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Thread: Trip to Twin River Campground & Wild AM River (New Hampshire)

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  1. #1
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    White's MXT White's Prism II
    270
    517 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting

    Trip to Twin River Campground & Wild AM River (New Hampshire)

    Hello Treasurenet! This past weekend my son Andrew and I took our first trip up to New Hampshire, to prospect on the Wild Ammonoosuc River near Bath, NH. We stayed at the Twin River Campground, which tailors to gold prospectors.
    Coincidentally we were there the same weekend that a group called the North East Prospectors had their annual kickoff to the season, so the campground was hopping with lots of prospectors. (Thank you Roy for the hospitality!)

    We drove up on Friday night and got in after dark. Early Saturday morning we talked to a few of the other prospectors and got some advice. We learned that there were three main locations to prospect:
    1. adjacent to the Campground, near the Riverside campsites. This location offers very easy access to the river and a pretty large "bar" on the inside of a curve in the river. This area is for panning and sluicing (no motors).
    2. upstream from the campground about a quarter mile, the campground owns additional land - about one mile of riverfront! This area's bank is a little steeper (10-15' drop) but there's parking along the road at various pullouts. This is the area where dredgers and those using high bankers must go (Campground rules).
    3. upstream further about 5-10 minutes is the White Mountain National Forest. The National Forest only allows panning and sluicing. The area where we pulled off had a significant bar (about 6 feet thick/deep).

    Andrew and I spent our time testing various types of prospecting and talking to others who were using these various methods. My GPAA chapter is taking a group trip up to the same location in June, so I wanted to pass on advice to my club members. Therefore, we weren't focused on just moving lots of material; instead we wanted to try different things and learn about what works and what doesn't up there. Here are my conclusions:

    For panning and sluicing: We found that doing this just off the Campground near the Riverside campsites was great. When panning we used a 1/4" classifier in a pan, and we'd shovel into the classifier and use it to remove the larger rocks. We'd pan the remaining sand/dirt. Andrew and I both found flakes in our very first pans. Just about every pan had a color or a few, though some were very small (50-100 mesh). Andrew found the largest flake this way. For the most part I gathered material from downstream of large rocks; I tested in the water and out of the water and had better results in the water, though others there said that the best approach was to move a large dry rock and pan the material under it.

    I also ran one five-gallon bucket through the sluice; the material was collected from a rock at the water line. I did not find much more gold in the sluice than I would have in a few pans, but this could have been because the sluice was running a bit "hot" (too steep).

    For those who like to dredge or high bank: I didn't do this, but when I go back in June I intend to high bank. With these methods its about moving material, and that area north of the campground has A LOT of material to be moved. There are plenty of places to be dredged. If you have air available you could reach places out in the river that others have probably not gone, but without air it would be tough to dredge deep out in the river, which tends to be 2-3 feet deep before you even start moving overburden. Most of the dredgers were along the bank.

    NOTE: you must have a dredge permit from NH state to use a dredge or high banker. The permit costs $50. One is needed for each machine (not for each person, so people can team up).

    Other methods: Andrew tried out crevicing (using tools to clean out cracks in the rock) but he didn't like it. I tried it and found it annoying too. There are plenty of cracks, but you'd need to have the right tools and know what you're doing. We didn't find anything this way.
    I also used my 1" battery powered Goldsnare dredge. I got a nice flake and some fine gold using it in just one 6" wide crack.

    Final thoughts: the campground is nice, the people are nice, the location is great and the gold was really good. Oh, there's very poor cell phone coverage at the campground - so be aware (they do have wifi).

    And now for the pictures: (I had a problem with my phone so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked to)

    A view of the Wild Ammonoosuc River near Bath, NH. From the old bridge near Twin River Campground.
    Note the dredge hole on the left.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A panorama of a stretch of the Wild AM; this is right next to the Riverside campsites at the Campground:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Andrew found a nice flake in his first pan:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I found this gold in 4 test pans on Sunday morning, before Andrew even woke up!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's all the gold we found during our 24 hour visit to the Wild AM:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here's a video I put together from the trip:
    https://youtu.be/lqZ-TP3jM5o
    (can I embed this as a video? Or is providing a link the only option?)
    Last edited by brianc053; May 09, 2016 at 10:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Make America Great Again

    Apr 2013
    Oregon
    1,625
    3751 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nice gold, great to pass on gold adventures to the next generation.

    let me help, to post video copy URL from the address bar the link youtu.be is not accepted by the bb code yet
    Code:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqZ-TP3jM5o
    Last edited by winners58; May 09, 2016 at 11:03 PM.
    brianc053 likes this.
    " A pessimist is an optimist with experience "

  3. #3
    gold miner antique collector

    Sep 2013
    e.rochester nh.
    whites, KEENE A52 sluice, 3" dredge
    861
    1404 times
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    So how'd you like our gold? I was up there also. I was at a different spot from the camp ground, too crowded. But I stopped by to see some people most had their butts in the air head under water was gonna throw some rocks at them but I can't run! LOL! They did have a great turn out! The dredge hole at the bridge you saw the camp ground doesn't own that side of the river. In the evening the locals come out and peck at that side. Glad you had a good time! Let me know the next time you go up.
    Some times skill has nothing to do with it!

  4. #4
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
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    Prospecting
    Your son is awesome...great video!

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    White's MXT White's Prism II
    270
    517 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Kevin, thanks for the kind words - I've passed them on to Andrew.
    nh.nugget, your gold is excellent! Thank you for letting us take some home with us. And the area is beautiful, too. I can't wait to go back!
    - Brian
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
    335
    310 times
    I don't mean to let the wind out of your sails, but according to New Hampshire State authorities, http://des.nh.gov/organization/commi...ents/geo-1.pdf
    ..."Those gold panning may not use a shovel to dig into the stream bottom or stream banks. Scooping gravel up with the gold pan is allowed."
    Further, I called the NH Environmental Services a couple of years ago and was told in no uncertain terms that an in-stream sluice box (unpowered) is considered dredging and requires the $50 permit.
    They allow you to dig with a gold pan but not with a shovel. Obviously, written by someone who has no idea of the difference between a shovel and a gold pan.

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    White's MXT White's Prism II
    270
    517 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Thanks for the heads up placertogo. I know that ignorance of the law (or guideline, or statute - or whatever this is) is no excuse, but for the record my son and I didn't go up there to deliberately violate any of those laws/guidelines/statutes. We just prospected the way we prospect everywhere else... I'll keep my opinions to myself as to the logic of not allowing shovels, but then allowing 4" suction dredges.

    Looks like it's time to buy a heavy-duty metal gold pan. And rakes, and pick axes, and pry bars, and other garden implements should technically be OK.
    I did see one guy with a modified clam rake that was really good at removing larger rocks, leaving just the sand/small gravel behind. I might have to look into one of those too.

    I guess the good news is that I do have the NH permit for dredging, so my use of the sluice was completely legal.

    - Brian

  8. #8

    Nov 2012
    594
    761 times
    I have been digging in the WMNF WITH a shovel in front of a NF ranger with NO issues. Go to tunnel brook, sit there and see how many people show up without shovel... Not one. I think we all forgot that our constitution requires its citizens to stand up to its government, and laws, when when we feel oppressed. I try to obey laws, but if I find them oppressive, and unrealistic then I DONT obey them!! We are not talking about smuggling pounds of meth from mexico. Its a Shovel in a Stream, NO profit being made, and no real env. damage. NF is OUR land! NFrangers are FEDs, they don't care about someone digging up a rock in a river. They care about people using CAT 950k front-end loaders and Komatsu 490s ripping mountains apart. NH is the live free or die state. I guess living free doesn't mean much these days.
    laidback4sho likes this.

  9. #9
    gold miner antique collector

    Sep 2013
    e.rochester nh.
    whites, KEENE A52 sluice, 3" dredge
    861
    1404 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by placertogo View Post
    I don't mean to let the wind out of your sails, but according to New Hampshire State authorities, http://des.nh.gov/organization/commi...ents/geo-1.pdf
    ..."Those gold panning may not use a shovel to dig into the stream bottom or stream banks. Scooping gravel up with the gold pan is allowed."
    Further, I called the NH Environmental Services a couple of years ago and was told in no uncertain terms that an in-stream sluice box (unpowered) is considered dredging and requires the $50 permit.
    They allow you to dig with a gold pan but not with a shovel. Obviously, written by someone who has no idea of the difference between a shovel and a gold pan.
    They have changed some of the laws in the WMNF you can dig with a small shovel you can use a sluice up to 3' long, stay out of the banking and don't cut a root larger than 1/2'' in dia. The camp ground is not near the WMNF.
    winners58 likes this.
    Some times skill has nothing to do with it!

  10. #10
    us
    Scott

    Dec 2015
    RI
    XP DEUS , AND OLDER GARRETT'S
    670
    499 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I'm glad you guys had a good time , looks like , I'm working till June this year we have had heavy rains for the last 2.5 weeks . I finally got to get in a machine today , but some of the area I have to work needs to dry out some more . I have to say , I'm getting Crabby . I want to go prospecting in NH !!

  11. #11
    ~Texana Curator~

    Sep 2012
    TX Hill Country
    Garrett AT PRO ~ Propointer ~ Modified Lesche ~ Predator Little Eagle ~ Royal Picks ~ Marshalltown Trowels ~ Sift Tables/Screens
    826
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    Relic Hunting
    Awesome photos!

    I could never be a prospector...

    I'd rather carry a fly rod to these kind of locations!


    ~Tejaas~
    nh.nugget likes this.
    You Ain't Done Wild And Reckless, Till You've Done It In Texas!

  12. #12
    gold miner antique collector

    Sep 2013
    e.rochester nh.
    whites, KEENE A52 sluice, 3" dredge
    861
    1404 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    There are some really nice trout in that river plus the one on the other side of the camp ground called the Ammonoosic
    Tejaas likes this.
    Some times skill has nothing to do with it!

  13. #13
    AGP
    AGP is offline
    us
    American Gold Prospectors

    Dec 2015
    MA
    4 inch Dredge Fisher CZ-21
    66
    239 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    I saw you and Andrew up there at the river. I was the one with the drone. Glad to see you guys got some gold!
    winners58 and brianc053 like this.
    American Gold Prospectors YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjm...JZrvfVjmrBpeWQ

    American Gold Prospectors Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/americangoldprospectors/

  14. #14
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    White's MXT White's Prism II
    270
    517 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    On a final note: just before coming home a few weekends ago, my son filled a 5-gallon bucket about half full with some dirt from up in the White Mountains NF. I finally got around to processing it for him (let's be honest: he likes being at the river, but he doesn't have the fever so bad that he's classifying and panning 2.5 gallons of stuff when we get home), and look what I found!
    That little flake is 3-dimesional! And there's like 15 other colors in there. Nice bucket, Andrew!

    - Brian

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
    gold miner antique collector

    Sep 2013
    e.rochester nh.
    whites, KEENE A52 sluice, 3" dredge
    861
    1404 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Nice job! Even at a young age it's in our DNA playing in the water/digging in the dirt! you can find some good spots along the Wild Am just stop and sample, take a bucket. I've been side lined with back issues for a few weeks hoping to get up there this week-end.
    Some times skill has nothing to do with it!

 

 

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