Plan Your Visit

close up of gold in a gold pan

Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. From this discovery, gold mining spread gradually to nearby counties and eventually into other southern states. During its peak years gold mining was second only to farming in the number of North Carolinians it employed. The estimated value of gold recovered reached over one million dollars a year. North Carolina led the nation in gold production until 1848, when it was eclipsed by the great rush to California.

Hours and Location

Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday, and most major holidays

9621 Reed Mine Rd.
Midland, N.C. 28107


No fee is charged for admission or tours of the mine. Gold Panning is available April 1 through October 31, weather permitting, with a charge of $3.00 per pan for individuals and $2.00 per pan for groups of 10 or more that make reservations a month in advance. Panning is not available November 1 through March 31.

Guided Tours

Tours of the underground tunnels are offered each hour, and stamp mill tours are available several times each day. Instructors are available to assist those with limited or no experience in gold panning.

Group Reservations


Historic Structures
The restored underground tunnels date to the 1830s. The reconstructed stamp mill represents machinery of the 1890s. It is operational and demonstrated daily from April through October.
Visitor Center
The visitor center features exhibits on gold, the geology of gold, mining technology, and equipment. An orientation film describes North Carolina’s gold mining industry. A library features materials on gold mining and Reed family genealogy.
Trails, Monuments, Outdoor Exhibits
Several trails cross lode and placer mining areas and archaeological sites. The Lower Hill Trail features "Talking Rocks" that describe the mining activities at Reed Gold Mine and various rocks found in the southeastern United States. Numerous locations feature historic mining machinery, and an area on Upper Hill has the chimney and restored foundations of the 1854 mill house.
Handicapped Accessibility
The visitor center, panning area, and restrooms are accessible. The underground tour is on a level gravel surface with the exception of a series of steps at the end. Visitors with mobility impairment may elect to return from the tour using the level entrance. The stamp mill trail will be accessible by 1999.
Picnic Facilities
Over twenty picnic tables are available in two locations.
Gift Shop
A small gift shop features souvenirs related to gold, mining, and jewelry. Vending machines are located at the visitor center.

Programs, Group Activities

Special events are held throughout the year. Panning for gold is offered from April 1 through October 31 (weather permitting) for a small fee.