A few Lake Superior Agates from the collection of Karen Brzys,
Curator of the Gitche Gummee Agate Museum in Grand Marais, Michigan
Attending the Annual Rock On with Lake Superior Agates Fest
(See info on the 2019 Rock On Festival near the bottom of this page)
Part 2 - Recognizing Rocks & Agate Collected on Lake Superior Beaches
Part 3 - Identifying Agates versus Agate Wanna-Be's
(you are here)
See more Agates & advice on using tumbling pellets to tumble and polish agates.
Lake Superior Agate Festival (you are here)
We noticed however that a huge number of cars arrived on the first morning of the event from people who either lived in the area or who were staying a lodges or motels in the Newberry, Michigan area. Muskallonge State Park, while on Lake Superior, is also in a quite remote area. The paved county road that goes north from Newberry to the park ends at the park. Only sand roads go east or west from there. So I was quite surprised at the number of people who commuted to the park for the event. After attending, I can see why it is so popular.
You might be interested in a blog post, pictures and a video on the Rock On Agate Festival I did for our ScenicPathways Travel Blog . . . but I'll add some more pictures and more detailed event information here.
Following a tip from fellow beach rock and agate hunter, Jeff King, we learned about this unique annual festival held the second weekend in September. About three rows of campsites at the park are set aside for vendor booths and presentation exhibits. There were also tents set up near the washroom building for exhibits and presentations. I would guess that the majority of the remainder of the campsites were occupied by people like us who wanted to attend the event. So we recommend making your campsite reservation early if you want to attend next year's show. If you can't get a campsite here there are two private campgrounds near Newberry or the Tahquamenon Falls State Park campground close to Paradise, Michigan. Paradise and Newberry also offer some decent motels if not camping.
The "Rock" Festival at the State Park
Muskallonge State Park's Campground is well-maintained, with shade trees and grass throughout the park. The park borders on two lakes, Lake Superior on the north side, and Muskallonge Lake on the south side, but the campground is on Muskallonge Lake. The park's Lake Superior agate beach is about a 1/4 mile walk from the campground.
Agate hunters attending Jenifer Lasslet's hands-on workshop on finding Lake Superior Agates storm the beach to find their prizes!
Here's a list of Saturday's programs and presentations; most were duplicated again on Sunday.
One of the most popular events were the cutting and polishing demonstrations by Terry House, Dean McNeill and their colleagues. These guys generously donated their time, expertise, and equipment to cut and polish a number of samples contributed by festival attendees.
Great job fellas. Thanks for your help.
Jo inspecting some of the agates and rocks on display and for sale.
Here are some that were found on Minnesota's North Shore Lake Superior beaches.
You could buy unpolished Lake Superior Agates for as little 3 for a $1; a fact causing much embarassment to those of us who have spent hours unsuccessfully searching for agates on Lake Superior's beaches!
Jo, who learned a lot from presentations and displays at the Rock On Festival on how to find Lake Superior Agates on the beach, proudly shows off her "catch" on our deck back home. She has declared herself the champion agate hunter in our household.
In the background of the photo on the left are some of the boxes of previously collected Lake Superior rocks that she has been inspecting and categorizing. After having read Karen Brzys latest Agate Guide Book (see review lower down the page) and learning more about agate characteristics she has discovered more than 10 more agates amongst our rock collection. This pleased me because most of these undiscovered agates were found by me!
The 2019 12th Annual Rock On Agate Festival will be held held Sept 7 & 8th at the Community Center in Grand Marais, Michigan. See more info here at the Agate Fest Website.
Learn more what the Agate Festival is all about here's
Pictures & Story from the
2014 Rock On Agate Festival.
See our Pictures and Video from an Agate Hunting Trip to Black River Harbor near Ironwood, Michigan.
Books on Lake Superior Agate Hunting & Rock Picking
Recommended by a SuperiorTrails friend & rock hound, this new guide has actual photographs of various rocks and minerals found on Lake Superior beaches. Co-author Bob Lynch is owner of Agate City Rocks and Gifts in Two Harbors Minnesota
Karen Brzys. Director, Gitchee Gumee Agate & History Museum, has created this comprehensive tutorial to finding agates. Includes over 750 photographs and diagrams.
This is required handbook for rock pickers who love to comb Lake Superior beaches looking for pretty rocks and hoping to find an agate. Identifies some of the UP's best rock picking beaches.
Here is another book recommended by a Superior Trails reader and rock hound who was able to identify over 50 rocks found on the beach using this guide by Kevin Gauthier and Bruce Mueller. Also included are tips for polishing the stones and rock. Kevin and Bruce also publish a similar guide for Lake Michigan rocks.
My wife Jo found this agate hunters book while traveling in the UP and thought it would help her find her first Lake Superior Agate. It is full of tips for agate hunting (and rock picking) and has some very good color photographs of a number of agate variations as well as photos of the other kinds of rocks you'll find on Lake Superior beaches.
Sparky's guide covers what north shore beaches to comb, a bit of history on the formation of the various rocks found on beaches, and helpful information and pictures on identifying beach rocks and minerals.
Links for Rock Picking on Lake Superior Beachs and information on Agates and Rocks found around Lake Superior
Continuing your Travel & Trekking
Around Lake Superior
Superior Trails Lake Superior Circle Tour
SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2019
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory
Best Camping along the Lake Superior Circle Drive.
Tahquamenon Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls around Lake Superior. Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Duluth Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise.
See our reviews on Best Hiking and Camping Guides around Lake Superior.