Ohio Gold Rush Days

Join the Buckeye Chapter of the GPAA for our annual Gold Rush Days, held Labor Day Weekend at the GPAA Swank Claim along the beautiful Clearfork River near Butler, Ohio. Gold Rush Days are a weekend packed full of gold prospecting and family oriented events. From common digs to kids games and duck races to metal detecting, there is something for everyone at Gold Rush Days! Free camping for GPAA members. Directions to Swank Claim and our schedule of events are outlined

below. We hope you can join us! If you have any questions, please contact us via private message or email ohiobuckeyegold@gmail.com

Directions to Gold Rush Days

Swank Claim Address: 1099 Cutnaw Rd. Bellville, OH 44813

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 35.885' W 082° 27.602'

2022 Gold Rush Days Schedule of Events
Event schedule is being added to over the next few weeks. Be sure to keep an out out for new additions!

Saturday, September 4, 2021
Note: * Denotes Location of Event

8:00AM - Flag Raising and Pledge of Allegiance *Pavilion
8:00AM– Food Wagon Open. Serving Breakfast. Open through dinner.
8:30AM – Volunteer Meeting At The Pavilion *Pavilion
9-11AM – Adult Common Dig (14 Years and Up) *Common Dig Location
9:00AM – Kids Games and Crafts *Meet At Pavilion
10:00AM – Prospecting Store Opens / Raffle Sales / Metal Detecting Registration *Pavilion
10:00AM – Duck Races Sales Begin *Pavilion
12-1:00PM – Kids Common Dig (Under 14 Years) *Common Dig Location
3:00PM – Speed Panning Competitions *Pavilion
5:00PM - Raffles *Pavilion
5:30PM – Live Auction *Pavilion (Please drop off donated items by 4:00PM at the
Buckeye Chapter store).
7:30PM - Dowsing Rod Competition *Pavilion
9:00PM—Night Metal Detecting Hunt– Hosted by Pat O’Masters and Sue Wise. *Pavilion

Sunday, September 5, 2021
Note: * Denotes Location of Event

8:00AM - Flag Raising and Pledge of Allegiance by *Pavilion
8:00AM - Food Wagon Open. Serving Breakfast. Serving through dinner.
8:30AM - Volunteer Meeting At The Pavilion *Pavilion
9-11:00AM – Adult Common Dig (14 Years And Over) *Common Dig Location
9:00AM – Kids Games and Crafts *Meet at Pavilion
10:00AM – Prospecting Store Opens / Raffle Sales *Pavilion
10:00AM – Duck Races Sales Begin *Pavilion
12-1:00PM – Kids Common Dig (Under 14 Years) *Common Dig Location
2:00PM - Kids Metal Detecting Hunt *Pavilion
3:30PM – Gold Pan Racing *Common Dig Location
5:00PM - Rock Balancing Judging *Common Dig Location
6:00PM - BCGPAA Fundraiser Gold Auction.
6:30PM – Raffles *Pavilion


We will not be able to use River Trail Campground for a tank dump or showers this season. Showers are available at Love's Service Plaza at SR 97 and I71. They also have a tank dump that can be used for a minimum fee. You do have the option of having your tank pumped for a fee by our Septic company when they are servicing the porta pots. They will be through early in the AM during the weekend.

If overflow camping is needed, I suggest searching online for area campgrounds. Clearfork Adventure Resort and Black Sands Prospecting will be the closest. Their may be a spot or two open up, so checking would be a good idea.

Common Dig
Join us for our traditional Common Dig! You will have the opportunity to prospect for gold like many generations before us have. Learn how to use prospecting equipment, identify great gold holding materials, and of course share in the traditional nugget draw! Every paid and working participant will receive a split of the concentrates at the end and be eligible for prizes and the nugget draw. Fees: Adult Common Dig - $6.00 Kids Common Dig – Free

Duck Races
Want to win a gold nugget? Here is your chance! Purchase your ducks for $1 each or 6 for $5. Once all ducks are sold for a race, they will all be launched in the river. The first duck to reach the finish line will be the winner of the gold nugget. Look for sales at the pavilion and along the midway. Top 3 ducks from each race will have a DuckOff race on Sunday. Winner of that race will receive a nugget!

Metal Detecting Hunt
Have a metal detector? Looking to find some valuable prizes? Join us in our metal detecting hunt! Our Chapter’s own Patrick O'Masters and Sue Wise will head up this years metal detecting hunt. This will be the nighttime hunt with black lights, so be sure to bring your headlamp and wear your neon colored clothing for a fun time! Sign up all day at the Buckeye Chapter Store. Hunt will be at 9PM.

Kids Crafts
Bring the kids to the Pavilion to enjoy a fun time making crafts! Our volunteers will help them create a neat project that they can take home. All ages of kids are welcome!

Live Auction
Putting on Gold Rush is very challenging, and it does come with a price tag. Join us for our silent and live auction where we will have donated items (from visitors like you) up for auction. These donated items are what help us to raise the funds necessary to offset the expenses of Gold Rush. Feel free to bring items to donate for these auctions. Donations will be accepted all day on Saturday at the main pavilion at the raffle tables. We truly appreciate your support in this cause!

Speed Panning Competitions
Think you have what it takes to be the quickest hand at panning on the Swank Claim? Show your stuff here! Registration is free…just show up and try your luck at speed panning your pan down and retrieving the seeded gold nuggets. Winner of the competition will receive a trophy!

Gold Pan Racing
Have you converted your gold pan into a raceboat? How about a jet propelled (ok Alka Seltzer propelled) floating green plastic disc? Or perhaps just a plain gold pan that you have faith in. This event always has some creativity involved. Bring your pan to the location prior to the event time to be entered. Registration is Free! The pans will be launched in the river. The first pan to reach the finish line will win a trophy!

Kids Games
Bring your kids down to the Pavilion prior to the start time of the event. There will be games played where they will all win a prize bag for participating. Some games included may be: Waterballoon Toss, Egg Carry, 3 Legged Race, Short Distance Corn Hole, Scavenger Hunt, Etc. Should be a good time for kids and parents alike! Hope to see you there! NOTE: There will be additional kids activities scheduled. Be sure to check the master schedule for updates!

Rock Balancing
Have what it takes to balance rocks in a tower or stack? This was a popular event last year, and we are bringing it back! Take your luck at balancing a tower of rocks that will be judged. Trophies will be awarded to two categories: Youth Balancing and Adult Balancing (Age 16+ adult category).

BCGPAA Fundraiser Gold Auction
We will be holding a special Gold auction on Sunday before the major prize raffle. This raffle will start with a bucket of cons from the Ohio GATS panning zone. Gold will be added by those wishing to donate to the fundraiser as the bidding goes up. Who knows...perhaps a surprise or two! We do accept CC payment, so bid high and often to support your chapter!