HARD ROCK MINING. Most gold in the north Georgia mountains was recovered from placer deposits along the streams or from workings in the soils and decomposed rock on the hillsides. It was much more difficult to extract the precious metal from quartz veins in the hard, fresh bedrock, but that didn't stop these miners from trying. Rock ore had to be crushed to free the gold it contained. This is the Reynolds Vein, the largest hard rock mine in the Helen-Nacoochee area. The "Martin Mine Trail" in the Dukes Creek Woods conservation area leads through this mining site.