I will admit that my previous career in the metals industry makes seeking out metallurgical locations natural. But these locations can be interesting to anyone.
Metalworking is how we define some human time periods, such as the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. Metals are used everywhere and built our culture. Interesting metal spots vary from mining to mills. These metals can include iron, copper, gold, and silver along with other, rarer metals.
Sure, you can pay to pan for gold in a tourist spot where sand is seeded with interesting stones and occasional bits of gold or silver, but panning in a river can be fun even if you don’t become rich.
The best states for this are South Dakota, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Georgia, and California, where the most famous gold rush occurred. Plan a trip to Alaska for even more potential panning spots.
I love the history of small mines that were made back in the 1800s. Some are surface mines while some are underground. Relics can sometimes be found in the area, like old food cans used by the miners (please take pictures and leave the relics).
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