Gold Panning Locations

    Of course we knew about all the gold panning locations out west and had often thought that our glory days of hunting and scavenging for that elusive nugget or that rich gold dust were over when we moved to Virginia and so you can imagine our surprise when doing some investigating into gold panning locations and found some wonderful sites just waiting to be explored. At its peak, Virginia was the third largest gold producing state, and the heart of the gold production area was at the junction of Spotsylvania, Culpeper, and Orange counties near Wilderness. Over 300 claims and mines are known to have existed in Virginia, yet very few, if any at all, are commercially active at this time. Amateur and hobby prospecting continues to this day, primarily consisting of individual or small-scale placer operations. Regardless of what gold panning location you choose many hobbyists simply use a gold pan or a small, gasoline powered sluice box when working the alluvium in both running streams and dry riverbeds. Alluvium is soil or sediments deposited by a river or other running water. Alluvium is typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel in which often gold nuggets and or gold dust can be found and collected by panning or sluicing and these activities are generally called placer mining.

    The earliest recording gold mining locations and of gold mining activity in Virginia began about 1804 as placer mining, followed quickly by lode mining. Mining continued unabated until the onset of the California Gold Rush, at which point most serious speculators moved west. Production continued at a low level until the Civil War, when it virtually ground to a halt. Lake Anna State Park contains the remnants of the Goodwin mine and some historical displays. Since gold panning is permitted on the park grounds it is an excellent gold mining location. Another place you can visit while on your gold hunting expedition is Monroe Park in Goldvein as it has a museum about gold mining operations in the area, with some reconstructed buildings and historical artifacts which is very fun for the whole family and not just those bitten with the gold bug or infected with gold fever. With just a little research you can find other interesting and exciting gold mining locations throughout Virginia and the State has plenty of information available at there web site.