Destination Spotlight: Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground
With summer right around the corner everyone’s already making plans for their next vacation and we have discovered a hidden gem right in our own backyard that is sure to capture the hearts of all and will be your spot for your next camping trip. Not only can one experience the beauty of nature at this rustic campground but campers can go out and explore the mines and dig for diamonds! Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground is nestled in the woods of St. Johnsville that not only has sites for your RV but they have primitive tent sites for the camper that loves adventure and for the not so adventurous camper they have cozy cabins. Herkimer County is known for their mines and Crystal Campground has the perfect place for the diamond miner in your family. Set out for an excursion and search for the rarest, biggest, shining diamond of them all. But, before setting out on your dig make sure you stop by the camp store and get some tips from the pros. They do have equipment to rent but you are encouraged to bring your own tools from home. The mines are open to all ages but kiddos under the age of 5 will need close supervision. Whether you just want to escape the hustle and bustle of life and relax in a beautiful setting by a fire, explore the beauty of nature or go on an adventure Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground has everything you will need. Summer is almost here and now is the perfect time to mark the date on your calendar with a trip to Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground! Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground is located at 161 County Road 114, St. Johnsville, NY 13452. For more information or to make a reservation, visit http://www.crystalgrove.com/
Team Fuze would like to thank BillieJo Davis for taking the time to chat with us about Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground.
Fuze: What can campers expect when visiting?
Crystal Campground: Although we aren’t commercialized, we are a full campground with amenities. We enjoy that the campground is wooded, so this is a place to be if you enjoy nature and what it has to offer. Our campground offers great privacy, as most of our sites are wooded and not stacked on top of each other – making it a more intimate trip for you.
Fuze: What type of accommodations does your campground provide?
Crystal Campground: We offer primitive tent sites, sites with water/electric hookups where we can accommodate a tent up to a 40 ft. Class A RVs. We do have a community dump station for your convenience. We also have 5 cabins on site, for those that don’t enjoy sleeping being THAT close to nature! Our cabins sleep 4-6 people and are very beautifully rustic. We have a covered pavilion for rainy days with games inside. We have two bathhouses on site, one with showers. Our camp store offers every day needs: snacks, drinks, souvenirs and plenty of rocks & minerals!
Fuze: Are there planned activities during the day?
Crystal Campground: We are trying to schedule more and more activities for certain weekends and days. As they are planned, we will put them on our website, along with all our Social Media pages. We currently have a Family Fun Day scheduled on May 26th and our 2nd Annual Pig Roast on June 2nd.
Fuze: How long does it take a camper to find “diamonds”?
Crystal Campground: It really depends on how lucky you are that day. Although hard work is definitely a factor in digging, it isn’t the only factor. We have plenty of campers that walk through the pathways of the campground and find crystals lying around. We also have plenty of miners that come and spend hours in the hot sun, for days, in hopes of finding that all time crystal pocket. You’re always bound to leave here with shiny things though!
Fuze: Is the Diamond Mines for all ages?
Crystal Campground: The Mine is for all ages in that we have no age restrictions, although it’s not the safest to let toddlers ram around in. We have regulars that bring their toddlers and play in the shade on a blanket, while their other children are hammering away. Mining itself is best suitable for children over the age of 5. Our mine is in a very large field, making other games possible for families, such as Frisbee, football, volleyball, soccer, etc., if families need a break.
Fuze: Do you have to bring your own tools or will they be provided?
Crystal Campground: We do have tools for rent in the store, although we suggest people bring tools they have from home, if any. The rock you are digging in is some of the hardest on earth, so at least a 2-3 lb. hammer is suggested. Also, chisels, buckets, screwdrivers, hand rakes and small pry bars could be very useful. You can never have too many tools for mining! We give some great mining tips on our website, including suggested items to bring.
Fuze: Will campers run into any wildlife?
Crystal Campground: There is always a good possibility that you’ll see some wildlife, mainly different bird species and deer. It is very normal for campers to hear the coyotes howling at nighttime, together with the resident owl that likes to talk after dark. Although there have been bear & fox seen and noted in this area, we have never encountered any.
Fuze: Can you tell us some interesting historical facts about the campground and/or area?
Crystal Campground: Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground actually started in a farmer’s field in the late 70’s. They knew there were Herkimer Diamonds here, and they started allowing people to pay a few bucks and come dig on their land. Slowly, but surely, people wanted a place to stay in the area and they accommodated for that also. It has done nothing but grow since. The historical significance for the campground itself is all about the Herkimer Diamonds. These crystals started forming over 450 MILLION years ago, and we are lucky enough to be in one of the limited locations in the entire world that has these highly-sought after crystals. We have travelers from all over the world that come here to “scratch it off their bucket list”!
Fuze: Last but not least, please tell us some fun things about the owners themselves.
Crystal Campground: We are one big family here at Crystal Grove. It is a team effort in every aspect of the word “Team”. The owners, Madigan Evans Rollins and Christopher Evans, purchased the property in February of 2017, with their mother, Bessie, at the wheel. Their family has a very high respect for Herkimer Diamond Mining Community, as they are miners themselves. Their family saw the potential here at Crystal Grove and knew it had something special. They want to see the business and property grow into what they know it can be, while leaving a successful legacy for generations to come. Their friends, Billie Jo & Joel Davis are the on-site manager and caretaker to Crystal Grove. They have extensive knowledge in mining Herkimer Diamonds and the Herkimer Diamond District in general. All of them are new to the campground business but are enjoying the learning process. Some main goals they have all been working on, is more activities for locals to enjoy, breaking up the mine with heavy machinery, to make mining more productive and fun for all ages, more charitable work for the community & updating the campground while preserving its rustic value which so many love.
Crystal Grove Diamond Mine & Campground 4-1-1
Location: 161 County Road 114, St. Johnsville, NY 13452
Web site: http://www.crystalgrove.com/
The Fuze Magazine
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