When you arrive at Reed Gold Mine, a short 45-minute drive from uptown, you'll park in a lot adjacent to the visitor center and museum. Take some time to meander through the museum's impressive collection of mining artifacts and absorb a trove of information about the history of gold, mining and the Reed Gold Mine.
Stop at the welcome desk on the way in to pick up a self-guided tour map and purchase panning tickets. Admission to the grounds is free. Gold panning costs $3 per pan. If you have small kids, consider sharing a pan. The process is a bit labor-intensive and requires big-kid or grown-up strength and dexterity. Hang on to your ticket; you'll pan at the end of your tour. (NOTE: Gold panning is accessible April 1 through October 31.)
When you've finished exploring the grounds, stop at the panning area to try your hand at prospecting. You may also consider a picnic at the tables in that area. Bathrooms are available at the visitor's center.
I like Reed Gold Mine because it's educational, exciting and a great place to do some outdoor exploring. A perfect family outing on a pretty day.
Bonus tip: Enjoy a stop at The Sundae Shop in Midland for a milkshake on the way home.
How to get there:
Reed Gold Mine is located at 9621 Reed Mine Rd, Midland, NC 28107.
Don't forget to pack:
- Comfortable walking shoes: You'll want to explore the grounds.
- Snacks and water: Stay hydrated and keep your energy up. There's a lot of fun things to do if you don't run out of steam.
- Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: A lot of the grounds are shaded, but there are open areas as well.
- Cash: Pack $3/pan if you want to pan for gold.