Ruggles Mine is a tourist attraction in Grafton, New Hampshire. It’s a winding drive on back roads in the middle of nowhere to get to the top of Isinglass Mountain where the mine entrance is located. On a clear day, it’s a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.
After a fairly steep walk down into the mine, the area opens up and you’ll see the many caves and rocks to explore.
It’s no surprise that you will find tons of mica! And it is a fun place for kids to hammer rocks (bring safety goggles) and search for treasure. There is an interesting history lesson about the man who discovered the mine as well.
Sam Ruggles discovered mica on his land in 1803 and mined it in secret and even transported it out to the seacoast under the cover of darkness in the middle of the night. Mica was worth a lot of money back then because it was used for all the things we use glass for today. Sam didn’t want others to lay claim to any of the land he was interested in mining since he wasn’t sure how large the mica deposit was.
If you live in the area, Ruggles Mine is a fun trip for the family. Chipping away at the rocks on the ground is allowed, but not the walls. There is Mica everywhere and so are many other rocks and minerals. In fact, minerals worth money are occasionally found.
**And here is a little secret…when I accompanied my son’s 4th grade class on a field trip last year, the mine employees had set various pretty stones around the area, mostly on the sides of the walls, for the kids to find. So keep your eyes open!
Click here for directions and a link to the site.