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Granite is an interesting intrusive igneous rock that is found around the world. It mainly consists of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. Its grains are visible to the naked eye, and many rockhounds love to have it in their collection.
In the U.S., you can find granite in several states, such as Massachusetts, Indiana, Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia. These states are among the leading producers of granite in the U.S. Granite is commonly found in quarries, mines, mountainous areas, or regions where magma cooled below the surface.
Granites vary in shape and color, but if you want to find them in the U.S., you first have to understand how they form. Let’s see the best places to find granite specimens in the U.S. and the best environments!
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Where to Find Granite Near Me (Most Common Environments)
Granite can be found in several environments; some specimens are ancient. For example, the oldest granite specimen ever discovered was about 3.8 billion years old. Granite is an intrusive rock, meaning it is an igneous rock that forms in older rocks from the Earth’sEarth’s crust.
When magma reaches the surface, it brings the necessary elements to form granite. However, it doesn’t have to break through. Instead, the magma cools slowly in pockets just below the surface level. Some of the best environments to find granite include quarries, mines, pits, mountainous regions, outcrops, or pegmatites.
Let’s analyze some of these environments and see why granite specimens are often found.
Mines, Quarries, and Pits
Granite is often found at depths between 20 to 140 miles / 32 to 225 kilometers below the Earth’sEarth’s crust. Some of these specimens can be brought even higher up during volcanic activity or other natural phenomena.
Because of this, mines, quarries, or open pits are some of the best locations to find granite rocks. The mines or quarries near mountainous regions are particularly rich in granite specimens. Some of these specimens can be red, green, pink, white, or variations of black or grey.
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):
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
- Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids)
Mountainous Regions, Outcrops, or Pegmatites
Mountains mostly form on EarthEarth due to tectonic plates. The older plates move below, the newer ones, where granite usually forms.
These so-called Fold Mountains are created due to collision and compression and are folded into rocky outcrops, hills, mountains, or entire mountain ranges through orogeny. Because of this, some of them are the best environments to find granite specimens.
These intrusive rocks are widespread in mountain cores, also known as batholiths. One great example of a granite mountain in the U.S. is the Granite Mountains in the Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, California.
TIP: Modern geological methods of mineral identification are far more complicated than people used to think. Find out the complete guide explained by an expert in the article below:
Modern Methods of Rock & Mineral Identification (by Expert)
Where Is Granite Found in the U.S.? The Best Locations
Not so long ago, there were around 276 granite quarries spread around 34 U.S. states. Although some may have closed, there are still several active granite quarries in the U.S.
The best states to find granite specimens in the U.S. include Wisconsin, Texas, Massachusetts, Indiana, Georgia, Colorado, California, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Oklahoma, Connecticut, or Idaho, among many others.
|Texas||Burnet County, Marble Falls, Llano County|
|California||San Diego County, Volcan Mountains, Tulare County|
|Georgia||Elbert County, Oglethorpe County, DeKalb County|
|Massachusetts||Essex County, Pelham, Wilmington County|
Let’s analyze some of these states and see where you can find granite specimens!
New Hampshire is among the five U.S. states that designated granite as their official state rock. However, only New Hampshire has the nickname the Granite State due to its abundance of this igneous rock.
New Hampshire designated granite as its official state rock in 1985. One of the best places to find high-quality granite rock specimens in this state is the Moat Mountain Mineral Site. You may also find topaz specimens here.
If you are near Carroll County, head to Conway, and explore the area around White Mountain Granite Quarry. You may find several exciting specimens in this region. Cheshire County, specifically near Fitzwilliam, has plenty of granite quarries around.
There is the Holman Granite Quarry, Silver White Granite Quarry (also known as Victoria White Quarry), the Snow Flake Granite Quarry, Thompson Granite Quarry (also known as Emerson Granite Quarry), the Webb Granite Quarry (also known as the Webb Fitzwilliam Quarry), and the Yon Granite Quarry.
In Hinsdale, there is only one granite quarry bearing the town’s name; the same goes for Keene. Marlborough has two granite quarries, while Troy only has one. Coos County also has one granite quarry near Kilkenny.
The County of Grafton has seven granite quarries, while Hillsborough County has eleven. Merrimack County has fourteen granite quarries, so it’s also an excellent place to find this specimen.
Some other counties worth exploring for granite specimens in New Hampshire include Rockingham County, Strafford County, and Sullivan County.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in New Hampshire, check out this article.
North Carolina is another beautiful state abundant in granite specimens. It designated granite as its official state rock in 1979.
This state has dozens and dozens of active granite quarries. For example, Avery County has three active granite quarries, while Cleveland County has four.
Rowan County has nineteen active granite quarries, so explorers should visit it to find granite specimens. Some other noteworthy counties in North Carolina worth exploring to find granite specimens include Orange County, Mitchell County, Lincoln County, and Alamance County.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in North Carolina, check out this article.
South Carolina was the first of the five U.S. states to designate granite as its official state rock. South Carolina defined granite as its official state rock as early as 1969. The granite found in South Carolina is quite different than the other states, as the granite here is primarily blue.
There are dozens upon dozens of active granite quarries in this state. For example, in Fairfield County, there are twelve active quarries.
Some of the most known are Anderson Quarry, Hobbs Quarry, Johnson Quarry, Leiper-Davis Quarry, McKeown Pink Quarry, Mitford Quarry, Rion Quarry, and Monticello Quarry.
In Lancaster Count, there are six active granite quarries, namely Congaree Quarry, Excelsior Quarry, Old Sumter Granite Quarry, Taxehaw Granite Quarry, and Carolina Mahogany No.1 The Sistore Gravel Pit in this county is also worth visiting to find granite specimens.
Other known counties in South Carolina worth visiting to find granite specimens include Newberry County, Kershaw County, Greenville County, Richland County, and York County, among many others.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in South Carolina, check out this article.
The state of Vermont designated granite as its official state rock in 1992. Though the county has many locations where you can find granite, it has much fewer granite quarries than the other states mentioned.
For example, in Orange County, near Williamstown, there is the J.K. Pirie Granite Quarry. If you are near Windham County, visit Dummerston and the Black Mountain Quarry. Here, you can find various granite specimens, primarily grey or black.
In Windsor County, near Bethel, you can find the Bethel White Granite Quarry, or you can go to Rochester to find the Liberty Hill Granite Quarry. The surrounding areas near these sites are excellent places to find granite specimens.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Vermont, check out this article.
The state of Wisconsin designated granite as its official state rock in 1971. Wisconsin’s granite is also different than the other states mentioned, as here you will predominantly find red granite specimens.
If you visit Lincoln County, go to Merrill Granite Quarry. However, suppose you want a region filled with granite specimens. In that case, you should visit Marathon County, where there are over thirty active granite quarries.
Near Mile pluton, you can visit the Thurber Granite Pit or see the beautiful Wisconsin Rose Red Quarry. Some other noteworthy counties filled with granite sites in Wisconsin include Marquette County, Shawano County, and Waupaca County.
TIP: For a complete rockhounding guide in Wisconsin, check out this article.
TIP: Many of us may have some old rocks collection in our homes. Check out the best ideas on what to do with your old rocks collection in the article below:
What To Do With Old Rock Collection? 3 Simple & Practical Ideas
FAQ About Finding Granite Rocks
Still did not find the answer to your questions about finding granite minerals? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:
Can Granite be Found Anywhere?
Granite is found almost anywhere on earth since 95% of our planet’s crust comprises granite and other igneous rocks. However, you have to know where to look for it. Granite is present mainly near mountainous regions or hills.
Where is the Most Common Place to Find Granite?
Granite is most commonly found in mountainous areas, especially fold mountains, because of the way they form. Some of the best places to find granite worldwide are in quarries near mountainous regions.
Is Granite Found in the Ocean?
If most of the continents are made of granite, then most of the ocean floor is made of basalt. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find granite in the ocean. Several granite deposits were discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, some as deep as 8,000 feet beneath the sea.
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Granite is a beautiful igneous rock that is found almost anywhere on earth. It varies in color, with some being rarer than others.
However, it makes a fine addition to any rockhounds collection. If you want to find granite in the U.S., consider where it forms and searches for it in the abovementioned areas.
TIP: Finding and digging for your crystals can be enjoyable and satisfying. Check out the best places to dig and find crystals in the United States in the article below:
9 Best Places to Dig and Find Crystals in the USA + Useful Tips