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 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays, Mondays, and most major holidays

Reed Gold Mine is Closed October 19th, 2023.

*Please note the Underground Mine closes at 4:30 pm*

9621 Reed Mine Rd.
Midland, NC 28107


There is no general admission to the site.  The underground mine is open for free self-guided tours from 9:15 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday.

Guided tours are only available pending staff availability. Guided tours are $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children 3-12 and seniors. Tickets must be purchased on-site at the orientation desk, they are not available for advanced purchase. Guided tours last approximately 30-40 minutes. 

Scheduled Groups

School and other group reservations can be made for those with 20 or more participants. Reservations must be made 2 to 3 weeks in advance (no guarantee of specific date), by either using the contact link below or by calling the site during regular business hours. 

Groups can sign up for the following activities: Visitor Center and Gift Shop, Underground Guided Tour, Gold Panning, Stamp Mill Demonstration and a Geology Talk. There is no charge for the visitor center and gift shop, and North Carolina public schools may tour the underground mine for free. The Mine Exploration Tour (an expanded guided tour), stamp mill demonstration and geology talk are all $0.93 per person (plus tax). Gold panning is $2.00 per person (plus tax). 

Group Reservations

Gold Panning

Gold Panning is available Tuesday through Saturday from April through October, weather permitting, with a charge of $3.00 per pan (plus tax) for individuals ages 8 and older. Children younger than the age of 8 can not have their own pan but can assist an adult in their own group. Instructors are available to assist those with limited or no experience in gold panning. Gold panning at our site is done in wooden troughs that are approximately waist high for an average adult.

There are 7 scheduled panning sessions throughout the day, each lasting 45 minutes. The session times are 9:15 am, 10:15 am, 11:15 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Tickets are only available at the gift shop counter, first come, first served. Reservations cannot be accepted in advance, and session times will be sold and filled in order throughout the day. 

*Please note panning will not be available during periods of moderate to heavy rain or if thunder and lightning are detected. If thunder is detected, panning will close for 30 minutes and then be reassessed for opening. Panning may remain open during periods of light rain, pending staff approval. Panning will close whenever the heat index reaches 103 degrees for the safety of staff and visitors*


Historic Structures

The restored underground tunnels date to the 1830s. The reconstructed stamp mill represents machinery of the 1890s. 

Visitor Center

The visitor center features exhibits on gold, the geology of gold, mining technology, and equipment. A 9-minute orientation film describes North Carolina’s gold mining industry. A library features materials on gold mining and Reed family genealogy.

Trails, Monuments, Outdoor Exhibits

Reed has several trails (approximately 3 miles total) which cross lode and placer mining areas and archaeological sites.  These trails take visitors to Upper Hill where the chimney and restored foundations of the 1854 mill house can be seen as well as Lower Hill, with a long boardwalk view of Little Meadow Creek. Trail maps are available in the visitor center. 

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. ADA accessible trails are available for visitors to visit the stamp mill and Lower Hill area. 

Picnic Facilities

A shaded picnic area is located beside the main parking lot for the use of visitors and scheduled groups. 

Gift Shop

A small gift shop features souvenirs related to gold, mining, and jewelry. Drink 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 through October (weather permitting) for a small fee. Check our social media platforms for program and event information.