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  Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site

Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site

Gold Panning Policy

The last underground mining at Reed Gold Mine occurred in 1912, but people continued to actively pan for gold in Little Meadow Creek throughout the twentieth century. In 1966, Reed Gold Mine, and specifically portions of Little Meadow Creek, were designated National Historic Landmarks. Today, they are protected historic properties and panning is no longer allowed in the creek.


It is the mission of Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site to teach the history of North Carolina gold mining and to share the state’s gold mining heritage with its visitors. To further this mission an educational panning area has been set up adjacent to Little Meadow Creek. Today, visitors to Reed Gold Mine can learn the proper process and techniques of gold panning from instructors. Panning is available April through October, weather permitting. Because of the physical difficulties associated with this activity, panning for gold is not recommended for children under the age of eight, unless they have the assistance of an adult in their party. The troughs in the panning area meet ADA requirements.


A ticket to pan entitles the bearer to one gold pan filled with ore. Not every pan will yield gold. The rate of finding gold is generally one out of every five to six pans. The fee for panning is $3.00 per pan. Groups (of 10 or more) that schedule a reservation in advance will receive the group rate of $2.00 per pan.


PLEASE NOTE: Groups of children arriving as part of a scheduled field trip will not be allowed to pan unless they are in the third grade (in summer months, children must be rising third graders). There will be no exceptions to this age/grade requirement.