Cane Creek Maps and Hotel Information

This is from the Field Trip Chair Brian Burgess. I have Google maps for each of the field trips that are scheduled. Also I have saved a hotels map for those that do not want to get up at the crack of dawn and travel several hours to the dig site. If you would like me to send you the files, please send me an email. My email address can be found on the HGMS website under “About Us” and then “Contacts”. Google usually provides 2 to 3 routes to a destination, so I will send all routes to you. The routes all begin at the Senior Center. If you would like the hotel information, let me know and I will send it also. Monitor the events that you are interested in for updates and needed information.

HGMS-Sponsored Dixie Mineral Council (DMC) Dig at Hogg Mine

Please join us for an HGMS-sponsored DMC dig at the Hogg Mine in LaGrange, Georgia on Saturday, July 28th, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Chris Painter of the Hogg Mine will be our host.  We’ll meet at McDonald’s at 2408 Whitesville St., LaGrange. You could find Aquamarine, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Tourmaline, Beryl, Amethyst and more!  For information on the Hogg Mine, see

Description and Collecting:  The Hogg Mine started out as the Oxford Mine in 1942 to mine beryl to produce beryllium.  Commercial operations shut down in 1960. The site has been opened off and on since then for specimen mining and is currently managed by Chris Painter.  The site is a surface mine pit approximately 650 feet long with an east – west orientation.  The parking area is at the east end of the pit.  As you enter the pit from the parking area there is a trench approximately 150 feet long and to your right.  Here has been found large green Aquamarine beryl and pockets of green Aquamarine beryl.  As you enter the main pit area, there is a tailing or spoil pile to your left that came out of the pit in front of you.  There has been several large nice gemmy Aquamarine beryl specimens come from this area.  The main pit in front of you has a plethora of treasures, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, banded Quartz, Beryl in matrix with the quartz, Tourmaline in matrix with the quartz, etc.  The last area of note is at the western end at the back of the pit.  There has been a new smaller pit dug in the last year and some very nice Blue Aquamarine Beryl has been found.  The new pit was dug because an old drilling report had indicated that Amethyst was found.   There are pieces of Amethyst coming from the new pit.

Tools:  Bring all the tools you have:  pick, shovel, screen, rock hammer, hand sledge, rock chisel, bucket, hand cart, etc.  The Hogg does sale some tools in limited quantities.  It would be a good idea to bring an extra change of clothes. The pit can be muddy and wet.
Food and Water:   You are welcome to bring your own food., but the mine does sell hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks.  The lunch plate is $8.00.  You must bring your own water.
Agreement and Release Form:  Click on the following link and print the Agreement and Release form for digging at the Hogg Mine.  Please fill in the information requested.  Fill in the lines “On This Date(s)”, “Name(s)”, and “Signature”.  Make sure all the names of the people in your family who will be digging are included on the “Name(s)” line.  Remember to bring your completed form to McDonald’s.  Agreement_and_Release_HOGG
Where We Will Meet:  Meet at McDonald’s at 2408 Whitesville St, LaGrange, GA 30240.  This is at Exit 13 on interstate 85 in LaGrange.
Directions and Drive Time:  The best way to determine driving directions and time is to enter the McDonald’s address above into the directions destination block in Google Maps and enter your home address in the starting point block.  GPS 32deg 59’ 29”, 85deg 01’ 50” / 32.9914014deg,-85.029692deg.  Remember that LaGrange is in the Eastern Time Zone, so allow that extra hour.  The drive from Huntsville to LaGrange is 180 miles, three and a half hours, so you may want to go the night before and find a motel.
When We Will Meet:  Please be at the McDonald’s at least between 8 and 8:30 am (you can arrive earlier if you wish).   I will collect your completed Agreement and Release forms and give them to the Hogg Mine representatives.  At 8:15 am, the first caravan will go to the mine.  The first to arrive at McDonald’s and sign in will be in the first caravan.  The mine is approximately 3 miles from McDonald’s.  If you do arrive late and no one from the mine is at McDonald’s, text or call the number I provide below.
Fee:  17 years old and up are $35 per person ($10 per person if we have more than 10 adults), 16 years old and younger dig for free.  At the mine, we will count the adults to see how many we have above 10 – that will determine what it will cost per person to dig.  For example, if we have 10 adults, it would cost $35 per adult to dig.  If we have 14 adults, that would be $490 ($140 above $350) and it would cost $10 per adult to dig.  If we have 10 or less, we dig for free.  My count right now is 11 and maybe 2 more.  Once I get a total and collect the extra, I will pay Chris.
Contact Information:  Brian Burgess,   Cell#: (256) 479-2993,   Email:

Pebble Pups Cane Creek Canyon Field Trip May 23, 2015

178388_498986583450360_1310217605_o[1]Hey Pups ready for another field trip?  Well we have a great one for you. We will be going to Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve on May 23rd, 2015 and our host will be Dr. Jim Lacefield.




Here is the information from Dr. Lacefield:

1. We can begin with a quick look at our rock garden in front of our house. I’ll show you examples of each of the major rock “families” and how they form and some of the main types of fossils we have here in the Tennessee Valley. As part of this introduction I’ll show you the examples of the different types of colorful Cretaceous pebbles they will be seeing on the gravel bars in Cane Creek, including types of agates, jaspers, and petrified wood.

2. We will take a “rock hike” down to Cane Creek to see the ancient barrier island Hartselle Sandstone layers that form the canyon, waterfall ledges, and rock shelters and then we will spend some time collecting the various Cretaceous quartz varieties down on the creek gravel bars. This hike will be done leisurely, but it will involve about 350 feet of elevation change (it’s a real hike; and parents need to know about this in advance in order to help get the kids psyched up for it). Each participant will need a collecting bag or small back pack, drinking water, and snacks. The kids will be allowed to keep all agates, etc., that they find in the creek. These stones will be “pre-tumbled” by the creek and require only minimal polishing to be quite beautiful.

3. When we get back to the house we will go on a “fossil hunt,” carefully splitting open some fossil plant-rich shale I have brought back from a coal mine near Jasper for the kids to open and learn about the techniques of searching for fossils in this type rock material. All fossils from this activity may be kept.

The total time for these activities will be about 4-5 hours, but of course, those who need to leave early can do so. I just want to say that this is a Pebble Pup tour, but any and all members of HGMS are more than welcome to join the field trip for a wonderful day in nature (with a little rock hunting on the side). Any one joining us on the field trip needs to remember that this is a Preserve and we cannot remove anything except what Dr. Lacefield allows us to remove. So ask before you pick a flower, put a rock in your bag or bucket, or take a bug home for a pet. The word Preserve means to leave things as they are, for the next tour to enjoy as you have. If you want to get a first peek, go to “Friends of Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve” Facebook page for more information and many photographs about the preserve.

Okay now we need some Pup rules: 1. Pups you have to have a parent tag along on the tour. Who knows they might enjoy it and learn something. 2. On the tour you will need to stay with the group, as there will be hazardous areas in the Preserve you can get hurt. If you cannot stay with the group we maybe ask to escort you back to Dr. Lacefield’s house. So stay with the group and enjoy the tour. 3. We will be on the creek and I know there will be the Pup/s that want to see how deep the water is. Please bring an extra set of clothes if the water is to deep. Be careful near the water. Now would be a good time to tell you how to get there. I have a pdf document with direction that I will have to figure out how to post. We will meet at 8 am at Ingalls Harbor parking lot (I have it marked on the map and directions) across the bridge in Decatur. I would like to leave no later than 8:15 am. That will put us at the Preserve around 9 am. That would put us leaving between 1 and 2 pm. If you would like a copy of the directions go to the webpage and get my e-mail address and send me a request. If there is more information forthcoming I will post it as I get it. One last thing, for you to go on the field trip you have to be a Pup and your parents must be a member. This way the club’s insurance will cover you.

Contact Brian Burgess,  HGMS President and Pebble Pups Chairman via email for any further questions.



Cane Creek Canyon 1