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.
But if you’re looking to feed your curiosity and discover the secrets hidden in our Earth, there’s one place that needs to be on your travel bucket list: Bancroft, Ontario. Long known as Canada’s Mineral Capital, it is the perfect spot to get a hands-on lesson in our country’s spectacular geology – within just a small area, you can find easily accessible and rewarding destinations for minerals, gemstones, and fossils.
Two Ways to Uncover Gems in Bancroft
1. Visit the Bancroft Mineral Museum
New to geology? If you’re not sure what to look for, 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! The museum has been the jewel in the crown of Canada’s Mineral Capital since 1985 – a place to find helpful information and meet like-minded folk, and get familiar with the many types of minerals and fossils you will find when you venture out for a rockhounding trip.
2. Dig for Treasure
There’s no better way to get an intimate understanding of geology than to dig for your own buried treasure that you can take home with you. Mineral collecting is a rewarding outdoor activity that’s perfect for everyone from the solo traveller, to the Creative Cruiser couple, to families looking to make memories in the outdoors.
The Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce runs regular tours throughout the summer months to a number of popular destinations. Check with them for times and locations, or if you’re ready to break out “on your own”, pick up a copy of their collecting guidebook for more great places to dig.
For those who want to venture outside of Bancroft, read about other ways to uncover the secrets of our Earth in Ontario’s Highlands, or head out on a guided trip with Yours Outdoors.