Through the Mining District


A popular stop for travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Minerals Museum, located at Milepost 331 in Little Switzerland. Here you can pick up regional information and learn interesting facts about the nearby Spruce Pine Mining District. Chances are the sink you brushed your teeth over this morning and the toilet you, well, you know, has Spruce Pine feldspar in it. The processing chip in your computer in fact, the chip in every computer in the world uses high-grade quartz mined from this district. There is a lot to learn about the region, but most tourists get back on the parkway and never explore the area.

Start out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Exit at Milepost 334 in Little Switzerland, then turn right onto Chestnut Grove Church Road. After 1 mile, turn left onto McKinney Mine Road. Drive 2 miles and turn right onto Crabtree Road. Go 5 miles, then turn left onto U.S. 19E. At 3 miles, turn right onto NC 80 north. Follow it 10 miles and turn left onto NC 226A/80 north. At 2 miles, turn right onto NC 226. Follow it 3 miles to Bakersville, then turn left onto NC 261 north. Drive 13 miles to Carvers Gap. The road on the left leads to the rhododendron gardens. (40 miles)

The historic Bon Ami Mine is part of the tour of the North Carolina Mining Museum at

Emerald Village.

We’re going to do some exploring. Departing the parkway a few miles south of the Minerals Museum, we pass through the heart of the Spruce Pine Mining District. The North Carolina Mining Museum at Emerald Village gives you the opportunity to experience a real mine. The museum displays an impressive collection of mining artifacts and interpretive exhibits that portray the early mining industry of the region.

Through the Mining District Photo Gallery

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