Buried Treasure | Ontario Highlands Tourism

Buried Treasure

Hunting for gemmy fluorite in Wilberforce

Some people scour the globe in search of sharp crystal specimens, ancient fossils, or beautiful gemstones as natural objets d’art, for scientific curiosity, and even as investment rarities. Bancroft, Ontario (in the heart of the Highlands) has long been known as Canada’s Mineral Capital, but did you know that within a small area you can find easily accessible and rewarding destinations for minerals, gemstones, and fossils?

Ontario’s Highlands is full of hidden gems, but if you’re looking for a new way to get hands-on with nature, there’s no better way than to dig for your own buried treasure you can take home with you! Mineral collecting is a rewarding outdoor activity that will help you to stay active, it’s good for all ages, and if you’re not careful, you might just learn something.

Get Down to Earth:

The Beryl Pit - A great fee-to-collect site where you can find bright green amazonite, real aquamarine, and plenty of other beautiful gems! Be sure to ask about visiting the Rose Quartz Pit too.
The Highlands East Claims - Highlands East is the first municipality in Ontario to ever hold mineral claims. They welcome rockhounds to find deep purple fluorite gems, rare mineral species, and lustrous red apatite.
The Eganville Geology & Fossil Trail - Go for a stroll to check out an abandoned limestone quarry come wildlife habitat, learn about how the Highlands was once under a warm tropical sea, and pick up an Ordovician fossil or two along the way! 
If you’re not even sure what to look for yet, then the Bancroft Mineral Museum is the place to start. With over 400 of the best local mineral specimens on display, it will definitely get you inspired! And while you’re there, join a guided collecting trip for help finding your own treasures, and pick up a copy of the brand new Bancroft & District Mineral Collecting Guidebook for more great places to dig.


Cut and rough apatite from Wilberforce

Just like any other outdoor activity though, the biggest reward often awaits the intrepid seeker just off the beaten path. For help in forging your own way in Ontario’s Highlands unexplored territory, check out the excellent resources we’ve collected on our Discover page.

And if you’re really keen, why not check to see if there’s a Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies club in your area for exclusive access to more exciting destinations.

Come to know the story of our Earth

Immerse yourself in the historic waters of the Ottawa Valley.
Learn geology’s role in the Highlands’ industrial revolution.
Experience the Mica Festival and live geoheritage in Lanark.
Come to know Ontario’s Highlands’ undiscovered country.

For more information about Buried Treasure, ask our members:

Location: 2284 Loop Rd, Wilberforce

An authentic General Store selling "Everything from Soup to Nuts" since 1921. Groceries, Hardware, Giftware, Post Office, Ice Cream Palour, Garden Centre. Home of the Cache Stash, an official supplier of Groundspeak Geocaching Supplies.

(705) 448-2211
Location: 3469 Quadeville Road, Quadeville

A great self-guided nature experience collecting your own gems & minerals. Sign up & pay your fee at Kauffeldts General Store in Quadeville. A second opportunity to see & collect rose quartz is available, by prior arrangement only, by phone or email.

(613) 756-1361
Location: 8 Hastings Heritage Way, Bancroft

Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce mandate is to promote and develop Bancroft & District as a great place to live, work and visit. The Chamber exists to enrich the quality of the economic and civic well being.

(613) 332-1513
Location: 8 Hastings Heritage Way, Bancroft

The Bancroft Mineral Museum is owned and operated by the Bancroft Gem and Mineral Club. It features exceptional examples of minerals from within a 100km radius of Bancroft. Also featuring educational resources for schools and universities.

(613) 332-1513
Location: 27965 Hwy 28 South , Paudash

Paudash’s Original Country Diner We're dishin’ up real food for real people! Try our yummy breakfasts, homemade soup, burger of the week, popular dinner features & see why this is where the locals eat. Open Wed-Sun, March-Dec. Find us on facebook.

(613) 339-2456
Location: 5 McCann crescent, Eldorado

This wonderful 100 acre healing property is home to the Richardson Gold Mine, the Eldorado Copper Mine, the Eldorado Gold and Silver Reduction Company and the Phoenix Gold Mining Company.

(780) 266-7850
Location: 4 Stewart Street, Perth

We offer educational rock-hounding tours of abandoned mines in Lanark County. Our tours depart from Perth and last for as long as our guests wish to remain at the mine site(s). Mineral collecting is encouraged.

(613) 267-8907
Location: 9 Matthew St, Marmora

Obtain information here for various mining heritage points-of-interest such as Marmoraton Mine, Deloro Mine, Miner's Loop. Also, small display of local rocks and minerals.

(613) 472-1515
Location: 1344 Barry Line, Haliburton

Yours Outdoors offers unique experiences in art, culture, and nature in the Haliburton Highlands. Our single and multiday packages are original, engaging, enlightening, and will connect you with communities and the great outdoors

(705) 754-3436

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