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GUIDE: Best Rockhounding in Vermont & What Rocks Find

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Vermont is among the most overlooked states in the U.S. in terms of rockhounding. However, various high-quality gemstones, crystals, and minerals are present here. Apart from this, it also has its fair share of gold.

There are geodes, agate, staurolite, tourmaline, gold, diamonds, garnet, quartz, aventurine, pyrite, sphene, kyanite crystals, serpentine, feldspar, and other minerals. The best rockhounding places include road cuttings, ancient quarries, rivers, streams, and old quarries, all of which have a variety of specimens.

There are even a few intriguing fossils in this state, including whale fossils, the official state fossil. Let’s find out where you can go rockhounding in Vermont and what you can find!

Best Rockhounding in Vermont
Best Rockhounding in Vermont

If you want to check out the best book about rockhounding in Vermont, you can find it here (Amazon link).

Best Rockhounding Sites in Vermont

The best rockhounding locations in Vermont include Bennington, Swanton, Lamoille River, Grand Isle, Gold Brook, Eden, Ely Mine, Fairhaven, Adams Brook, Gassett’s, Ludlow, Perkinsville, Round Hill, Devil’s Den, Lake Willoughby, Jay Peak, Elizabeth Mine, Missisquoi River, White River, and Gihon River, among others.

Bennington & Swanton

Bennington is home to numerous stunning minerals, gemstones, and rock specimens. The road cut east of town displays blue quartz and cabochon pieces, garnet, feldspar, biotite, and even hornblende.

Swanton red marble and exquisite Dunham dolomite examples can be found in Swanton’s old quarries and dumps south of the Missisquoi River.

Ely Mine

The Ely Mine is among the best rockhounding locations in Vermont. Near Vershire, you can find various specimens such as chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, tourmaline, actinolite, calcite, garnet, hornblende, and malachite.


The Gassett’s is also a popular rockhounding destination in Vermont. It might be advisable to head towards the outcrops near Williams River. Gemstones include quartz, garnet, tourmaline, pyrite, staurolite, kyanite crystals, actinolite, diopside, calcite, and sphene!


Another unique Vermont rockhounding location is Perkinsville. Near Springfield Dam, explorers can find biotite, smoky quartz crystals, calcite, actinolite, pyrrhotite, and ilmenite specimens.

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 Vermont?

Vermont has beautiful geology, with three officially designated state rocks: granite, marble, and slate. You can find geodes, flint, agate, chert, jasper, marble, dolomite, asbestos, serpentine, staurolite, granite, slate, limestone, garnet schist, quartzite, gneiss, kaolinite, shale, among others, in Vermont.

FlintNiquette Bay
MarbleSwanton, Proctor
Common Rocks in Vermont

Geodes are rare in Vermont. Thus, there are no specific areas where they may be found, but they are unquestionably present. Old quarries, road cuttings, limestone outcrops, and caves are among the most significant sites to see them.

The same applies to discovering flint in Vermont. Your best chances are in the forests or near riverbeds. Niquette Bay may also be an excellent place to collect flint and chert specimens in Vermont.

To find marble in Vermont, go to Swanton. The exquisite Swanton red marble may be found in ancient quarries and dumps south of the Missisquoi River. Marble is also found in Proctor at various quarries.

TIP: Rock collecting can mean 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

What Gemstones Can You Find in Vermont?

Vermont isn’t a famous state when it comes to gemstones. However, there are several presents that you can find.

Some of the most highly prized gemstones in Vermont that you can find include garnet, quartz, jasper, pyrite, tourmaline, beryl, aventurine, corundum, and even sphene, among others. However, it is sporadic.

GarnetEden, Ely Mine, Lake Willoughby, Gassett’s
JasperNiquette Bay
Common Gemstones in Vermont

To discover garnet gemstones in Vermont, take the route east of Bennington. You can also try your luck in Eden, in the local quarries near Belvidere Mountain, or at the Ely Mine near Vershire.

Garnets may also be found in the outcrops on the eastern side of Lake Willoughby and in Gassett’s outcrop near the Williams River.

This outcrop also contains rare and magnificent sphene gemstones. Jasper does not appear to be native to Vermont. However, it may be found along the gravels and outcrops at Niquette Bay.

TIP: There are over twenty species of garnets, but only five are worth cutting and polishing. Check out how to do it in the article below:
How To Cut & Polish Garnets: Follow The 6 Simple Steps

What Minerals Are in Vermont?

Where To Go Rockhounding in Vermont?
Where To Go Rockhounding in Vermont?

You can find several minerals in Vermont. Some include diamonds, gold, feldspar, hornblende, chalcopyrite, dolomite, actinolite, talc, magnetite, fuchsite, marcasite, serpentine, calcite, diopside, pyrrhotite, malachite, chlorite, muscovite, beryl, ilmenite, bornite, or biotite, among many others.

GoldLittle River, Gold Brook, Lamoille River, White River, Missisquoi River
IlmeniteDevil’s Den
Common Minerals in Vermont

There are almost no reports of finding diamonds in Vermont. Many believe that diamonds exist somewhere in the state. However, your best bet would be to join a rockhounding club to find them.

Vermont was once very popular for its gold deposits. There are various places where you can still find it even today. Placer gold can be found at Little River, Gold Brook. You can also find it in Lamoille River, in places near Johnson.

At the Gihon River, gold is present in placers near Eden. You can find the White River in places near Braintree. The Missisquoi River is also filled with gold in places near Orleans County. Another good place to find gold in Vermont is the Mad River near the Williams River.

TIP: Vermont offers a wealth of opportunities for gold prospectors. Check out the complete guide on gold prospecting in Vermont below:
Gold Prospecting in Vermont: 7 Best Locations & Laws

Finding Crystals in Vermont

Though Vermont is filled with various minerals, it also has its fair share of crystals. Some of the most popular crystals that you can find in Vermont include biotite, dolomite crystals, calcite crystals, vesuvianite, epidote, sphalerite, idocrase crystals, quartz crystals, kyanite crystals, or sphene, among others.

Quartz CrystalsGrand Isle, Devil’s Den
Idocrase CrystalsLake Willoughby
Kyanite CrystalsGassett’s
Common Crystals in Vermont

To find beautiful quartz crystals in Vermont, you must head toward Grand Isle. Go to the west end of Sand Bar Bridge and search the gravels and outcrops.

You can also go to Devil’s Den, where you can find high-quality smoky or clear quartz crystals. Search for them in the general area of Devil’s Den in schist and outcrops. 

TIP: The best tools for polishing crystals and adding a soft glimmer are the rotary dremels. Check out the best dremels for polishing in the article below:
3 Best Dremels for Polishing Rocks & Crystals + Accessories

Where to Find Fossils in Vermont?

The official state fossils of Vermont belong to ancient whales; other types of fossils can also be found here.

For example, the quarry northeast of Isle La Motte hosts various gastropod and nautiloid fossils. Marine fossils are also present on the shores of Lake Champlain or between Burlington and Rutland.

Here is the home of the world’s oldest fossilized coral reef. The lakeshore is filled with various marine fossils, and some arrowheads were found there.

Speaking of arrowheads, you can also find them in Otter Creek in Clarendon or Dead Creek. The terrain near the many lakes of Vermont is also an excellent place to start searching.


At first glance, Vermont might not seem like a prime rockhound destination. However, the state is home to various rockhounding sites that are both stunning and rewarding. Vermont offers a treasure trove of beautiful and rare minerals, gemstones, fossils, and crystals.

It’s important to research the area ahead of time and ensure you have the necessary permits. Additionally, joining a rockhounding club in Vermont can greatly improve your chances of discovering new and exciting locations!

TIP: There are dozens of books dedicated to nature, geology, minerals, rocks, and gemstones. But it is not so easy to find a good one. Check out the best books about rock and mineral identification in the article below:
5 Best Books for Identifying Rocks & Minerals You Must Read