Guess What I Saw Today in Wake Forest NC? ROCK HOUNDS!

Hwy 98 Wake Forest NC Garnet HillSo, I was out and about today running some errands and found myself on Highway 98.  The little stretch that runs between Wake Forest NC and Durham NC with gorgeous view of Falls Lake along the way.

Low and behold I look to the right and there they were clinging to the rock face just mining away!


Who? The entire family out.  I had to turn around and go back.  The state has now posted NUMEROUS No Parking signs along the road now but, being the rebel that I am, pseudo-parked much to the dismay of the Mack truck that was behind me evidenced by his airbrakes!  SORRY! 

Anyhow, over 2 lanes of 60+ m.p.h traffic I was able to get a few shots and scream out a few questions…….

The family was finding HUGE garnets and plenty of them!  It was cold today but hey, if you are hanging on a rock face of a garnet vein over a busy highway do you really care what the temperature is?  Here is the family……NEXT time I will get out and go over – no could do today – family coming to visit…..

Garnet Hill Wake Forest NCGarnet Hill Wake Forest NC

Following is a post that I wrote way back in March 2008 all about Garnet Hill!  I think it is time to pull that post back out and polish it up – total pun intended!

What’s even cooler is that I received an email as a result of that post in September 2009 – so, if you ever think that your posts don’t have shelf life – THINK AGAIN!  Here is the email as well!






susan thompson
garnet hill
thanks for the site.
we went and had such a good time.
do you know how to correctly clean the slabs and the loose garnets?
thanks, susan

And here is the ORIGINAL POST…………….ENJOY!

Attention all Rock Hounds!!! Garnet Hill – Right Here in Wake Forest!

OK – Ya gotta admit – I give you some pretty good ideas for things to do in Wake Forest – well, hold on to your hats – here comes one of the most unusual and unique things to do in My Back Yard……

Just down the road off Hwy 98 there is an exposed vein of garnets.  FREE for the taking!  There are literally  billions of carats of this gorgeous purple/red semi-precious gem waiting to be found!  All you need is a hammer and chisel and you are good to go!  If you go after a heavy rain many of them can easily be worked out and most times they are virtually “free” due to the erosion caused by the rains.

To get to the site from US1 Raleigh (Capital Blvd.), drive north towards Wake Forestand exit right at the Highway 98 interchange, make a left at the bottom of the ramp (McDonald’s in the corner), and go exactly 1.9 miles, the cutface will be to your right.

To know WHERE to dig I suggest you read this highly informative piece written by H. Kent Craig.  He give tips on mining, which areas you can and CAN NOT go, what to look for and what to expect. 

Now, how’s THAT for an afternoon of adventure?

Always something happening in My Back Yard….



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