With its many beaches and hilltops, Michigan provides a number of ideal locations for a memorable rock hunting excursion. This is especially true in the Upper Peninsula, where special treasures like greenstones, copper, Petoskey stones and quartz stones can be found. Some people collect rocks and gems as a hobby. Others may go rock hunting as an educational activity for a family vacation or school field trip. No matter your motivation for this exploration, Michigan is a good place to conduct your search.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Pictured Rocks offers miles and miles of picturesque beaches, dunes and waterfalls along Lake Superior. It is also a wonderful place for rock collecting. Collect Lake Superior agates (or beach rocks), jasper or banded chert while strolling along one of Pictured Rocks' many beaches or hiking along the Lakeshore Trail. Pictured Rocks is located off of M-28 and M-94 near Munising and Au Sable Point.
Newcomers to rock collecting may most enjoy and benefit from a structured or organized rock collecting tour such as the one offered at Caledonia Mine near Ontonagon, Michigan. In addition to teaching you how to find a variety of minerals and precious stones, professional collectors will also demonstrate how to clean, identify and preserve your findings. At Caledonia Mine, tourists have found copper and silver nuggets, quartz and calcite. Tours are most popular from Memorial Day through the Labor Day weekend.
Beaches Along Lake Michigan
There are also various locations along the Lake Michigan shores for rock collecting. This includes the Grand Traverse Bay area, Petoskey and Charlevoix, where the Petoskey (coral) and pudding stones (jasper mixed with other rock) are most sought after.
Isle Royale National Park
Also located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Isle Royale National Park is another good choice for finding rock treasures. It is especially known for greenstones, stones unique to this area. The island can be accessed by boat from Houghton or Copper Harbor, Michigan. Before traveling to Isle Royale to hunt for rocks, it is important to note that the park has tight rules and regulations for rock collectors.
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