s rich mining heritage. As you venture here, you’ll be greeted by vibrant colors and dazzling formations, showcasing the remarkable diversity of rocks and minerals that can be found here.

The great thing about visiting the Charles Davis Mica Mine is that it’s a great educational experience. The mine is open to the public, allowing you to not only observe and collect specimens, but to also learn about the mining techniques and processes employed in the past.

The combination of hands-on exploration and historical insight makes the Charles Davis Mica Mine an ideal destination for rockhounds of all levels: from beginners seeking a memorable experience to seasoned collectors in search of unique specimens.

What you can find there

This place abounds in different rocks and minerals, such as Apatite, Aquamarines, Aventurine, Beryl, Brazilianite, Lazulite, Quartz, and Triphylite.

Ruggles Mine

Entrance of the Ruggles Mine showing stunning rock formations

Named after its founder, Grafton Ruggles, Ruggles Mine is celebrated for its diverse array of minerals. As you can see in the photo, the mine has an interesting and unique cavernous tunnels and open pit areas, where you’ll be immersed in a world of natural beauty with colorful minerals glistening under the light.

Like our previous recommended site, Ruggles Mine is not only accessible, but also encourages a hands-on approach when it comes to rockhounding. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to personally collect specimens from designated areas, with the guidance of their knowledgeable staff.

Aside from the educational experience it offers, the mine’s picturesque surroundings, with its tranquil lakes and scenic trails, will make your overall rockhounding experience even more special.

What you can find there

This site will stun you with the different fascinating rocks and minerals you can find here, including Autunite, Beryl, Feldspar, Gummite, Rose and Smoky Quartz, and Uraninite.

Our Other Favorite Spots Around New Hampshire

Purple Fluorite on red-brown Sphalerite
Fluorite photo provided by Collector’s Edge Minerals – @collectorsedgeminerals

Aside from what we consider as top of our list when it comes to the amazing Arizona rockhounding sites, there are many other options of places that you can explore for your next finds. We’ve arranged them by region below so you can easily refer to this list when creating your itinerary of your visit here.

Rockhounding sites in Northern New Hampshire

Northern New Hampshire is blessed with a rich geological history, with its rugged mountains, deep valleys, and winding rivers. From the majestic peaks of the White Mountains to the serene shores of the Connecticut River, this area is a playground for rockhounds seeking adventure and hidden gems.

Location Minerals & Rocks
West of the trail on the south slope of Jasper Mountain Jasper
Between North Peak and Square Mountain Amethyst
At elevation 1700′ on Greens Ledge Amethyst, Topaz
Between elevations 1600′ and 1800′ above and below Greens Ledge Albite, Amethyst, Beryl, Chlorite, Fluorite, Limonite, Microcline, Molybdenite, Muscovite, Pyrite, Smoky Quartz, Sericite, Topaz
West face of Hutchins Mountain Amethyst
Elevation 2000′ and above at Diamond Ledge Amethyst, Beryl, Feldspar, Smoky Quartz, Topaz
South slope from 200′ below crest to the summit at Percy Peak Amethyst

Rockhounding sites in Southern New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire showcases a diverse range of rocks and minerals shaped by ancient forces and glacial activity. From rolling hills to serene lakeshores, this region provides ample opportunities for rockhounding adventures amidst its scenic beauty.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Island Mica Mine Beryl (Blue, Gold, and Yellow)
Three prospects on the south side of Horse Hill Aquamarine
Keene Granite Quarry Beryl, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz
Kittridge Granite Quarry Rutilated Quartz
Connoli Granite Quarry Rutilated Quartz
Blake Mine Beryl, Garnet, Rose Quartz
Welch Mine Beryl, Garnet, Rose Quartz

Rockhounding sites in Eastern New Hampshire

Defined by its stunning coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, as well as its rolling hills and rivers, Eastern New Hampshire is a captivating region for rockhounds. Its unique combination of geological features creates a diverse and intriguing environment to explore and discover hidden natural treasures.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Passaconway Quarry and on ledge at the south of road Smoky Quartz
Lovejoy Pit Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, Topaz
White Mountain Granite Quarry Amethyst
Randall Lead Mine Smoky Quartz
North face of South Baldface Mountain Biotite, Feldspar, Microcline, Muscovite, Orthoclase, Smoky Quartz, Phenakite, Topaz
0.25 mile west on foot trail at Hurricane Mountain Amethyst, Smoky Quartz
Foss Mica Mine Apatite, Beryl
Parker Mountain Mine Apatite, Beryl

Rockhounding sites in Western New Hampshire

With its diverse geological formations and intriguing array of rocks and minerals, Western New Hampshire presents an exciting opportunity for rockhounds. Its rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and pristine lakes has created a beautiful landscape that will be an enticing background to your next adventure.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Shaker Hill Granite Quarry Quartz
Ammonoosuc River Jasper
East side of Melvin Hill at mine dump Beryl (Blue)
Broad area running into Merrimack County and Sullivan County Beryl, Feldspar, Clear and Smoky Quartz
Mine dump of Hobart Hill Beryl, Lepidolite
Mine dump of Beryl Mountain Beryl, Rose Quartz
Claremont Staurolite
Columbia Gem Mine Amethyst, Aquamarine, Beryl, Smoky Quartz
Reynolds Mine Aquamarine

Rockhounding sites in Central New Hampshire

Central New Hampshire holds tremendous appeal for rockhounds with its picturesque landscapes, including sprawling forests, rolling hills, and serene lakes. Its interesting geological history has given rise to a variety of fascinating rocks and minerals that will make any rockhound thrilled to be here.

Location Minerals & Rocks
North slope of Severance Hill Beryl
Wild Meadows Mine Beryl
New England Granite Works Quarry Rutilated Quartz
Crowley Granite Quarry Smoky Quartz
Alton area mines Arsenopyrite, Pyrite

Public Rockhounding Options For Kids

A young girl sifting through dirt for gems at the sluice of Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves

If you want to expose your children to the exciting and challenging hobby of rockhounding, it doesn’t mean you have to subject them to a challenging start, too. In fact, there are plenty family-friendly rockhounding spots in New Hampshire that can serve as a great starting point for children.

Below are some of these family-friendly sites:

New Hampshire Rockhounding Clubs

Sparkling specimen of light brown Topaz
Topaz photo provided by Ziga Minerals

Joining a rockhounding club in New Hampshire is beneficial for rockhounds of any level due to our state’s rich geological heritage and abundance of rockhounding sites. These clubs provide a welcoming community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for rocks, minerals, and the thrill of discovery.

Rockhounding clubs offer beginners with invaluable guidance and mentorship, with seasoned members who are often eager to share their knowledge and expertise. Meanwhile, experienced rockhounds also benefit from the different activities hosted by rockhounding clubs such as educational presentations, workshops, and the likes.

In the context of New Hampshire, joining a rockhounding club provides access to a vibrant community of rockhounds who have intimate knowledge of our state’s unique geological formations and can recommend the best locations for collecting specific rocks and minerals.

Rockhounding clubs in New Hampshire worth checking out

New Hampshire Rockhounding Laws And Regulations

It is legal to engage in rockhounding activities in New Hampshire, but it’s crucial to adhere to all local and state laws and regulations governing collection. With the abundant opportunities for rockhounding here, it’s important to respect the environment and follow guidelines to ensure its sustainability.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is responsible for regulating rockhounding activities and protecting our state’s natural heritage. They provide valuable information and resources on permitted collection areas, restrictions, and guidelines for responsible and sustainable rockhounding practices.

In general, before venturing out to collect rocks and minerals here, make sure you’re familiar with the specific regulations and restrictions in your area of interest. These regulations may vary depending on the location, as certain areas might be protected, privately owned, or subject to specific permits or permissions.

The Best Rock And Mineral Shops In New Hampshire

Variety of rocks and minerals selections at Santerre's Stones 'n Stuff

Just like in any adventure, sometimes, the easier route can be the best route to take. This is especially true if you’re looking for a rock or mineral with specific characteristics in their natural environment. More often than not, it would be impossible for you to find them.

Luckily, New Hampshire has plenty of great rock and mineral shops that offer wide selections for you to choose from. Below are some of the best one around here:

Additional Rockhounding Places In Nearby States

If you want to extend your rockhounding adventure to nearby states, check out the following guides that we prepared for you:

If you have any recommendations that we haven’t covered yet, 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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