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GUIDE: Best Rockhounding in New Hampshire & What Rocks Find

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New Hampshire is a curious little state where rockhounds often wonder if they have any places to go to or what specimens they can find. Fortunately, New Hampshire does have its rockhounding hot spots and beautiful rock, mineral, crystal, and gemstone specimens worth checking out.

You can find geodes, amethyst, aquamarine, gold, beryl, quartz crystals, diamonds, topaz, jasper, lazulite, tourmaline, pyrite, garnet, and many other things in this state. The best places to rockhound are the hillsides outcrops and mountain ridges and the old quarries and mines. Moat Mountain is a particularly popular site.

On the other hand, gold panning seems to be fruitful in this state in the northern rivers and streams of the state. Let’s see exactly where you can rockhound in New Hampshire and what you may find!

Best Rockhounding in New Hampshire
Best Rockhounding in New Hampshire

If you are interested in checking out the best rockhounding book about rockhounding in New Hampshire you can find it by clicking here (Amazon link).

Best Rockhounding Sites in New Hampshire

The best rockhounding sites in New Hampshire are Moat Mountain, Deer Hill, Lord Hill, Coos County, Indian Stream, Greens Ledge, Victor Head, Hutchins Mountain, Hanover, Ruggles Mine, North Groton, Ore Hill, Raymond, Pillsbury Ridge, Conway, Hurricane Mountain, South Baldface Mountain, Redstone, and Province Lake, among others.

Let’s take a look at some of these places and see exactly what you can find in New Hampshire!

Mout Mountain

The Mout Mountain is perhaps the most popular rockhounding spot in New Hampshire. Various enthusiasts and explorers can satisfy their needs at the Moat Mountain Mineral Site.

Here, you can find specimens such as amazonite, granite, topaz, and beautiful smoky quartz crystals. There are also several great rockhounding locations nearby.

Greens Ledge & Victor Head

Greens Ledge and Victor Head are both excellent rockhounding locations in New Hampshire. In the pegmatites near Milan, Greens Ledge, you can find amethyst, albite, beryl, chlorite, feldspar, fluorite, limonite, muscovite, pyrite, smoky quartz crystals, topaz, and various other specimens.

At Victor Head, near Stark, in the pegmatites, you can find almost these same specimens, but there are also sericite specimens.

Ruggles Mine

The Ruggles Mine, the area near Grafton, is another excellent rockhounding location in New Hampshire. Here, you can find specimens such as amethyst, apatite, beryl, calcite, feldspar, garnet, lepidolite, marcasite, pyrite, rose, smoky, or white quartz crystals, sillimanite, staurolite, topaz, tourmaline, and various other minerals and gemstones.

Raymond

Another good rockhounding spot in New Hampshire is Raymond. Here, you need to head towards the old area mining dumps and gravels. You can find specimens such as garnet, feldspar, spodumene, and even beautiful high-quality rose quartz.

TIP: Rock collecting can mean anything between picking up the odd rock on a hike and keeping a full mineral display shelf at home. Do you know how and where to start? Check out the complete guide in the article below:
How to Start Rock Collecting? Complete Guide for Beginners

Best Rockhounding Clubs in New Hampshire

To find the best rockhounding places and specimens in New Hampshire, you might need to enter some of the rockhounding clubs and discover new locations. 

Some of the best rockhounding clubs in New Hampshire include Capital Mineral Club, Gilsum Rock Swap and Mineral Show, Keene Mineral Club, Presidential Gem & Mineral Society, Saco Valley Gem & Mineral Club, and the Southeastern New Hampshire Mineral Club, among others. Everything is better when you join a rockhounding club!

BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):

What Rocks Can You Find in New Hampshire?

The entire bedrock in New Hampshire is mostly made up of igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks. It is known as the Granite State. Some of the most popular rocks that you can find in New Hampshire include geodes, flint, jasper, amazonite, granite, staurolite, schist, or gneiss, among many other types of rocks.

For a state with such a rich volcanic history as New Hampshire, one might expect to easily find geodes here. Unfortunately, there are very few rare instances of geodes being discovered in New Hampshire. 

When it comes to finding flint in New Hampshire, it’s just as hard. This is because of the lack of sedimentary bedrock. However, you can find flint in the woods. Other great areas to find flint/chert are the river streams and creek beds.

What Minerals Can You Find in New Hampshire?

What Rocks & Minerals Can You Find in New Hampshire?
What Rocks & Minerals Can You Find in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire isn’t as rich in its mineral diversity as other U.S. states however, there are some minerals that can be found here. You can find gold, diamonds, feldspar, mica, apatite, beryl, columbite, muscovite, albite, chlorite, limonite, calcite, marcasite, lepidolite, spodumene, sericite, or rhodonite among others.

MineralLocation
GoldIndian Stream, Wild Ammonoosuc River, Tunnel Brook
DiamondWhite Mountains, Mt Pleasant
BerylProvince Lake, Derry Hill, Hutchins Mountains
Minerals in New Hampshire

Both placer and gold nuggets can be found in New Hampshire. The Indian stream is among the best places to find it, in the headwaters of northern Coos County. Tunnel Brook is also an excellent place to find gold, as well as the Wild Ammonoosuc River, in Bath, or Lisbon counties. Notch Brook is also a good place to try your luck

When it comes to finding diamonds in New Hampshire, many speculate that the White Mountains are a good location to try your luck out. Mt Pleasant also has some diamond findings reports as well. 

Blue beryl can be found in New Hampshire at Province Lake, the western area. Both blue and golden beryl specimens are also located on Melvin Hill, on the eastern flank. Golden beryl is also present at Breech Hill, southwest side near Warren.

TIP: You need to know something about how gold deposits occur to understand which rocks to look for when prospecting. Check the best rocks to look for in the article below:
5 Rocks You Need To Look For When Gold Prospecting (+ Why)

Can You Find Gemstones in New Hampshire?

Though New Hampshire isn’t rich in its gemstone variety, there are a couple of both rare and regular gemstones that you can find in this state. Some of these gemstones include specimens such as amethyst, topaz, quartz, jasper, phenakite, rhodonite, aquamarine, garnet, pyrite, tourmaline, lazulite, or beryl, among others.

GemstoneLocation
AmethystHurricane Mountain, Redstone, Coos County
PhenakiteSouth Baldface Mountain
TopazConway, Green Ledge, Ruggles Mine
Gemstones in New Hampshire

Amethyst is found in various locations across New Hampshire. You can find it at Hurricane Mountain, the general area. The area quarries of Redstone are also abundant in amethyst specimens.

Coos County is another excellent place to find amethyst in New Hampshire. Search for the gemstone in the very broad area in soils of regional mountain ridges. 

If you want to find topaz in New Hampshire, head to Conway, and search the gravel pits 2.5 miles to the northwest.

In Green Ledge, search the pegmatites near Milan. You can also find topaz at the Ruggles Mine, near Grafton. Brown and blue topaz specimens are found at South Baldface Mountain, in the area of pegmatites and pockets.

What Crystals Can You Find in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has very few crystal specimens that you can find across its terrain. Some of the most popular crystals that you can find in this state include quartz crystals, fluorite, amethyst crystals, sillimanite, and even calcite crystals, among others. Some of them are of higher quality than others.

CrystalLocation
Quartz CrystalsMout Mountain Mineral Site, Victor Head, Hanover
Amethyst CrystalsOre Hill, Coos County,
SillimaniteRuggles Mine
Crystals in New Hampshire

To find quartz crystals in New Hampshire, head to Mout Mountain Mineral Site. Here, you can find high-quality smoky quartz crystal specimens.

At Victor Head, near Stark, in the area of pegmatites, you can also find smoky quartz crystals. To find rutilated quartz crystals in New Hampshire, head to Hanover, and search the area gravels and surfaces at Moose Mountain.

Rose, white, and smoky quartz crystals can be found at Ruggles mine, near Grafton. Clear quartz crystals are present at Redstone, in the area quarries. At Raymond, you can find rose quartz in the old area mining dumps and gravels. 

TIP: Have you ever tried tumbling your rocks? Rock tumbling is a great activity and tumbled rocks are really beautiful. Check out the differences between rotary and vibratory rock tumblers:
Rotary vs Vibratory Rock Tumbler: Which One To Buy & Use

Can You Find Fossils in New Hampshire?

There are very few fossil findings in New Hampshire, mostly because the Granite State is covered in igneous bedrock which doesn’t preserve fossils well. There are a few instances of mammoth teeth discovered, plant fossils, and other vertebrates. Shark teeth, on the other hand, might be present on Hampton Beach.

If you want to find sea glass in New Hampshire, the best places are the Wallis Sands State Beach, and Jenness State Beach in Rye, Great Island Common, New Castle, or North Hampton State Park, North Hampton. Here you might also find shark teeth if you are lucky!

When it comes to finding relics and artifacts such as arrowheads in New Hampton, things are also grim. Sewalls Falls in Concord and Garvin Falls in Bow might be some of the best locations. 

Conclusion

The state of New Hampshire, the Granite State, might not seem like much at first sight for rockhounding. However, despite its lack of fossils, minerals, and crystals, there are still some beautiful, and rare specimens that you might find!

New Hampshire shines in the little gemstones present on its lands. The lakes and river streams are also great for gold panning. Give New Hampshire a shot because you never know what you might be missing out on!

TIP: And it’s rockhounding time now! But do you know what tools you need for rockhounding? Check out the list of all needed tools and equipment for rockhounding in the article below:
The Complete Guide: All Tools You Need for Rockhounding