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Kentucky Agate Hunting – April 2010

In April during spring break, friends Gerald and Jill Phillips and I drove down to Irvine, Kentucky to go agate hunting. We teamed up with Scott and Melinda Hardy to learn the tricks of the hunt. I must admit it is totally different than looking for Lake Superior agates.

First of all, you need a pair of fishing waders. Although they call them creeks, in my opinion they are rivers. Not only was the current swift, but we had to portage around deep holes on several occasions. As I also explain in the Mineral of the Month update this month, you search by using sound. When you find round rocks in the river, you hit them with a rock hammer or other metal object. The silica rocks have a certain “ping” sound, as compared to other river rocks.

I must admit that the river was beautiful. It had a brilliant aqua blue green color. We hunted for six hours walking upstream in the river where ever we could and down a four wheel trail on the way back to our car. It was certainly a good time.

Here is a shot of the river and a couple of shots of Melinda, Gerald, and Jill.

Kentucky Agate Creek
Kentucky Agate Hunters
Kentucky Agate Hunters in Creek

I have not yet cut any of the possible agates I found. However, I did buy quite a few from Scott Hardy. I have a great assortment for sale at the museum for prices that are far less than what you see on the internet. Here is one of the agates I purchased from Scott.

Kentucky Agate

In addition to agates, there are a lot of other silicified rocks you can find in the river.

Botryoidal Formation
Botryodial Formation
Limb Cast
Limb Cast
Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood
Quartz Ball
Quartz Ball
Silicified Fossil (coral)
Silicified Fossil (coral)


Rockhounding Trip Archives

February 2007 (Grand Canyon, Arizona)

June 2007 (Northern Minnesota)

July 2007 (Moose Lake, Minnesota)

April 2008 (Mackinac Island, Michigan)

May 2008 (Minnesota)

Summer 2008 (Menasha, Wisconsin)

September 2008 (Save Rockhounding!)

January 2009 (Michigan Karst Cave)

February 2009 (Tucson, Arizona)

Summer 2009 (Moose Lake, Minnesota)

April 2010 (Irvine, Kentucky)

2011 (Grand Canyon)

2014 (Arizona)

2015 (Hawaii)


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Grand Marais, Michigan 49839


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