Caves and Mines

Garnet Mine Tours North River

Where is it at?

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Garnet Mine Tours
Barton Mines Road
North River
NY
12856
Tel: 518 251-2706

Directions

The mines are located on Barton Mines Road, just off Hwy 28. Take exit 23 to Route 9 through Warrensburg. Turn left on Hwy 28 for about 21 miles, then left onto paved Barton Mines Road. The mines are about 5 miles down.

Where are we going today?

Gold mines....diamond mines....coal mines....but garnet mines!? Yep! Barton Mines are the home of Garnet Mine Tours, the home of those who were searching for that unusual and beautiful red ruby colored gemstone.

Did you know that in 1969 the Governor or New York (Do you know who that was) made the Barton garnet the New York State gem stone? Pretty impressive! (Didn't know the answer? It was Nelson Rockefeller - and if you want to learn more you best take a tour!)

The tours leave on the hour, and then you can begin exploring Gore Mountain. Did you know the garnets found in the mountain are extremely rare? Best keep an eye out, you could find something very special!

In your own car, you can follow the tour guide to the site of the mines. On your tour, your very informative guides will explain all about the geology and history of the Garnet Mine, and how you would go about finding these precious gemstones.

Kids - do you think it would be easy, or hard? You can even hunt for your own treasures in the gem pit, which is great fun!

Every child can experience the thrill of discovery and treasure hunting. They may even want to keep going back because the thrill takes over! They can explore gem cutting demonstrations, as well as panning for gemstones from all over the world. There is even an exciting mineral collection for them to explore! 

Garnet Mine Tours are a unique experience for kids, and one that will send them away feeling excited and educated on this amazing stone. Let’s get gem hunting!

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$13.95
  • Children$9.95 (ages 7 - 14)
  • Free Under: 6 years old, and over 90 years!
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

June to Labor Day 9:30am - 5pm all week, except Sunday 11am - 5pm. After that, weekends only, same t

June to October.

Teachers corner

There are discounts for groups of 25 people or more, and it's a great education for kids to learn about geology, geography, mining and history! .

I'm Hungry!

The Mineral Shop sells candy! Make sure you are good and ask nicely! Yum Yum! .

Healthy Eating!

Make sure you bring plenty of water! It's important to keep hydrated with all that mining! .

Any Top Tips?

Any rock and gemstones that are collected can be taken home, and are $1 per pound. Pretty great value! .

Can I get one of those?

There is a fun Mineral Shop where you can weigh your rocks that you have found. There are also precious gems to buy, and fun toys, .

More information

The mines are 2400 feet above sea level, right in the Adirondack Mountains - so make sure you take a camera! .

What people are saying?

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    we had a great time in the rain and that says enough. the kids loved looking for jewels and there was garnet everywhere. thanks for such a good experience

  • by

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    Have been here several times, once on a geology field trip with the professional society I belong to, and the others with family. The tour is great. Love the talk on the history of the mines. I've never found anything really huge there, but have found some nice little pieces of garnet. Definitely worth it and I plan to go back there this summer hopefully.

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    After a drive up a mountain road, we waited at a small gift shop (with some nice hand made / rustic jewlery) until the top of the hour to go into an open pit quarry last used (except by bugs) many, many years ago... and therefore picked over countless times. The chance of finding anything other than a handful of small cloudy red shards of broken glass (aka garmets) by digging through gravel by hand, confined to a small roped area, in 30 minutes until the next 'tour', are - zero. Kids found it vaguely interesting, on par with a marginal nature...Read More

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    This place is a good ways from down town touristy lake george, but it's worth it. You first start by driving up the back side of Gore Mountain. its 5 miles of twists and turns. Get a little speed and have fun.

    once you get there you stop at a small mineral shop with some normal tourist stuff, and a case with some very nice sterling, gold, and garnet Jewelry. loose stones too.

    We went on the tour it was somewhere around 11 dollars per adult and they didn't chage for our infant son. (thanks guys). Plus you can get 3 dollars off with a coupon from...Read More

Submit a review

by A Google User

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After a drive up a mountain road, we waited at a small gift shop (with some nice hand made / rustic jewlery) until the top of the hour to go into an open pit quarry last used (except by bugs) many, many years ago... and therefore picked over countless times. The chance of finding anything other than a handful of small cloudy red shards of broken glass (aka garmets) by digging through gravel by hand, confined to a small roped area, in 30 minutes until the next 'tour', are - zero. Kids found it vaguely interesting, on par with a marginal nature walk.

by A Google User

  1. 1
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This place is a good ways from down town touristy lake george, but it's worth it. You first start by driving up the back side of Gore Mountain. its 5 miles of twists and turns. Get a little speed and have fun.

once you get there you stop at a small mineral shop with some normal tourist stuff, and a case with some very nice sterling, gold, and garnet Jewelry. loose stones too.

We went on the tour it was somewhere around 11 dollars per adult and they didn't chage for our infant son. (thanks guys). Plus you can get 3 dollars off with a coupon from their website, or the "things-to-do-books" in town.

From there we drive up the hill a little more and then decend into the mine pit. Here everyone parks and gets a little history about the guy that founded the mines, a little history of the stone, and its uses, and some fun facts about who uses it.

While listening you can look down and see tons of garnets all about a mm in diameter.

After history you get to play in the sand a little. its pretty simple, and we managed to pull a few nice pieces. some as large as a cubic centimeter, and a couple that were quite clear. A few people found lager stuff there too.

After the mining you all head down to the gift shop where you pay for the tour and any rocks you decide to keep. They chage a dollar a pound for the rockes. We only kept a few nice ones and they didn't bother to charge (thanks again).

My wife also found a beautiful garnet bracelet with 26 small tear drop garnets set in sterling. and it was only 68 dollars. and the stones were all eye clean (gem quality).

something worth checking out if your in the area.

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