Hickory Hill, near Fonda, New York, is a well-known locality where Herkimer diamonds may be collected. The Hickory Hill locality is open to collectors only during the Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day holiday weekends. Most of the collecting is either by exposing vugs and seams in exposed bedrock, requiring hammers, chisels, and pry bars, or in pits and along the ground at the base of outcrops, where shovels, trowels, and other garden-type digging tools, as well as screens, will be most useful.
Palermo Mine, located near North Groton, New Hampshire, is a world-renowned locality for rare phosphate minerals, many collectable only as micromounts. This old pegmatite locality, once one of the largest mica producers in the United States, contains nearly 150 different mineral species. Crystals of green beryl and quartz exceeding 12 inches in length have been found occasionally. This mine is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owners. Since much of the collecting is in pits and on dumps, shovels, trowels, and other garden-type digging tools, as well as screens, will be most useful. Collecting into bedrock underground requires hammers, chisels, and pry bars.
Hatch Quarry, located in Panton, Vermont, is well-known for producing the fossiliferous limestone decorative stone known as Panton stone. Ordovician brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, crinoid stems, gastropods, and rare trilobites have been found by collectors both in the main pit and along the higher ground north and south of the pit. Extraction of fossils from the hard limestone can be challenging. Collecting generally requires hammers, chisels, and pry bars. Collectors are urged to stay away from the precarious slopes at the top of the quarry. This active quarry is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owner.
Sharon concretion site is located near Sharon, Vermont and is a productive "family-friendly" collecting site. Individual gray to brown siltstone concretions ranging in size from the diameter of a penny to that of a golf ball are commonly found at the base of the steep slope excavated in this sand pit and in the terrace of fine sand that extends away from the slope. Larger concretions up to a foot long with an appearance of a lattice or Swiss cheese are less commonly found farther up the slope. Extended periods of rain expose new concretions and carry them down the slope. Simple digging tools, such as a garden trowel and small rake, are all that are needed; in fact, many concretions may be found just by picking them out of the sand with one's fingers. The concretions tend to scratch rather easily, so prized specimens are best wrapped before placing them in a bucket for transport. Collectors should wear rubber boots or sturdy shoes that they are willing to get muddy and wet, although sneakers might suffice during visits after extended dry periods.
Soter's gold panning site is located in Ludlow, Vermont and is a great spot for both beginning and seasoned panners. The site is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owners. Collectors should bring a gold pan, one or two 5-gallon buckets to transport material to be panned, a shovel, and a small bottle (or 35-mm film canister) to hold the gold. The most efficient way to search for gold is to shovel gravel from an old dry stream bed into a bucket and transport it about 100 yards to an active stream. Collectors should wear waders, rubber boots, or sturdy shoes that they are willing to get wet, and long pants as a barrier against ticks and mosquitoes.