FAQs

  • Are mining fees included with camping? No.
  • What is the weather like? Our weather usually comes from the west — St. Johnsville’s weather is actually very different from ours, so we use Dolgeville (zip code 13329).
  • Because we are 1000 feet above sea level, it can be warm during the day and chilly at night, so be prepared.
  • What about shopping? The campground store carries mainly gifts and minerals, but also some food basics, snacks, t-shirts, etc. There are country stores and small markets nearby. But we are out in the boonies–the nearest supermarket is 15 miles away, and the nearest mall is about 30 minutes. Again, be prepared.
  • What about campfires? Each site has a fire ring, where you can have a campfire. Be aware that because of alien insect pests, New York and other states have banned the transport of raw wood, so don’t plan on bringing your own. We sell firewood, or you can buy it locally (within 10 miles).
  • What are “Herkimer Diamonds”? “Herkimer Diamonds” are a special type of quartz crystal (SiO2) that can be found only in a small region of upstate New York. They are not the “diamonds are forever” ones–those are carbon crystals, totally different mineral. Herkies are actually more rare than carbon crystals and are known for being water-clear and doubly-terminated (pointed at each end), which are unusual qualities for quartz.
  • How does the mining work? The mines are open-pit, nothing underground. You can try breaking the rock to open up a vug, or you can try digging in the dirt and tailings for loose crystals, or you can try walking around looking for ground scores. The technique used is up to you. If you plan to break rocks, be aware that the rock is some of the hardest on earth.  Big tools are useful.
  • How do you clean the crystals? We start by soaking them for a night or two in something that will remove rust. We use “Iron Out”, which we sell in the campground store. Then we scrub the crystals with a standard de-greaser and an old toothbrush.
  • What hours are you open? The season runs from mid-April through Columbus Day (opening day depends on the weather), and the mines and office are open daily from 9 am to 7 pm.  Early or late in the season, office hours may be shortened (if we’re not busy). If you want to be in the mines by 8 am, you may buy armbands in advance. Rental tools are always due back in the office by 7 pm unless pre-rented for the next day.
  • Do you have a pool?  No, we do not have a pool. There is a lovely lake in the Adirondack State Park, about 12 miles away.
  • Free showers

 

 

A Gem of a Place