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Date(s) - 04/24/2020 - 04/26/2020
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Graves Mountain Rock Swap & Dig Field Trip


Friday, April 24th, 2020 – 7am to 6pm at Graves Mountain

Saturday, April 25th, 2020 – 7am to 6pm at Graves Mountain

Sunday, April 26th, 2020 – 8am to 5pm at TBD

TRIP LEADER: Jennifer Sorenson

TRIP DESCRIPTION: Two days of collecting a huge variety of minerals at Graves Mountain near Lincolnton, GA, and a third day of collecting at one of three crystal mines (to be determined) within 30-60 minutes of Lincolnton.

TYPE OF MINERAL/ROCK COLLECTED: From the Georgia Mineral Society website on Graves Mountain – You should not miss any opportunity to collect here because the rutile, lazulite, and pyrophyllite are said to be some of the finest in the world. The collecting area at Graves is huge! There are three main rock types here: quartz-sericite schist, sericite-kyanite-quartz rock (quartzite) and quartz conglomerate. You may still be able to collect rutile, kyanite, lazulite, iridescent hematite, pyrophyllite, pyrite, ilmenite, muscovite, fuchsite, barite, sulfur, blue quartz and quartz crystals with a hematite coating. Don’t forget the micro phosphate and phosphosulfate minerals that can be collected here. Woodhouseite, variscite, strengite, phosphosiderite, cacoxenite, crandallite along with accessory quartz, pyrite, pyrophylite, dickite, jarosite and sulfur crystal.


Friday, April 24th, 2020 at 7am (local time) at the BP Gas Station – 326 Washington St., Lincolnton, GA 30817

Saturday, April 25th at 7am (local time) at the BP Gas Station in Lincolnton

Sunday, April 26th at 8am (local time) at the BP Gas Station in Lincolnton


COLLECTING FEES: The Graves Mountain Rock Swap & Dig is free, however a small donation is greatly appreciated to defray the cost of opening the mountain and provided port-o-lets. It is also required that everyone sign a liability release.

ROCKHOUND TOOLS NEEDED: From the Georgia Mineral Society on Graves Mountain – You should bring a hand truck to move your buckets and tools to the collecting areas. Don’t forget to include a backpack. You can bring scratching tools to surface collect and a rocker screen to sift for rutile at the top of the mountain. Gloves, safety glasses, sledge-hammer and chisels will be needed to break the quartzite boulders for the lazulite and kyanite. You might also want a shovel and pry bar. Don’t forget the sunscreen, Gator Aid, appropriate clothing and something to eat.

DIFFICULTY OF COLLECTION SITES: Graves Mountain – Need to be able to walk and bring equipment from designated parking to collection area, walking on loose and uneven rock in collection area, need ability to climb slopes to reach some collection areas, not wheelchair accessible.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: From the Georgia Mineral Society website on Graves Mountain –

WEATHER: This location can become an unbearably hot place during summer months in Georgia. Most local mineral societies restrict their collecting trips here to September through May. If you decide to venture here during the hotter months, take precautions to avoid heat stroke. Enough said!

QUARRY SAFETY: This quarry contains very high and unstable walls. Loose rocks can and will be dislodged by someone from above or even by the wind. It is suggested that you wear a hard hat and that you stay away from the pit walls. Proper footwear with good ankle support is a must when climbing around the rock piles. Always examine the area above you for loose rocks and boulders. Move the small stuff and avoid the larger ones. Check for anyone working below you and be careful not to dislodge any loose rock. Warn people below by yelling “ROCK”, if anything starts going their way. Ladders or power tools of any kind are not allowed.

Children younger than 12 are discouraged because of all the dangers involved at this quarry. However, all children will be allowed during the “Rock Swap & Digs IF each child is under strict adult supervision.

Graves Mountain Code of Conduct:

Park your vehicle in the designated area (at the end of the paved access road but not much beyond the woods to the right of this road).

NO child under the age of 12 years old is to be allowed on the mountain because of all the dangers involved. PLEASE NOTE: ALL CHILDREN WILL BE ALLOWED DURING THE “Rock Swap and Digs” IF EACH CHILD IS UNDER STRICT ADULT SUPERVISION!

ALL pets must be kept under control and on a leash.

The caretaker, Junior Norman, has final and absolute say as to where you may safely work.

HAND TOOLS ONLY! Ladders or power tools of any kind will not be allowed.



NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO DRIVE THEIR VEHICLE ON ANY PART OF GRAVES MOUNTAIN BEYOND THE PARKING AREA! (The caretaker must accompany anyone driving beyond the parking area!) EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE OFF THE MOUNTAIN BY DUSK. (Absolutely no one is allowed on Graves Mountain after dark.)

RELEASE FORMS: All trip participants will need to fill out and turn in a MMC Liability Waiver form and a MMC Ethics Agreement form. Children 17 and under will also need a Release of Image form filled out and signed by their parent(s) or legal guardian.

DIRECTIONS: From Atlanta’s I-285, take I-20 east to the exit for Washington, GA SR 78 (SR 10, SR 17) and turn left. Travel north to Washington, turn right onto SR 378 and drive 11 miles to the Graves Mountain area. The entrance to Graves Mountain is on your right about 8/10 mile past the Lincoln county line sign.


Just after you exit onto SR 78, turn right onto GA 43 and drive towards Lincolnton about 13 miles. Take a left onto GA 220 going Northwest for about 3 miles to SR 378. Take a left on SR 378 and go about 2 miles. The entrance will be on your left.

APPROXIMATE TRAVEL TIME (from Falcon Heights City Hall – MMC meeting location):

By car: @ 18 hours and 20 minutes

By plane (from MSP to ATL): Non-stop flight @ 2 hours 20 minutes, then 2 hours and 15 minutes by car

Please note: Georgia is in the Eastern Time Zone. All meeting times listed are local times.


APPROXIMATE DISTANCE (from Falcon Heights City Hall – MMC meeting location): @ 1,250 miles


In or near Lincolnton –

Cullars Inn, 706-359-6161 (in Lincolnton)

Soap Creek Lodge, 706-359-4100 (10 minutes outside Lincolnton)

Elijiah Clark State Park, Park 706-359-3458, Reservations 800-864-7275,

Website –  (12 minutes outside Lincolnton)

30 minutes south of Lincolnton at I-20 and Hwy 78 near Thomson, GA –

Hampton Inn, 706-595-5300, Website:

Econo Lodge, 706-595-7144,  Website:

Comfort Inn & Suites, (706) 595-6500, Website:

Days Inn by Wyndham, 706-595-8700, Website: CID=LC:DI::GGL:RIO:National:02407&iata=00093796


Registration will open on December 10th, 2019 at 6am.

Registration will close on April 10th, 2020 at 9pm.

***When booking a trip, in the comments please list the names of everyone in your party, and whether they are an adult or child. Per MMC Field Trips Policy, field trips are for members only, including children. All children (17 and younger) MUST be accompanied on field trips by at least one parent or legal guardian. Thank you for your cooperation.***

For questions, please contact Jennifer at


This event is fully booked.


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