For those who like to dig around in the dirt looking for a treasure or two, Transylvania County has options to go gem mining.
•Bear Tracks Travel Center is located at 10932 Rosman Highway on the way toward Lake Toxaway and Sapphire. Bear Tracks has an outdoor covered flume allowing gem seekers to while away the hours. A 2.5-quart “kids bucket” of mixed stones costs $10, while a 2-gallon mixed bucket costs $20. For $50, you can search for gems in a 5-gallon bucket. For more information, call (828) 862-8992 or go to www.beartrackstravelcenter.com.
•Crystal Mountain Gem Mine is located on South Broad Street in Brevard. Treasure seekers may try their luck at an indoor 52-foot-long indoor water flume. Everything you find, you get to keep, including rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethyst and quartz crystals. A 1-gallon bucket costs $12.99, while the serious treasure seeker can get a 15-gallon tub for $160. Panning for gold in a half-gallon bucket costs $40. For more information, call (828) 877-4700 or go to www.crystalmarket miningcompany.com. The mine is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
•Pisgah Forest Gem Mine is located at 3338 Asheville Highway and offers indoor and outdoor mining. Gem buckets start at $12. The gem mine also offers specialty ruby, emerald and fossil buckets for $50 for a small bucket and $80 for a large bucket. The mine is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, call (828) 367-8330 or go to www.pisgahforestgemmining.com.
•Mountain Treasures Gem Mine is located at 15835 Rosman Highway, Lake Toxaway. For more information, call (828) 966-4334.
•Whitewater Equestrian Center, located at 1350 N.C. 281S. in Sapphire, also offers gem mining. For more information, call (828) 966-9646 or go to www.funhorsebackriding.com.
For more information about all local activities, go to www.transylvaniaexplorer.com.