The North Carolina Visitor Center




Cotton Patch Goldmine

The Cotton Patch Goldmine
By Jeff Pickett



The Cotton Patch Gold Mine and Camp Ground is exactly that! An authentic 1800’s gold mine that is still in operation today.  With full RV hook up’s, cabins and tent sites available. Every one will enjoy recreational mining activities such as panning and sluicing for gold.

Historically, the property was known as the Crowell mine and was part of a 400 acre commercial gold mining property that operated intermittently from 1860 through out most of the early 1900’s until being sold off into smaller parcels of land. One of which is known as The Cotton Patch Gold Mine. Along with sporadic commercial operations, in 1961 the owners opened an area to the public to pan and to find gold for themselves from the tailings of the mine shafts. 

Over the past 50 years the property has changed hands several times, always providing mining opportunities to the community, but slowly slipping into a state of disrepair.   In 2007 Jeff and Tina Pickett purchased the property and began immediately to repair and upgrade the facilities restoring the property to its original allure, Gold mining!    Guests will find the facility clean, safe and family friendly.

Guests who wish to camp may choose one of many camp sites near the beautiful creek or ponds in the newly constructed camping area, or for RV’s any of the  14 full hook up sites.  Three cabins with electricity are available, as well as an 1800’s era chinked log cabin. A fully equipped General Store will provide all the tools necessary to get you started.

Most, in the gold mining community, are familiar with the industry standard of buying placer material by the cubic yard and processing it at your site. The Cotton Patch Gold Mine has the placer field on site and will provide you with any amount of material in a very short time.  You may also purchase materials to take home and process.

Many goldmines have trommels, rock crushers, shaker tables and other processing equipment, but very few of them have them on site and in sight, as is the case at Cotton Patch.  It is mesmerizing to watch the equipment process the material.  As you might imagine, many of the visitors, and regulars, are curious as to how this equipment works, so the Mine Tours are always interesting and provide a first hand look at actual mining operations. 

One of the most important restorations of the Cotton Patch was the hard rock potential that has not been tapped in several decades, at least not in the recreational prospecting market.  That is about to change. 

When Cotton Patch first opened, the only material available to the public was crushed vein stock, the exact same materials being used by the owner’s commercial operation. As many as two hundred people visited on the week ends trying their hand at gold mining.  Beginning this year, the same crushed ore that was used back in the 1960’s will again be the material used for panning, and may be purchased by the day, bucket, or load. This material produced a lot of gold, and a lot of very happy customers. 

New to Cotton Patch, and perhaps to the industry, is the next level in recreational prospecting. The next level is for the mining enthusiast, beginning in the 2009 season, guests may, with proper training            use some of the commercial equipment on site to evaluate and process ore purchased at Cotton Patch or found elsewhere.  A second, fee based program, called the Hard Rock Miner’s Club, includes training in Mine Health and Safety Certification, proper training for and access to, crushers, screens and concentrating tables. Additional activities planned include weekend seminars on sampling, safe recovery methods, assaying, and other topics requested by the members.  We are very excited to offer this to our customers.

We welcome you to join us at Cotton Patch Goldmine and Campground for some great prospecting and a good time.  You can keep up with what’s going on at the Patch on the web at

For additional information, please contact us at 704-463-5797.

See you at the “Patch”.