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Clay County Part of State's Rich History

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In the Pyriton area are many gold mine sites in the hills west of SR 9 up against Talladega Mountain in the Talladega National Forest.

District Ranger Kimberly Bittle says, “recreational gold panning along with ‘rockhounding’ is permitted on the national forests in Alabama. . . Taking a handful of rock, mineral or petrified wood specimens from the surface of National Forest lands is permissible,” (6) and no fee is required but anyone planning to pan should contact the local district office and obtain a free permit. The district office in Heflin issues about 50 permits per year, however to pan in the Clay/Talladega portion of the TNF you should visit the Talladega District Office in Talladega.

The Harold Gold Mine was located east of Bethlehem Church on CR 18. This area can be reached by taking SR 148 west out of Millerville until it connects with CR 18.
Gold was also found in the Cragford district east of Lineville.

Prospectors may want to check the shoal sands of the Tallapoosa River and the gravel bars of Gold Mines Creek south of Erin. Gold has also been panned south of Lineville in area streams emptying into Crooked Creek.

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