The industrial complex that was once the Sterling Hill zinc mine is now open to the public as the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.

Join us for Underground Mine Tours, fantastic displays of “glow-in-the-dark” fluorescent minerals, extensive outdoor displays of mining machinery, and exhibit halls packed with things you’ve probably never seen before!



30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439


41.0828106, -74.6043512

Plan My Route


Underground Mine Tour

Within the mine passages are numerous pieces of equipment used while the mine was in operation, plus exhibits on the underground mining process. Visitors will see the lamp room, the shaft station, mine galleries dating to the 1830's, and much more. The entire mine tour route is well lit, and no climbing is involved — visitors walk on hard-packed gravel the whole way. All parts of the route are wheelchair-accessible.

The Rainbow Tunnel

For many visitors the most anticipated part of the mine tour is the Rainbow Tunnel, where brightly fluorescent zinc ore is exposed in the mine walls, exactly as it was in other parts of the mine where ore was produced. Illuminated under ultraviolet light, the walls glow bright green and red, the green signaling the presence of willemite, one of the main zinc ore minerals at Sterling Hill.

Fossil Discovery Center

The Fossil Discovery Center helps our young visitors learn about fossils by digging for them in a large sanded area and then taking specimens home. An instructor will be on hand to help participants identify their fossils and discuss when the organisms lived, how they went about their lives, and what their living environment was like at the time. Most of the major fossil groups are represented, including aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial plants, and fish.

Rock Discovery Center

The Rock Discovery Center is a large outdoor area where our young visitors learn about the various rock types that are quarried in the northeastern United States. Recommended especially for children in grades 2-6, the RDC experience is a great introduction to earth science. Each visitor collects six specimens to take home. For each rock type we provide instruction in how to recognize it, where it is obtained, and how it is used in society today. Participants are given a partitioned cardboard box in which to place their samples. In this way, school students and others acquire an "instant rock collection" while having an enjoyable, participatory, and educational experience. The rocks are already broken to sizes that fit in the boxes provided, so no tools are necessary. Participation in the Rock Discovery Center also fulfills many of the requirements for scout badges in geology.

Ellis Astronomical Observatory

The Sterling Hill Astronomy Group holds monthly viewing sessions at the Ellis Astronomical Observatory on the grounds of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Located in rural Sussex County, the observatory offers excellent dark-sky viewing conditions far from major urban sources of light pollution. Members use the observatory's massive 20-inch and 12.5-inch reflector telescopes for nighttime viewing, and a Hydrogen-Alpha telescope for safe viewing of the Sun.