Moat Mountain Mineral Site Trailhead

The Moat Mountain Mineral Site is located on the contact zone of two rock units:  the Conway granite and Moat volcanics.  The Moat volcanics are large deposits of volcanic debris that were ejected from the Earth by ancient volcanoes nearly 200 million years ago.  Conway granite crystalized from a magma beneath the Earth’s surface after the eruptions that formed the Moat volcanics.  As the magma of the Conway granite rose against the overlying Moat volcanics, fluids were trapped as bubbles within the magma.  The magma solidified and crystals had the space to grow within the fluid bubbles frozen in the rock.  Today, crystal-bearing bubbles in granite (known as miarolitic cavities or pockets) are common in the Conway granite at its contacts with the Moat volcanics.

At a Glance

Permit Info: A mineral collection permit is required to collect mineral specimens from the Moat Mountain Mineral Site
  • No fee required for permit.
  • Permits are valid for 1 day at one mineral collecting site.
  • Permits can be obtained at the trailhead.
  • Please read and comply with the conditions stated on the permit. 
Closest Towns: Conway, NH
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Saco Ranger District Office

General Information


From West Side Road in Conway turn onto Passaconaway Road.  Travel 1.2 miles and turn right onto High Street (dirt road).  This road leads into the White Mountain National Forest, passing a gate at 1.4 miles.  At 1.7 miles, bear left and continue 0.7 miles to the parking area at the end of the road. The Moat Mountain Mineral Collecting site is a 0.9 mile hike from the parking area.

General Notes:

Maps and Brochures

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

The area, known as “The Moats”, is near North Conway and provides a variety of trails with varying levels of difficulty. It is a 14-mile trail network connected by dirt roads located on the east side of the Moat Mountains. This trail system became part of the WMNF’s trail network in the fall of 2010 and was borne out of a partnership with the White Mountains Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA). Maps of this network and other non-Forest trails in the North Conway area are available. These maps can be found at the Saco Ranger District in Conway, NH, as well as at local bike shops and outdoor equipment stores. Another source for mountain bike trail information is the NEMBA website.


Please follow the guidelines on the kiosk regarding mineral collecting.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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