Strike It Rich In The Gold Mines Of Helen

Most people know about the California Gold Rush of 1849, but did you know that the first American Gold Rush took place right here in northern Georgia?

Although it’s a known fact that gold was first discovered in the area 1828, it remains unclear who can be attributed with first uncovering the precious metal. While some stories say a man named Frank Logan found gold in White County’s Dukes Creek, another account says that it was John Witheroods who came upon a three-ounce bugged along the same creek. Still other tales claim that the first find occurred in Dahlonega. Regardless of how the gold rush actually began, though, both White and Lumpkin counties quickly became a hot spot for prospectors looking to strike it rich, and the gold mines of Georgia remain one of the biggest Helen attractions to this day.River Wilds Cabin

Best Helen Attractions for Finding Gold

Check out some of these fun gold mine and panning attractions located in and around Helen:

Duke’s Creek Gold & Ruby Mines l 6145 Helen Highway

Experience the life of a gold and gem prospector right here in the heart of Helen! Duke’s Creek Gold & Ruby Mines is one of the most beloved Helen attractions, and a visit here makes it easy for you and your family or friends to find something truly extraordinary to take back home with you at the end of your trip. Start off by selecting a bucket (small, medium, or large) of gold ore, mixed gem ore (including rubies, sapphires, amethysts, emeralds, and more), or of fossil, blood stone, and quartz crystal. The expert mining crew will walk you through the process of panning, and will help you to pinpoint your finds, maximizing the value of your experience. Every bucket is guaranteed to deliver results, so you’ll never walk away empty-handed. You can even purchase some ore to take back home with you.

Gold ‘n Gem Grubbin l 75 Gold Nugget Lane (Cleveland)

Gold ‘n Gem Grubbin in Cleveland is located a short drive from your cabin in Helen and is another popular spot for seeking out treasure in the hills of northern Georgia. You can choose to grab a bucket of gold or gem ore and pan through it under the trees at one of the attraction’s sluices, or you can choose to do things the old fashioned way by jumping right into the the adjacent creek. Roll up your pant legs, grab a screen, and start the hunt for gold, stones, and artifacts of your very own. Think you’ve come across something special? Take your finds inside the gemshack to be evaluated by trained staffers. Once you know what you’ve got, you can have the stone set in 14k gold or sterling silver mountains and turned into a custom jewelry item that you can keep forever.

Crisson Gold Mine l 2736 Morrison Parkway East (Dahlonega)helen cabins

Visit an actual open mine gold pit at Crisson Gold Mine in nearby Dahlonega. This intriguing mine was first established in 1847 and was commercially operated as recently as the early 1980s. Today, the attraction welcomes visitors from all over to try their hand at panning for gold and precious stones. Newbies might want to start off with a 5-gallon bucket of ore which can be panned on-site with the help of trained staff, or can be taken back to your cabin or even home with you. More serious gold miners will likely prefer to run their ore through one of 3 trammels which separate the gold from sand at a faster and more efficient pace. Concentrated gold ore can also be purchased by the 15-gallon-to-one, 30-gallon-to-one, or 75-gallon-to-one concentrate. Where does all of the ore come from? Crisson Gold Mine still operates a 125-year old stamp mill that is used to crush quartz rock containing gold.

Consolidated Gold Mine l 185 Consolidated Gold Mine Road (Dahlonega)

Ready to go back in time? At Consolidated Gold Mines, you and your group can travel 200 feet underground to embark on the adventure of a lifetime through a historic northern Georgia gold mine in Dahlonega. For 40 minutes, your tour guide will regale you with tales and legends of the gold miners of more than 100 years ago who used to struggle in the mine each day in order to uncover gold hidden deep within quartz. After learning about the area’s first gold miners, you can set out on your own to pan for gold and gemstones. You’ll be taught all of the basics by the experts, and when your finds have been assessed, they’ll be bottled up so you can enjoy them as a souvenir.

Have you gotten lucky or found something interesting while panning for gold and precious stones at one of these popular Helen attractions? Share your success stories with us!