Museum of North Carolina Minerals Blue Ridge Parkway NC

Museum of North Carolina Minerals Milepost 331 Blue Ridge Parkway

There is no other place in the United States that has as many different kinds of gem and minerals in one place than Spruce Pine North Carolina. Besides gems Spruce Pine is also known for feldspar in making glass and mica which is used for computer chips. Right off the Blue Ridge Parkway is the North Carolina Minerals Museum at milepost 331. When traveling South on the parkway take the right side exit off the Blue Ridge Parkway and across the street is the museum. There are more than 300 varieties of gems and minerals showcased in the Museum of North Carolina Minerals. Because of the millions of travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the NC Minerals Museum introduces more people to minerals and gems that any other such facility in the country.


The Museum of North Carolina Minerals features mineral and gemstone exhibits that have fascinated thousands for over 46 years, along with interactive displays about the minerals and gems found in the region as well as the historical importance of the mining industry to the local economy. The NC Minerals Museum also hosts a visitor center for the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, with information on local businesses, attractions, lodging, food and more. A gift shop featuring souvenirs and books on Western North Carolina is located in the museum. The museum was created in 1956 and exists as a joint project between the National Park Service and the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development.

North Carolina Beneath Your Feet Exhibit NC Mineral Museum

In 2002, the Museum of North Carolina Minerals at Spruce Pine underwent a nearly one million dollar renovation project. The joint venture between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the National Park Service and the Mitchell County Government was to expand the museum and broaden the attraction’s educational goals. A major focus of the Museum of North Carolina Minerals is to enhance local students’ learning in the Earth Sciences, and the museum is just one of the areas many resources for teachers and other school staff.

Museum-of-NC-Minerals-Rock and Gemstones

The Museum of North Carolina Minerals new exhibits are: “From Mountains to Molecules”, providing an explanation of the geological processes that formed the mountains over a million years ago, “Inside the Linville Falls Fault”, a captivating explanation why the area is rich in mineral resources and geologic activity, “From Mountains to Rocks”, explaining what minerals are and how they are identified and coded, “Mineral Mart”, a historical exhibit that displays the prominent role mineral mining served in North Carolina and how the industry shaped the economy of the state, region and overall country, “Enter the Mine”, showcases how minerals are mined, processed and incorporated into the manufacturing of numerous products.

Historical Re-Enactment of the Over-mountain Men

The Museum is located at Gillespie Gap, an important stop for Revolutionary War fighters on their way to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Each September the Museum hosts an encampment of re-en-actors who assume the role of the Over-mountain Men, primarily Scots-Irish settlers from Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina who came “over the mountains” and ultimately defeated the left wing of Cornwallis’ army at Kings Mountain, South Carolina. Many historians mark this victory as the turning point in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War.



Hours of Operation: Open year round, 9 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week. Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.

Located at milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the junction with NC Hwy. 226.

Museum of North Carolina Minerals
Blue ridge Parkway Milepost 331
214 Parkway Maintenance Road, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
(828) 765-2761