Pine Garnet Mine
Madison County, North Carolina
The world famous Little Pine Garnet Mine has been a mecca for rockhounds near and far for decades. The Ball family has owned the mine since 1913 and has always allowed rockhounds to visit and collect the giant garnet crystals for their mineral collections.
The Little Pine Mine is closed to the public and is accessible by appointment only through the owner Mr. Jackie Ball.
Fees: The fee for collecting at the Little Pine Mine is $25.00 per day, per person. This allows you 2.5 gallons of garnets or half of a five gallon bucket full.
Contact/Access: To obtain permission to collect at the Little Pine Mine, you will need to contact Jackie Ball at 828-649-3464. You will go to the office of the "Sandy Bottom Trail Rides". There, you will fill out a release form/waiver and make payment before proceeding to the mine. You will be issued a permit/ticket to collect at the mine. The mine is patrolled by employees of Sandy Bottom Trail Rides, they will ask to see your ticket for collecting. If you do not have a ticket, you will be asked to leave the property.
Directions: The address for Sandy Bottom Trail Rides is: 1459 Caney Fork Road, Madison County, N.C.
Parking: Parking at the mine is restricted to the bottom of the hill across from the creek. DO NOT drive your vehicle up to the mine. DO NOT block the other drives or entrances to other roads.
Collecting: Collecting may be done in the creek bed across from the mine entrance or inside the mine itself.
Hours of operation: Collecting at the Little Pine Mine is between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., you must leave the property by 4:00 p.m. each day.
There are porta johns on site as well as picnic tables for use by the trail riders and mineral collectors.