Welcome to your Gold panning Adventure
Start treasure-hunting in Vermont!
There's a secret to be shared...
Thanks for stopping by! Gold panning is my most-favorite hobby. Growing up in Vermont, I had a small stream up behind the neighbor's house that I loved to play in. I am no kid anymore... but I still love to play in the stream, only now my toys are a shovel and a gold pan. I am very fortunate to live close to no less than 4 gold-bearing streams.
I will start off by sharing one of the biggest tips to finding gold that I know.
I am probably going to take a lot of heat for sharing this, as most prospectors like to keep this kind of knowledge a secret...
So here it is, the secret to finding gold: go where gold has been found. It may sound obvious, but it's true! If you are new to prospecting and wonder where to start, simply start where others are finding it. Scroll down to check out the list of gold-bearing brooks in Vermont!
Prospecting: Speaking the Language
- Prospecting. It is the search or hunt for a spot to pan.
- Panning. Basically using water in a pan to wash away the gravel to separate out the gold.
- Con’s. Short for concentrates. It is the material that is left when you have finally panned out most of the lighter material.
- Black sand. Next to gold it is some of the heaviest material in your pan. Sometimes referred to heavies also. Like the name says it is black in color, usually very fine and is attracted to a magnet.
- Classifier. Basically a sifter if you will. We a prospector says he is classifying material to ½” minus, he just means he is sifting out and discarding anything larger than ½”.
- Fly poop. No, it is not real fly poop. I am not sure I have ever seen it. It is just a term we use to describe very small pieces of gold. We also call it flour gold.
- Picker. Any piece of gold that you can you pick out of the pan using your fingers.
- Poker. A piece of gold that can’t quite get your fingers on to pick it out of the pan.
- Nugget. That is what we all want to find. Most gold we find is fairly flat. A nugget is dimensional. They don’t necessarily need to be big either.
- Mercury. Yuck! Back in the 1800’s they used to dump mercury into their sluice boxes. Gold dissolves in mercury so it is very easy to recover the gold, even the smallest gold from your material. It is still in some of the rivers and streams that were mined more heavily back in the day so you will hear us talk about mercury on occasion.
- Pay or pay layer. The river bed is always moving. The running water vibrates the ground and the heavier materials start to settle. As they are moved and settled they start to form layers. The layer that contains the gold is called the pay layer or pay dirt. This is a very simple definition of course.
- Specimen. You may not hear this one very often as we don’t find them much but refers to a piece of gold that is still attached to its host, usually quartz.
Where to find gold in Vermont
Here I present a list of reported and known gold-bearing brooks in Vermont. The State's geological survey lists most of them on their website, while others I have personally found gold in or know people that have.
North Branch of Ottauquechee River in Bridgewater
Rock River in Newfane and Dover (The VT state record 8.5 ounce nugget was found here)
Williams River in Ludlow
Minister Brook in Worchester
Little River in Stowe and Waterbury
Gold Brook in Stowe
Missisquoi River in Lowell and Troy
White River in Jamaica and Townsend
Mad River in Mooretown, Warren, and Waitsfield
Shady Hill Brook in Wrightsville
Gilton River in Eden
Lamoille River in Johnson
Broad Brook in Bridgewater and the Plymouth Five Corners
Baldwin and Lewis creeks in Bristol
Furnace Brook in Bennington
Warm Brook in Arlington
Mill Brook in Rupert
Dearfield River in Searsburg
West Branch of the Battenkill in Manchester
Locust Creek in Barnard
Dimick Brook in Bridgewater
Trout Brook in Chester
Black River in Ludlow
Buffalo Brook in Plymouth, Home of the Vermont gold rush
Hollow River in West Hartford
Piney Hollow Brook in Plymouth
Roaring Branch in Arlington
Lye Brook in Manchester
Mad Tom in East Dorset
Joiner Brook in Bolten
Rattling Brook near Belvidere
First Branch of the Lamoille River in Cambridge
Gihon and North Branch Rivers in Eden
Sterling Brook in Morristown
White River in Braintree
Jail Brook in Chelsea
Wild Branch River in Craftsbury
Cook Brook in Jay
Burgess River in Lowell
Flower Brook in Pawlet
Cold River in Shrewsbury, Cuttingsville, Rutland and Mendon
North Branch of the Cold River in Mendon
Tweed River in Pittsfield
Dutch Hill Brook in Danby
Endless Brook in Poultney
Downsville Brook in Duxbury
Saxtons River in Grafton
Whetstones Brook near Jamaica
Adams Brook in Marlboro
Poultney River in Poultney and Middletown Springs
Hampshire Hollow Brook in Poultney
Branch Brook in Ludlow
Patch Brook in Tyson
Reading Pond Brook in Plymouth
Middle Brook in the Plymouth Five Corners
Merrill Brook in Bridgewater
Cold Brook in Bridgewater Center
Lavery Brook in Poultney/Middletown Springs