New Jersey November 06, 2018
You’ll Never Forget A Trip Through This Old Mineral Mine In New Jersey
If you’re a frequent reader of Only In New Jersey, you may already be familiar with Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Here, you’ll find the only mineral mine in the Garden State open to the public for tours. It makes for a perfect day trip destination and is ideal for holiday breaks or to bring visiting family members – let them marvel at the subterranean beauty of our state! Kids and adults alike are sure to be delighted by this unique destination, but adults get a special treat this season!
Here's what you can expect from a typical visit...
The Sterling Hill Mine is the fourth oldest mine in the United States and the last working underground mine in New Jersey. The main tunnel, which is open for tours regularly, is 1/4 of a mile long and wheelchair accessible. It features a lamp room, blasting demonstration and the stunning "rainbow tunnel." In total, there are 35 miles of tunnels in the mine. Your tour, however, will last a manageable two hours - highlighting some of the mine's most unique and important features. You'll also learn about daily operations and the life of miners. The tour includes one hour in the underground zinc mine, half an hour in their large exhibit hall, and about 10 minutes in their museum of fluorescence. Each area offers something different - I can't even choose a favorite.
The mine is very special, especially to geologists.
The area is home to 357 types of minerals - 10 percent of all known minerals. 35 of these minerals have not been found anywhere else in the world. In addition, the zinc ore found here is very rich, made up of about 20% zinc - this is significantly above average. Primary deposits include zinc, iron and manganese though trace amounts of silver and gold can be found. 91 of the minerals at Sterling Hill fluoresce. New Jersey is the fluorescent mineral capital of the world!
Which leads us to the rainbow tunnel...
One of the most beautiful attractions I have ever seen! The fluorescent rainbow tunnel is the only one of its kind in the world. A unique natural formation, it is truly breathtaking. The photos don't do it justice - you have to see it for yourself. Keep an eye out for the ghost of Pete, a former miner. Legend has it that he fell down the shaft to his death and never left. I've also heard stories about a miner who retired but found his way back in the afterlife.
And let's not forget about that special adults-only surprise...
On Wednesday, December 12th, from 5-7 p.m., you can take a tour in complete darkness! If you've ever wondered what the walls look like when bathed in nothing but UV Light, this is your chance to find out. Experience the magic of the rainbow tunnel, all throughout your tour. Guests must be at least 18 years of age and must bring protective eyewear. Two tours are available (5 p.m. and 6 p.m.) but space is limited. Tickets are $15 and the event is expected to sell out.
Regular tours are offered daily throughout November and on weekends only from December-April. You can find times and pricing information on their website by
clicking here. Find Sterling Hill Mining Museum at 30 Plant Street in Ogdensburg.