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Hello everyone. I am realtively new to rock collecting, and I have a question I thought you all may be able to help me with. I would like to get out this weekend and find some nice rocks and minerals around the Nashville, Tennessee area. Does anybody of know of any good sites in this area?
I have heard that their is celestite and selenite in and around middle Tennessee.
Jack Cole
Matt try this site it covers the country on rock shops & rock clubs Search site window For, rock shops / rock clubs.

Mike Streeter
Hi Matt,

While I don't know that much about specific Nashville collecting locations, I can offer some advise about rockhounding. First, I would advise you to join a local rockhounding club, such as the Middle Tennessee Rockhounds (Nashville). Check out their website at This club is a member of the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies and therefore is able to participate in the Dixie Mineral Club field trips ( ). I urge you to purchase field trip guides for wherever you want to collect, if available. Some field guides offer will provide specific collecting information, including the rocks and minerals to be found and the tools necessary to recover them. Lastly, realize that learning to rockhound, like most things, is a process that takes time to master, but you may start right out on your first day by finding something that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Good luck and feel free to stop by as often as you want for advise or just to chat!

That is a really great link Jack. Thanks for showing it to me.

I appreciate your thoughtful advice Mike. I did join the Middle Tennessee Gemers about 4 months ago, and they are definitely a wonderful and helpful group. Their main focus is on lapidary work,though. I think I will take your advice and join the Middle Tennessee Rockhounds since I want to mainly focus on cabinet type specimens.

Any suggestions on good guide books for my area?

I appreciate the help. This is such a friendly and informative site!

Hi Neighbor and welcome to the Board!

"Any suggestions on good guide books for my area?"

One source that is often overlooked by new rockhounds is their state geological survey. Most of the time this is the origin for the info on dig sites and locations used by clubs and old rockhounds alike. You can also go to the USGS site and find another ton of info about different states!

This link will take you to the page that list publications and maps for the state of Tennessee...
Click Here

This link will take you to the USGS...
Click Here

You being in Nashville, you can even visit the states survey...

Ron Zurawski, Director
401 Church Street
13th Floor, L&C Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-0445
(615) 532-1500

Best at ya!
Cleveland, TN
I live northwest of Nashville,and,lived in Nashville many years ago.
You can collect litterally tons of marine fossils from the Ordivician thru the Missisipian.
You can also collect calcite,gypsum(selenite),dolomite,flourite,celestite,aragonite,pyrite,and,chalcopyrite.

In the right areas you can also find geodes,jasper,and,agate.

With all the development going on,collecting sites are everywhere.

Not to shabby for just sedimentary rock.
Hey Wayne! You sure are in a pretty part of our State. Lots of caves and waterfalls.

I discovered the 13th floor of the L&C building when I was looking for fossil publications. For some reason though I didn't make the connection to check them out for rocks and minerals. That place is amazing. Great prices and great information. I will definitely have to make a trek out there again on my lunch break.

Ckb69 it sounds like you have done quite a bit of "rocking" here in middle Tennessee. Seeing your mineral list gives me hope for my futre rock endeavors around here.

Have you had much luck with triolbites in middle Tennessee. I have yet to find a complete one. Lots of partials, but never a full one.

Happy New Year!

We have more caves in east Tennessee than any other area in the Nation...
and the Search & Rescue really love it too!! LOL!!
Mike Streeter

I am not familiar with a modern guidebook that specifically covers Tennessee. Again, I recommend joining a club for ideas.

By the way, I wrote a guidebook for western North Carolina.

Dynamite Dex
As far as Middle TN Nashville area goes..... I haven't explored that much but I WILL say that believe it not I have had some GREAT mollusk (Clam) and bryzoan (spelling may be a little off sry) fossils, as well as a few crystals which i need to put on my thinking cap and identify.

These fossils can be found in the road cuts along side INTERSTATE 40 between cookeville and Nashville.... if you are going to explore these cuts PLEASE make sure you are WELL OFF THE INTERSTATE (I usually pull my car all the way off the pavement).

I plan on exploring several spots along I-24 when i can find the time this spring(2007). Any Knoxville area rockers want to carpool for this type of road cut activity please drop me an email.

Mike, I looked up your book on I was very impressed with the nice comments in the reviews.

Dex, you are right about Middle Tennessee. Lots of great marine fossils. Any luck with trilobites in East Tennessee?
Great to see that there are rock collecting clubs in the Nashville area, i am moving down to the southwest side of Nashville the week of October 12. I am going to have to check these out
sue shrader
Lots of fossils all over Clarksville north of Nashville.
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