Reed Gold Mine
Pretty neat place. I suggest you skip the gold panning. I'm 99.99% sure they are just scooping up the same gravel and recycling it over and over. You're not going to find anything. It's not like those "gem mining" places. The Museum is nice. The mine is pretty neat! It looks like a good place to follow the trails and relax.
We love this place. It is free to visit, and it is very interesting for all ages. The visitor's center has a video on the history of the.mine and several artifacts indoors. You can visit the mine (part of it) outside. It is very cool in the mine. They even have a ramp to it and accessible wheelchairs that you can borrow if needed (there is a flight of stairs attached he back of the mine, but you can leave through the front entrance if you are unable to climb). There are a lot of outbuildings to visit, one of which has a working machine that demonstrates how they broke open the rocks to search for gold. Other points: 1. Gravel parking lot 2. Picnic areas 3. Vending machines outdoors but no cafeteria (there are not a lot of close food options either. Some fast food in Locust) Bring bug spray and sunscreen. Check for ticks.
Nice little museum, great trails, a trek through an actual mine, and panning for gold. The staff was friendly and the place was clean and well maintained. We got to see a traveling WWI exhibit also. It was small, but had some cool artifacts to look at. The mine was a cool 55 (which was great considering it was 90 outside) and an excellent experience. I highly recommend.
Wow! Free to enter Gold mine with a nice little exhibit about the history of gold mining in NC. Plus the option to pay $3 (plus tax) to pan for gold. Good self guide leaflet that guides you through some of the old mine workings. Fabulous. One of the best days out in NC - informative and won't break the bank for families on a budget (who isn't!).
My sister & brother in law, who reside in NC, took me and our brother here as this historical site sounded fun and educational. Every aspect of this experience was amazing and we loved learning the history and exploring. When we were panning we had mentioned my brother and I were visiting from another state and how we enjoyed the mine etc. I am sure the young man that was assisting us learn to pan thought he was being humorous telling us to go back home & making remarks of the alike. We took it all in jest but as we were leaving he made sure to repeat in front of the other guests that we needed to go back to (the state we live in). With the total peace of God in my heart I looked at him and stated "what a shame". We did nothing more than try to enjoy our time together as family. (Our brother recently completed cancer treatments) The young man crossed a fine line between humor and rude. Please don't let this young man's "sense of humor" discredit the marvelous experience! I said a prayer for him!