Tennessee Gold Locations

The places listed below are user submitted gold prospecting locations. Things change over time - these places may or may not still be open. Be sure to fill your holes, pick up your trash and don't trespass. We are losing good spots all the time.

We really need more info on this state! If you know of any other prospecting locations in this or surrounding areas, please fill out this form. What we need here are fairly specific places like "downstream from where Highway 20 crosses Dry Creek". There are lots of books that say something like "The gold belt runs through ABC & XYZ Counties" or "Gold has been found in ABC River and some of its tributaries". That really doesn't say much about where YOU can find gold, private property issues or Forest Circus rules etc. Please use this form only for suggesting fairly specific places to be added to this page where new prospectors or folks visiting from other areas have a good chance of finding gold. Thank you

Name: Email:

State:County: 

Fairly specfic place where folks can find gold:


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From David Clark
Rutherford County

I thought I might be creative and search for gold in Caney Fork river about 5 miles below Center Hill Dam. I spent the entire day there and found some pepper grains. On my second trip there, right before I decided to leave, I found a 3 ounce gold nugget. And people thought I was crazy searching that area.

Walter O'Quinn, E-mail: NEDFLOW@aol.com Copyright © 1997
The best areas in Tennessee are in the southeast part of the state. The main gold occurrences lie in a narrow belt of auriferous stream gravels about 50 miles long in southern Blount, Monroe and Polk Counties along the North Carolina border. There are a lot of good placer deposits in Monroe County and also a lot of copper deposits. In the Maryville area of Montale Springs there are some stream gravels with good color. East of the Chilhowie mountains about any of the steams will show some color, some more than others. Also in Monroe County along the Coker Creek area, and along the Whippoorwill Branch of the Tellico River in Tellico Plains. In Polk County around the Copperhill-Ducktown district there were many copper mines with gold being a by-product of that type of mining.


Dan Gibson submitted the following: In addition to Whipporwill Branch on the Tellico River, gold prospecting is permitted in the Cherokee National Forest along the lower 7 miles of the Tellico River from Turkey Creek to the Park boundary by permit. Permits are available from the Ranger Station, Monday thru Friday, in person, or by mail or telephone. Tellico Ranger District, Rt 3, Tellico River Road, PO box 339, Tellico Plains, TN 37385. Call 423-253-2520. Good gold can be found in the flood sands and from near the mouth of Wildcat Creek. Dredging is permitted up to a 3" dredge. You have to have a permit for any prospecting, panning, etc. Each person is required to have a permit, even children. I have found gold deposits on the upper reaches of Caney Fork River, in White County near Sparta, TN. Gold is very fine and black sand are a minimum. You actually have a greenish colored sand which is somewhat heavier than most black sands. Recovering this gold is very difficult.

I have also found gold at my home in Wilson County which is in Middle Tennessee. Gold is fine to pepper grain with some wire gold. I am currently prospecting some leads in Jackson Co. near Gainesboro, TN and will send a follow up report later. I've also had reports of a commercial gold mine that operated near Jamestown, TN for a 45 year period around the turn of the century. I personally believe there are good gold deposits in a number of locations throughout the state that have just not been prospected yet.

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