Reed Gold Mine
Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. From this discovery, gold mining spread gradually to nearby counties and eventually into other southern states. Today you can still feel the cool dampness underground in an early gold mine, marvel at early 20th-century steam locomotives, and relive a colonial or Civil War battle. Visitor centers with exhibits filled with artifacts and multimedia presentations can be found most sites, as are picnic facilities. Most tours and many special programs are free.
It was a unique experience and was able to learn a lot. You are able to do most things around here for free. The only thing that costs is the gold panning and its only $3. We did it for each kid and one pan had a little fleck of gold and the other had nothing. Kind of surprised they didn't have more in the gift shop or a way to donate to the place. A ton of walking paths and tables for a picnic. Recommend going and bring the kids!
Visited over Father's Day for the 2nd time (with 3 generations - age 6 to 74). I've done the self-guided tour before but did the guided tour this time. I enjoy both. My 6-year-old REALLY loved the panning for gold and was the only one to find a fleck. She is proudly displaying her vial on a shelf in her bedroom. It's a fun way to spend a few hours with family. Quick advice, check for ticks when you leave. We found a few after walking around after the mine tour. (That wouldn't stop us from going back.)
This is a great place for learning about a local gold mine. You can walk through the old mine guided or on your own. They have a few trails and for a small fee you can pan for gold!
When a family member suggested we go to an old gold mine while visiting NC I was hesitant. I will admit, I was wrong. I throughly enjoyed my time here. A short visit through the museum gave great history lessons through artifacts, including Gene Cernans ( last man in the Moon) helmet from Apollo 17 (gold deposition of the glass face shield to protect against solar radiation). Knowledge staff answered my questions and when the couldnt the called on others who could. They were pleasant and helpful. It was then on to panning for gold. We were handed pans of sand, silt and rocks. We were shown how to pan for gold. We had fun and ended with small gold flakes our kids loved. It was the on to the old mine. The outdoor temperature was in the mid 90s Fahrenheit. As we approached the mine entrance we felt the cool air. We found the entrance and a low hanging fog welcomed us down the valley to the entrance. Walking through the mine tunnel you could see the milky quartz veins running at sloped angles. Condensation covered everything. At various places a mine car, mine shaft, etc cloud be seen. Having walked the tunnel we exited up the 70 some steps to surface. The air got warmer and warmer as we went up those steps. We soon followed a trail to a high point and then headed back to the visitors center. On the drive home our kids asked when we could come back.
We loved it here. Fun, educational, beautiful and easy short trails. (Note, there are steps.) My littles (6 & 4.5) were a little nervy/scared to enter the mine but they did and they really liked it. We went in the off season. Wed love to come back when the panning is open so we can do that too.