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Permits for agate hunting around Moose Lake, Minnesota

Can you tell me where there are gravel pits in the Duluth/Moose Lake area where you are allowed to pick agates? - Josie, Duluth, and many others

The area around the town of Moose Lake, just off I-35 south of Duluth, is the hot spot for finding Lake Superior agates. They're everywhere, even on golf courses.

"A couple were golfing at Birch Creek Golf Course and found a big agate on one of the holes,'' says chamber director Lisa Cekalla. "Then, a few weeks later, they found the other half.''

You can print out your own free agate-hunting permit from the Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce website, which includes a map to the gravel pits.

Any area that's been disturbed can yield agates, including ATV trails. Look for roads that have been graded recently. Agates will be easiest to see after a rain.

Don't miss Agate Days in Moose Lake, the second weekend after the Fourth of July, when the city dumps tons of rubble on a downtown street that's seeded with agates and quarters.

For more, see Agate stampede.

See giant agates across I-35 at Moose Lake State Park, which includes the Agate and Geological Interpretive Center.

For more, see Agate Central.

And for agate-hunting tips, see How to find an agate.

The Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce office at 4524 Arrowhead Lane, at the junction of Minnesota 61 and County Road 73 near the big moose.

The office is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the fishing opener in May, then 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 218-485-4145.

Last updated on June 14, 2011