Just in North Jersey alone, there are many recognized mineral collecting locations, some accessible, some not, and there are several localities which are world famous for their variety and quality of mineral species found. In fact, one area, the Franklin-Ogdensburg district in Sussex County boasts more minerals in one single location than any other spot on earth. Below is a map of documented mineral locations in North Jersey and surrounding nearby localities and what each location is best known for. Some of the sites are no longer accessible, some require a fee to be paid, some require permission from property owners, and a few are still open to the public. Always check into the status of a particular site and obtain necessary permission before attempting to collect there.
(Locality map was designed and published by Jeff Wilson of the NoJMS)
1. Franklin - Most minerals from one single location. Most Fluorescents 2. Ogdensburg - Large variety of Franklin & Fluorescent minerals 3. Paterson - Fine NJ TrapRock Minerals 4. Prospect Park - Fine NJ TrapRock minerals 5. Snake Hill - Fine NJ TrapRock minerals 6. Vernon - Graphite, Franklin Marble-associated minerals 7. Sparta - Flourite, Franklin Marble-associated minerals 8. Montague - High quality water-clear quartz crystals 9. Beemerville - Highly fluorescent Sodalite 10. Paulinskill Lake - Milky quartz crystals 11. Andover - Chalcopyrite, Hematite, Willemite, Garnet 12. Millington - Fine NJ TrapRock minerals 13. Montville - Deep green and yellow gem-quality serpentine 14. West Milford/Ringwood - Hematite, Deep purple puddingstone w/ white quartz nodules 15. Montclair - Fine NJ Traprock Minerals 16. Oxford - Albite, Feldspar, Epidote 17. Sayreville - Gem quality Amber 18. Watchung, Warren & Stirling - Carnelian, NJ TrapRock minerals 19. Hamburg - Quartz, Calcite, Anhydrite
Fossil Collecting in New Jersey
Fossil sites are not nearly as plentiful in New Jersey. In fact, in the northern 2/3 of the state, only a few sites produce fossils of any kind. Those sites include:
F1 - Trilobite Ridge(Montague)<devonian-age marine fossils; trilobites, brachiopods, gastropods, crinoids> F2 - Dino Track Site(Clifton)<fossilized dinosaur tracks - site now closed> F3 - Big Brook, Ramenessen Brook(Freehold)<fossilized sharks teeth and marine fossils> F4 - Poricy Park(Middletown)<ass't marine fossils and shark teeth> F9 - Stromatolite Exposure (Hamburg) <World-renowned exposure of Stromatolites and well-preserved Oolites(NO collecting)>
Nearby Collecting Localities
NY1 - Amity, NY (Numerous Franklin-Marble related minerals and fluorescents, Spinel) NY2 - Edenville, NY ( " " " ) NY3 - Anthony's Nose, NY (Iron related minerals, Calcites) F5 - Highland Mills, NY (Devonian Fossils) NY4 - Wurtsboro/Ellenville, NY (quartz crystals, galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite) F6 - Carbondale, Pa. (fern & calamite fossils) F7 - St.Clair, Pa. (white fern fossils in black shale, quartz crystals) F8 - Deer Lake, Pa. (devonian fossils) P1 - Easton, Pa. (eastonite) P2 - White Haven / McAdoo, Pa. - Quartz Crystals P3 - Cherry Valley Pa. - Quartz Crystals
There are other amazing geologic features in New Jersey of interest to geologists and collectors alike.(Not shown on map)
-The Delaware Water Gap (amazing rock formations and quartz crystal deposit <protected>) -The Route 23 Ripple Marks, West Milford, NJ (incredible wave formation in a rock cut on the northbound lanes of Rt.23) -Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ (Home of the Cape May Diamonds) -Cliffwood Beach, Keyport, NJ (Marcasite deposit) -North Arlington, NJ (old copper mines<closed and protected>) -Pahaquarry Copper Mines (historic copper mines <closed and protected>) -Iron Mines of Ringwood (several old iron mines dotted across Norvin Green State Forest, accessible by hiking trails) -Iron Mines of Morris County (numerous historic iron mines scattered throughout the county)
Note: A new book is to be released in January of 2013, showing additional localities throughout NJ and Pennsylvania. The Book, titled "Rockhounding Pennsylvania and New Jersey" by Robert Beard promises to be an interesting read with lots of great information that all rockhounds can utilize and enjoy.
Remember, When collecting, ALWAYS obtain the necessary permission from property owners, Be SAFE, and clean up after yourself.