Iowa Treasure Hunt Destinations
Family Travel Adventures featuring Iowa Treasure Hunting
For a family travel adventures like no other, take a treasure hunt across the entire state. Panning for gold, hunting for gems, discovering ancient fossils, finding interesting geodes and discovering long lost buried treasures can all be part of your Iowa treasure experience.
In 1852, an Iowa farmer in the Eldora area reported that gold had been found near his home along the Iowa River.
The news lead to a mini gold rush, causing 3,000 hopefuls to descend upon the area.
None of them found any gold however.
To avoid their mistake, make sure you know where to prospect when looking for gold during your Iowa treasure hunt.
For a family travel adventures try rivers and streams where they naturally collect gold. As the rushing waters erode rocks and collect the eroded sediment. Historic reports have stated that stream deposits along the Iowa River in the Steamboat Rock community may be a good place for families with gold fever to find a few flakes of flour gold.
Streams with coarse sand deposits can also be good for gold panning and continuing Iowa treasure hunting activities.
Mineral collecting can be a fun Iowa treasure hunt adventure that gets children more interested in science and nature. Iowa has such an alluring array of minerals in numerous shapes and sizes so searching for minerals in the areas valley and gravel bars can pay off with an interesting mineral collection.
The Mississippi River cuts through the eastern border of Clayton County and the gravel bars on the river are considered good places to hunt for agates such as quartz and opal as well as the sought after Lake Superior agates. For finding geodes, rocks filled with sparkling crystal interiors or exotic minerals, the Keokuk Iowa region is considered the finest Iowa treasure hunt region.
Located in southeastern Iowa this region also includes the Geode State Park and the Des Moines River area. You may also find possible to find geodes in stream drainages and excavations along the riverbank.
Depending on what location you choose for treasure hunting of geodes a rock hammer, shovel, bucket, gloves and chisel can help with the digging process. A look at geologic maps will also be useful for determining the locations of specific rock units and the minerals they contain. A great addition to your family travel adventures.
Once kids get their share of geode searching, the Geode State Park offers various recreational activities that can be enjoyed including nature trials, hiking trails, fishing and lake activities.
An Iowa gem mining experience should be a special moment for kids.
Courageously walking into a dark cave to mine for rare gemstones and wearing traditional mining gear is an authentic prospecting experience that no kid will ever forget!
In Okoboji at the Iowa Great Lakes area is Ranch Okoboji.
The ranch features a cave where kids can mine for gemstones, fossils and arrowheads for a nominal fee. The family fun center also offers volleyball courts and mini-golf.
On your next family travel adventures a treasure hunt is not just the search for exotic gems and gold. The area is home to many marine fossils from the Devonian period, a geological era dating back some 365 million years. One of the major areas in the state for public fossil collecting is the Fossil and Prairie Park Preserve in Rockford.
Admission is free and no tools are needed, fossils are scattered all over the ground.
An alternative site offering unique looks at Devonian era fossils is the Devonian Fossil Gorge, an ancient fossil bedrock near Coralville Lake. At this Iowa treasure hunt site, collecting fossils is prohibited. However, thousands of fossils are visible and offer a first-hand glimpse at marine life that thrived millions of years ago.
If your family is interested in searching for lost Iowa treasure, there are a number of legends surrounding buried treasure to explore. The town of Templeton is thought to have a number of caches of hidden illegal loot from Prohibition era bootleggers.
Another Iowa treasure hunt story is that of the Siam murder mystery, in which a gang of bandits supposedly robbed and murdered a wealthy cattleman and his son in 1868 of $90,000. They then buried the money on farm near Siam, Iowa but were unable to remember the exact burial location of the loot.
The news became sensational in 1915 when four elderly men thought to have been part of the original game were arrested, although the case was later dismissed, local legend states that an iron box of gold coins was discovered on the property. Perhaps more treasure may be found for the lucky Iowa treasure hunting family bold enough to look.
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