Metal Detector Rental (7 places to rent around the USA)

Metal Detector Rental (7 places to rent around the USA)

Renting a metal detector is a great option for the beginner to test out a detector or find a lost ring.  I was surprised when I started shopping for a higher end metal detector how many rental locations are available.

Can You Rent Metal Detectors?

Absolutely, in fact renting a metal detector is a great option for finding a lost ring in the backyard or trying the latest technology on a higher end metal detector.  Another rental option is at beach resort areas where a metal detector can be rented as easily as beach chairs and umbrellas.

Renting a metal detector
Renting a metal detector

Reasons to Rent a Metal Detector

I’ll start by describing why I rented a metal detector, then we’ll get into all the different reasons. 

I had been using my son’s metal detector for a couple years.  It’s a Garrett Ace 250, I still recommend folks investigate getting that machine starting out because it provides great technology at an affordable price. 

Rent to Test an Upgraded Metal Detector

When the treasure hunting bug really grabbed ahold of me, I decided to take the plunge and spend some savings (along with the funds from selling a diamond ring I found).   I set my budget between $600 and $800, with the hope of getting a new detector, headphones and new pin pointer.

Three models stood out for me because I mostly comb beaches.

  1. Garrett AT Max (Links to Amazon for reviews and current pricing)
  2. Minelab Equinox 600 Multi-IQ  (Links to Amazon for reviews and current pricing)
  3. Nokta Makro ANFIBIO  (Links to Amazon for reviews and current pricing)

Metal Detector ModelHeadphones / Pin Pointer Included Extra Notable Accessories
Garrett AT MaxYes / Yes Both are wireless!Coil cover
Minelab Equinox 600 Muti-IQYes / YesLight weight unit
Nokta Makro ANFIBIOYes / NoExtra DD Coil

Spending that kind of money isn’t easy for me.  We’ve got a couple kids in college and have prioritized them, but my wife gave me a little slack to splurge on a new machine.  Search as I might I couldn’t decide between those three. 


Check out these great Metal Detectors on AMAZON


A friend down the block suggested going to a shop and talking to the owner about each model.  I drove the 40 miles to Serious Detecting and talked with the team there.  He suggested renting a unit and trying it out.  So after some paperwork and a deposit. I left with a Garrett AT.  A weekend of serious sweeping and I was sold!  Of course, I returned the unit and bought my upgrade.

Metal Detecting Tip: It takes time to learn your machine. As much as you would think the machine will do all the work and all you have to do is dig up the money, that’s not how it works. I still remember reading in the beginner guide that Charles Garrett said you should plan on 10 hours of detecting before finding anything.

Renting a Metal Detector for Finding a Lost Item

The convenience of renting when you know your only going to use it for an hour or two is perfect.  Image you lost your wedding ring at a backyard barbeque. One of those situations where you are sure you set the ring on the picnic table.  At this point you’ve got 3 options.

  1. Consider it gone (and weather the wrath of an angry spouse)
  2. Hire a Detectorist to search for it.  (These guys are usually paid for mileage and a courtesy commission)
  3. Rent a metal detector and search yourself for a faction of the cost.

Renting a Metal Detector for Property Line Stakes

Another reason to rent a metal detector is to settle property line disputes at a faction of the cost of having a surveyor.  Most property lines have already been marked with a stake.  Usually these stakes are made of steel, commonly an 18-inch piece of rebar.  At the time of the original survey a wood stake with flag is usually stuck alongside the rebar stake.

Renting a detector that is great for iron makes finding the points easy.  The $70 is cheap versus thousands for a survey.

Renting a Metal Detector on Vacation

I get bored sitting on a beach for more than a day.  Sure, I love beaches and being warm, but I start to get restless.   Scanning a beach with a metal detector is perfect for getting some exercises and meeting folks.

If you’re flying to a beach vacation, I’d suggest leaving the machine at home.  A big package like a metal detector will cost about $80 extra in luggage (just like golf clubs).  Most big beaches will offer rental machines.  Many times, the rental detector may be better than the one you already own.   Below I’ve put together and list of popular beaches with places to rent a metal detector.

Metal Detecting Tip:  When beach scanning sweep parallel to the water line.  Different moisture levels in the sand will throw off the balance of your unit. 

How Much Does It Cost to Rent Metal Detector?

From all the investigating I’ve done across the country the prices very between $20 for 3 hours to $25 / day.  Some metal detecting shops will rent high end machines.  At those places you could pay around $80 per day, but you get the benefit of using before buying.

Favorite Places to Rent a Metal Detector

  1. Coronado Beach San Diego, CA – This find was amazing.  Think of getting lessons and renting a metal detector!  Coronado Beach is super poplar and gets thousands of folks every weekend.  Lots of people swimming (loosing good stuff) and applying sunscreen (perfect for rings slipping off) The place to go is San Diego Metal Detectors, great service, expert lessons and upgraded equipment.  Check them out at this link – http://www.sandiegometaldetectors.com/
  2. Myrtle Beach, SC – Sunbelt Rentals has handheld metal detectors and they have a couple locations in the Myrtle Beach area – here’s a link – https://www.sunbeltrentals.com/equipment/items/1156/hand-held-metal-detector/
  3. Virginia Beach, VA – Check with Rental Works.  They carry Garrett Detectors and rent by the day.  A couple locations in the Virginia Beach area – here’s a link – http://rentalworks.com/product/metal-detector/
  4. Baker Beach, CA – AAA Rentals in Redwood carries Garrett Ace 250 metal detectors.  For a great cost of about $20 for 3 hours.  AAA Rentals can be found at this link – https://www.aaarentals.com/equipment.asp?action=category&category=21&key=DETECMET%2D1
  5. Grand Haven State Park Beach, MI – Michigan has great beaches and the DNR provides excellent guidance for where to metal detect.  Huge sugar sand beaches in a resort town make are the makings of treasure hunting success.  Redi Rental rents metal detectors for $33/day.  Here’s a link to find Redi Rental –  https://www.redirental.com/product/rentals/metal-detector/20335
  6. Mid-Beach Miami, FL – Truly a warm weather beach vacation.  Miles of beaches with great treasure hunting opportunities.  You’ve got to work with Rent a Metal Detector .com.  Check out the instructional video for operating the Garrett 300.  https://sites.google.com/view/ramd/home
  7. Oahu Beach in Honolulu, HI – This is a dream come true.  Vacationing in Honolulu and not swinging a metal detector would be like fishing and not using bait.  Lugging a big metal detector across the country on a plane is ridiculous when you can rent a Garrett 350 for $25 per day.  The great folks at Hawaiian Rent-All even have sand scoop.  Make a trip to Hawaii a true once in a lifetime trip.  Check out Hawaiian Rent-All, here’s a link to there shop – https://www.hawaiianrentall.com/equipment.asp?action=category&category=9&key=METALDETECT

Looking for some great places to metal detect? Vacationing with your detector is a great way to search out the best places in most states.



David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Maine (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Maine (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

Maine, it isn’t all lobster fishing and lighthouses, although there is no shortage of those things. In truth, Maine has an impressive diversity of extensive coastlines, early colonial history, and northern wilderness. With all three of these things comes treasure hunting potential, something Maine is overflowing with.

It is for that reason, and also that I was sent there for work, that I visited Maine a couple of years ago. And, of course, whenever I go on a business trip, I bring my metal detecting gear! Who wouldn’t? I remember finding some coins that looked to be quite old on a beach, and even a single earring. It turned out to be stainless steel and cubic zirconium, but it was still cool to find something other than pop-can tabs and construction debris.

Finding Coins on the Beach

I love going to new places to metal detect, as each new state and each new location feels like a renewed chance to find something incredible. However, I always have difficulty finding the best places to metal detect in whatever state it is I have journeyed. That’s why I created this list, and others like it on this website, to hopefully help out my fellow metal detecting enthusiasts.


The Top Maine Metal Detecting Locations (in no particular order)

1. Birch Point Beach State Park

This 62-acre pocket beach on the Penobscot Bay in Owl Head wonderfully represents the picturesque northern beaches that one can find in the state of Maine. Studded, and surrounded, by tall pines, and even taller oaks, this state park is a perfectly unique beach treasure hunting location. If you are used to west coast, or even more southern east coast, beaches, then I highly recommend visiting one of the beaches on this list. It is a completely different experience in the best way imaginable. 

Birch Point Beach State Park, known to the Knox County locals as Lucia Beach, is a relatively new state park, acquired by the state in 1999. It was purchased with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program, and what a good purchase it was. The crescent shaped sand beach bordering the majestic Atlantic Ocean is a treasure hunters dream, bound to be used by detectorists for generations.


Check out these great Metal Detectors on AMAZON


2. Popham Beach State Park

If you are looking for a highly foot-trafficked beach, the Popham Beach State Park is the place for you. It is not only Maine’s busiest state park beach, but also the state’s highest volume day use park. It is a peninsular beach which, in recent years, has fallen victim to erosion. However, large boulders have been dispersed throughout the beach to help hold off the surf. Nonetheless, as it is still the best place in Maine to go looking for items dropped in the sand.

The Popham beach State park is around 605-acres of clean white sand on the shore the Atlantic Ocean, located in the town of Phippsburg. Sagadahoc County, Maine.


3. Bradbury Mountain State Park

The Bradbury Mountain State park is one of Maine original 5 state parks, acquired by the state in 1939. The parks namesake ‘Bradbury Mountain’ is, in reality, nothing more than a less than 500-foot hill. However, this hill does provide park visitors with unbelievable panoramic views of the park wilderness, something that attracts tons of visitors every year. The park covers 730-acres of natural forest, which hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders take advantage of during every season of the year.

This park is a great place to metal detect because of its surprisingly rich history. Before Europeans arrived, the Wabanakis natives camped on the mountain while on their treks to the coast. Furthermore, in the 1800’s, the historic Cotton family grew grapes on this land as a part of their farm. Plus, in the early twentieth century, some parks of the park were even used for mining. Remnants from all of these historical periods that the park has gone through over the last few centuries are just waiting for you to discover them.


4. Lily Bay State Park

While the whopping 3,478-miles of tidal shoreline that Maine has (51-miles longer than California’s!) might be the main focus of many, the inland beaches of Maine’s many freshwater lakes are nonetheless bursting with treasure hunting opportunity. The Lily Bay State Park encompasses 924-acres on the southern shore of Moosehead Lake. The largest inland lake in the state!

The pebble style shoreline of the Lily Bay may make it more difficult to dig up your finds… but it also means that it is easier to lose things like coins, jewelry, and other small valuables. They get trapped in the cracks between the stones, and a metal detector is the best tool to be able to root out these forgotten treasures. The tens of thousands of people who visit this park every year are bound to have left something for you to find.



5. Ferry Beach State Park

Located just north of the mouth of the Saco river in Saco, Maine, this park is spans nearly 120-acres of both inland and Atlantic shoreline wilderness. The superb white beaches of this south-western state park are tremendous recreation locations that thousands of people visit every year. Moreover, this park gets an additional bump in tourism from its exceedingly rare stand of Tupelo, or Black Gum, tress which are highly uncommon at that latitude.

Before highways became commonplace in Maine, and throughout the states on the coasts of the United States, beaches offered travelers with a safe and easy way to navigate transportation throughout the state. The Ferry Beach get its name from this history, and who knows what relics from this period in time still lay in the sand and soil of this fantastic state park.


6. Aroostook State Park

Another of Maine’s legendary original 5 state parks, the Aroostook State Park is a 900-acre wilderness park that encompasses the Quaggy Jo Mountain and Echo Lake. Both of these landmarks, as well as the sheer beauty of the northern Maine forestry, attract thousands of visitors every year. This also means that you can metal detect on either sand or soil in this park, as Echo lake has a swimming beach and the rest of the park has a lengthy trail system.

The Aroostook State Park, like many of Maine’s State Parks, was once the site of a native settlement. In fact, the Mountain ‘Quaggy Jo’ is named after an alternate pronunciation of the Native American name for the mountain ‘Qua Qua Jo’ which means twin peaked. It should be no surprise then that this location is a potential treasure trove of relics and historical items.


7. Sebago Lake State Park

One of the larger of Maine’s State Parks, the Sebago Lake State Park is 1,342-acres of land plotted on the north shore of the Sebago Lake. It was one of Maine’s original 5 State Parks and remains one of its most visited today. The forested portion of the park is split into an eastern and western portion by the Songo river. The Sebago Lake itself is, impressively, the second largest inland lake in the state!

Because it is located in one of the more metropolitan portions of Maine, this state park is sure to have tons of foot traffic. Thousands of people visit the beach of this south-western freshwater lake every year. I wouldn’t come here looking for relics or anything like that, but for: coins, jewelry, etc. I would give it a wholehearted recommendation.


8. Lamoine State Park

One of the smallest State Parks on this list, the Lamoine State Park comes in at a miniscule 55-acres. However, before you get disappointed… it’s pretty much entirely beachfront property on the Atlantic Ocean! This park has a broad view of the Mount Desert Island (as well as its mountain range) and the sublime Frenchman’s Bay. The park was once home to a coal-burning warship refueling station which has been out of operation for over a hundred years. Who knows what has been left behind from this astounding military history!

The area where this State Park is located is nestled firmly into the most sought-after vacation destination in all of Maine. Out-of-state tourists with lots of money, the kind who wear and potential loose real precious metal and jeweled jewelry, come here every year to swim and enjoy the beach at Lamoine State Park.


9. Scarborough Beach State Park

This State Park is the closest park to Maine’s most populous city Portland, Maine. It is also one of the most visited public beaches in all of Maine given that the water gets all the way up to the high 60’s in temperature during some summer months. This might not seem that impressive to you west coast people, but for people who know how cold north-eastern ocean beaches can get… it’s unprecedented. This is a great location for treasure hunters because of its location, foot traffic, and also the fact that it is a family-friendly beach that is always clean and safe. Plus, if you do wind up taking a dip in the blimey waters of the great blue you can be assured that lifeguards are on duty at all times that the beachfront is open to the public.

10. Rangeley State Park

Deep in the heart of Maine’s Western Mountains, the Rangeley State Park is 869-acres of land and lake, with the 9-mile wide Rangeley Lake being the parks namesake attraction. From the soft sand beaches, decorated with pine trees spaced out, you can see the majestic Saddleback Mountain in the distance.

The Rangeley Lake also has world-famous populations of landlocked trout and salmon which brings fisherman from all around the country. This State Park might not be number one in foot-traffic, historical value, or convenience, but it is unmatched in sheer beauty of the surrounding you get enjoy while you are treasure hunting.


11. Wolfe’s Neck State Park

This 244-acre State Park is located on the Casco Bay just 5-miles out of Freeport, Maine’s bustling shopping district. Even though it is so close to the city, the Wolfe’s Neck State Park offers forests filled with white pine, hemlock, and a unique salt marsh estuary. However, those things are not what the park is famous for. The Wolfe’s Neck State park is well known for its signature residents the ospreys. Ospreys have an impressive average wingspan of around 1.5-meters! They, of course, bring birdwatchers from all around the region to the park.

Furthermore, the park gets its name from Henry and Rachel Wolfe, the parks first European settlers who arrived in 1733. Plus, in the 20th century the park was an organic beef-raising farm. This, along with the osprey’s, means that the park is the perfect combination of high foot-traffic and historical significance. Just think, you can be searching for coins and jewelry at the same time that you’re looking for relics left behind and forgotten in the sand and soil.


12. Footbridge Beach

The Footbridge Beach is one of the more popular tourist beaches on Maine’s oceanic coastline. In fact, it often gets so busy that I have to recommend this location for either early morning or nighttime treasure hunting. And, unlike the state parks on this beach, no permit is required to metal detect. It is a public beach in Your County, Maine in the south-western most portion of the state’s coast. The beach gets its name from the fact that a lengthy footbridge has to be crossed to get to the shoreline because the beach and the mainland is separated by a portion of the Atlantic which juts into the landmass in a sort of river like formation.


13. White Mountain National Forest

The only National Forest on this list, and in the state of Maine, the White Mountain National Forest is a massive 750,852-acres of rolling peaks and pine spotted hillsides. While the vast majority of this park is actually located in the state of New Hampshire, around 5% of the forest is on the border between the two states. The major peaks of the mountains are over 4,00-feet high, and around 100-miles of the legendary Appalachian Trail traverses the White Mountain National Forest.

Like all national forest, you do not even need a permit to metal detect on the premises, which sets White Mountain apart from most of the locations on this list. There are some regulations in regard to what you can and cannot legally take from the forest, these rules can be found linked below in the ‘Metal Detecting Laws in Maine’ section.


14. Ghost Towns (Flagstaff, Dead River, Ligonia Village, Madrid)

Ghost towns are a favored treasure hunting location for detectorist all around the country, and this is no different in the great state of Maine. However, always make sure you aren’t metal detecting on private land without the permission of the landowner. Some ghost towns have public land, or simply plots of land that no one bothers to manage, and these locations are what I recommend you seek out.

In Maine some of the more well-known ghost towns are Flagstaff, Dead River, Ligonia Village, and Madrid. All of these locations were at one-point busy up-and-coming town which for one reason or another have since become all but deserted. Moreover, each of these town have a unique history that has likely been undisturbed in regard to what’s been left behind of that history in the soil.


15. Private Land

Some of my best finds have come from private land, I think this is due to one simple thing… nobody had bothered to metal detect there before. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to just start digging up people’s lawns throwing caution to the wind. You still need to get permission to metal detect on the land from the landowner, if you don’t you are committing a crime, and that I will not endorse. But, if you can find some friends, or even just nice people you meet somewhere along the way, to let you search their back yard… you just might be in for an exciting find!

Pro-Tip: People who have larger yards will be more likely to let you metal detect on them because they don’t see the slight malformation from the holes as that much of a disruption.


Metal Detecting Laws in Maine

State Parks

Metal detecting in any state park in Maine requires you to obtain a metal detecting permit from the park office. These permits allow you to metal detect in the park, however, it is at the discretion of the park management to decide where in the park they will allow you to metal detect.

The only state park you are not allowed to metal detect in is Baxter State Park, because it is not actually owned or managed by the state government.

National Forests

Metal detecting is allowed in all National Forests, with some regulation.

For the specifics visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5261774.pdf (link to National Forest metal detecting and mineral collecting policy)

Footbridge Park

Unlike in Maine’s State Parks, at Footbridge park you are allowed to metal detect without a permit. Of course, you should always respect the land and the people around you, permit or not.

Private Land

You must get permission from the landowner to metal detect on private land. Failing to do so will result in you committing a crime.


Maine Metal Detecting Clubs


Metal Detecting Shops in Maine


Treasure Finds in Maine and Metal Detecting News

  • In the early 1840’s the Grindle family found a treasure trove of around 500-2,000 colonial coins in Castine, Maine.

David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Nevada (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Nevada (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

Whenever I talk to folks unfamiliar with metal detecting, they often ask if I’ve ever found gold. In most instances, I laugh it off. Stories about bags of gold hidden by history’s most infamous train robbers or gold prospectors dying before they can return for their buried treasure abound in American history. And even seasoned detectorists are often tempted by those fantasies. But, in my experience, finding gold and gems is rare, with one exception: metal detecting in Nevada.

metal detecting for gold in Nevada
metal detecting for gold in Nevada

Nevada is the top gold and silver producer in the US. It’s also one of the few places where gold and gems are discovered by recreational prospectors and detectorists with frequency. I’m not encouraging a modern-day gold rush, but if you have gold fever, Nevada is a great state to try your hand at it. As an additional selling point, there are public lands in Nevada that allow prospecting for gold and gems, which can simplify your research and planning.

Additionally, if you’re a metal detectorist with a passion for history, Nevada offers countless ghost towns – most the remains of previous gold rushes – that would make fascinating targets for a metal detecting trip. However, ascertaining the legality of metal detecting on those sites is more than I plan to cover in this article. If you’re willing to do your own research, I’d recommend looking into permissions for metal detecting ghost towns like Blair, Austin, Aurora, Belmont and Delamar. Or, do your own historical research (Hint: check out historicaerials.com) to find abandoned ghost towns because you’ll find no shortage of promising leads in Nevada.


Metal Detecting tip: The majority of your finds will be from modern-day folks, so choose a site with a high number of visitors to maximize your chances. HOWEVER, metal detecting is easier and more pleasant during uncrowded times (some metal detector regulations actually require metal detectorists confine their activities to “low” times). Therefore, your timing is often as strategic as choosing a location. You’ll have even better chances if you metal detect after a large event, such as an outdoor concert or sports competition.

Top Nevada Metal Detecting Locations (in no particular order)

1. Mill Creek Recreation Area, Battle Mountain, NV.

This BLM-supervised area allows metal detecting as long as you do no surface damage and don’t remove anything over 100-years-old (see the section on NV laws and regulations below for BLM guidelines). The area receives 30,000 visitors per year, making it a likely place for lost or forgotten personal items. The campground, in particular, is a promising spot to try because – in addition to the numbers of modern-day visitors – it was the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps work camp for nine years during the Great Depression. You’ll see the ruins of some CCC structures, such as the stone columns that once marked the entrance.



2. Illipah Reservoir Recreation Area & Hamilton Ghost Town, Hamilton, NV

The reservoir, parking lots and campground are promising locations for metal detecting finds dropped by contemporary visitors, but beware! This park is hugely popular with anglers, so you’ll probably turn up a good number of hooks, metal sinkers and other discarded fishing accessories in addition to more rewarding finds. The ghost town of Hamilton makes for a fascinating visit (metal detecting not allowed), but the extensive network of roads that once supplied the ghost town should be your target for your actual metal detecting. Their usage – both currently and historically – make them a likely place for a lucky find, metal detecting is permitted and they’re accessible by vehicle. Illipah Reservoir makes a great basecamp for exploring other nearby ghost towns like Belmont and Treasure City.


3. Garnet Hill Recreation Area , Ruth, NV

Explore this BLM trailhead, parking lot, roads and trails, particularly drainage areas. Additionally, this area is a designated rockhounding location, famed for its garnets. The garnets here, known as Almandine, boast an unusually vibrant red color due to the high iron content. You may find it interesting to try garnet-hunting or stick to metal detecting. If you want to try your hand at garnet prospecting, try to go after a rain storm or snowmelt and focus on the southwest corner of the area. In addition to your usual metal detecting gear, you may want to bring a hammer to crack the precious gems out of the rhyolite in which they form.


4. Red Rock Canyon Campground , Las Vegas, NV

This metal detecting location has numerous things to recommend it. For starters, it’s only 20 miles from Las Vegas, meaning it’s both convenient and high traffic, receiving roughly two million visitors a year. It helps that it’s gorgeous too! Red rock chimney and rock formations contrast with exquisitely blue skies. Check out the popular park visitor areas like the parking lots, picnic areas and the campground or set off on any of the 60 miles of trails that suit your fancy.

Metal Detecting tip: Always carry water, snacks and extra clothing on any metal detecting search that takes you away from your car. Even if you only plan to hike a short distance, getting lost or injured is always a possibility, so be prepared. In hot desert locations, water is of extra importance, as is sunscreen.



5. Wilson Canyon, Carson City, NV

I like this unassuming, no-frills BLM recreation spot not because of the chances of a modern find – though the picnic areas are certainly worth a scan. River drainages and basins are some of my favorite public land sites for finding older items washed down the hillsides over years of rain and snowmelt. In addition, you don’t need a mining claim to prospect on public land in Nevada so there’s always the chance of finding gold or silver, as well.


6. Rye Patch Placer District, Winnemucca, NV

This area is hugely popular for gold nugget prospecting with a metal detector. It’s about 50 miles southwest of Winnemucca in northern Nevada, west of Rye Patch Reservoir. The area is remote, some come with plenty of food, water, extra clothing, extra metal detector batteries and a full tank of gas! The area is well-known in the gold-hunting metal detector world because the gold is said to be shallow and easily read by a detector. There’s also little in the way of vegetation so the land is easy to traverse. Personally, I’ve never found gold there, but you might have better luck!


7. Rye Patch State Park, Lovelock, NV

Easily overshadowed by the fame and popularity of the nearby Rye Patch Placer District, Rye Patch State Park is not a go-to location for metal detecting – which is precisely why I like it. It hasn’t been picked over by decades of detectorists, and it offer more chance of finding human items as opposed to only gold.


8. Washoe Lake State Park, New Washoe City, NV

Metal detecting is allowed except at the sand dunes and Little Washoe Lake. Unlike most Nevada State Parks, a permit/permission is not required to metal detect, but – as a courtesy – the park likes to be notified if you’re metal detecting there. Eye-popping views of the Sierra Mountains and numerous trails make this a location that can keep you and your metal detector busy for many days. I love the scenery of this pristine, unpopulated area and highly recommend a visit. Nearby former mining towns, like Dayton and Virginia City, are historically interesting, and the remnants the Ophir Mill (which processed the treasure of Virginia City’s Comstock Lode) are on the west shore of the lake.


9. Nevada Beach Campground & Recreation Area, Stateline, NV

This location is high on my list for an overnight family camping trip with some metal detecting thrown in, but not low if your only interest is metal detecting. Beaches are always great candidates for modern-day finds, and this beautiful, uncrowded setting makes for a great getaway. But, to be honest, the metal detecting finds have been sparse.


If your looking for the tools and gear to metal detect for gold check out this article – Metal Detecting Gear for Gold


10. Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, Incline, NV

This is one of the few Nevada State Parks that allows metal detecting – but only with the park supervisor’s permission. As the Coronavirus prevention measures have reduced visitor capacity at State Parks and recreation areas, there may be less opportunity for metal detectorists, depending on how they’re prioritizing use and taking reservations. When I contacted the park for this article, however, the park was currently allowing metal detecting with permission and the reminder that historical artifacts are not to be removed.


11. Zephyr Cove Resort Beach, Zephyr Cove, NV

This National Forest beach is popular and scenic – and you can enjoy a meal or a drink in the restaurant without resorting the squashed peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and warm Coke in your backpack. And, if you time your detecting for after big crowds or crowded times, you’ll find enough in loose change to pay for it!


12. Round Hill Pines Resort Beach, Zephyr Cove, NV

Another National Forest Beach near Zephyr Cove. This beach is particularly popular with families, and the areas of traffic are always very promising. So, with lots of kayaking and paddle boating, picnic facilities, parking lots and play areas, you’ll hopefully have a fruitful detecting trip.


13. Skunk Harbor Beach, Spooner Lake, NV

This beach is rustic and remote, with no facilities. The hike from the parking area to the beach is a hike in itself, so be ready for a rugged day. The two things I like about this location are: the solitude of the out-of-the-way location (which can, conversely, be a detriment to metal detecting) and the historic stone structures that give the area a more historic significance than most beach metal detecting sites. Of course, you can’t remove artifacts from the historic sites, but they make for great sightseeing and ambiance while you metal detect the beach!


14. Chimney Beach, Carson City, NV

This small, rustic beach is, nevertheless, very popular with beachgoers. It has no facilities and is quite a strenuous hike from the parking area, so be prepared to be self-sufficient for the duration of your metal detecting hunt. I highly recommend metal detecting the trail between the parking area and the beach – I’ve had great luck there! By the way, if you’re curious about the name… Chimney Beach is named for an actual chimney on the beach, the remains of a historic cabin that once enjoyed that scenic real estate. Who knows, maybe you’ll find other evidence from previous residents in addition to modern-day beach visitors.


15. Camp Richardson Resort Beach, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Just over the state line in California, this beach is both hugely popular and historic. As usual, avoid crowded times but scan the most popular areas, particularly around the dock and marina. As Camp Richardson Resort is on National Forest land, it’s operated by a private concessionaire, so the permissions for metal detecting are hazy. Best practice would be to contact the resort for permission – or prepared to run away very, very quickly if someone starts shouting at you!


Metal Detecting Laws in Nevada

A note about metal detecting in Nevada State Parks: While the State Park Service website (http://parks.nv.gov/about/frequently-asked-questions) offers the somewhat optimistic guideline: “Metal detecting is permitted in designated areas with the permission of the park supervisor,” it’s not as promising as it sounds. After contacting half a dozen state park offices, the majority of them do NOT allow metal detecting. Those that do are included in the list above.

  • Metal detecting is not allowed in National Parks or National Monuments anywhere in the US.
  • Metal detecting is allowed on most Nevada Bureau of Land Management as long as no cultural artifacts are removed. “Cultural materials on public lands may not be removed, damaged, disturbed, excavated or transferred without BLM permit. Cultural resources include prehistoric and historic artifacts and sites, broken objects and debris more than 100 years old that were used or produced by humans. Historic sites such as cabins, sawmills, graves, trail traces, mining areas, townsites, ranches and railroads are not open to collecting.” You can collect modern money but not coins over 100 years old. Check out the complete Nevada BLM guidelines for collecting on public lands (link: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/collecting_on_publiclands.pdf
  • Some Nevada State Parks DO allow metal detecting with permission of the park supervisor. Contact any park you’re interested in detecting at before going.
  • Regulations for city and county parks and other public lands will vary from place to place, so be sure to check with the appropriate agency to determine if metal detecting is allowed.
  • Metal detecting is permitted on private land with the property owner’s written permission.
  • The pertinent info you need to know in National Forest Regulations is:
    1. The recreational use of metal detectors and the collection of rocks and mineral samples are allowed on the National Forests. Generally, most of the National Forests are open to recreational mineral and rock collecting, gold panning and prospecting using a metal detector.
    2. Metal detector use is allowed in developed campgrounds and picnic areas if they are not specifically closed to such activity.
    3. Archaeological remains on federal land, known or unknown, are protected under law. If you were to discover such remains, you should leave them undisturbed and report your find to the local Forest Service office. 

Item number 3 is a standard regulation for metal detecting in any park, municipality or jurisdiction in the USA due to the Antiquities Act of 1906, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Archaeological Resources Preservation Act (ARPA). These national laws mean that you can’t remove any find you believe is 100 years old or more. These potential archaeological artifact should be reported to the State Archaeologist or the governing body of the park/land where you make the find.


Nevada Metal Detecting Clubs

  • Reno Prospecting and Detecting Club (link: http://renoprospectinganddetecting.com/)
  • Gold Searchers of Southern Nevada (link: http://www.goldsearchersnv.com/). This club is unique as it’s not simply a source of social activities and informational resources for detectorists. It offers prospecting equipment that members can check out and has several gold claims where members can engage in various prospecting activities.
  • Passport in Time (link: http://www.passportintime.com/). While not actually a club, this National Forest Service program offers a chance to metal detect, as a volunteer, on specific projects. It offers the chance to enjoy your metal detecting hobby, while preserving our country’s historical relics on public lands.

Metal Detecting Shops in Nevada


If you’re having trouble finding a (brick and mortar) metal detector shop near you, two things to keep in mind when shopping for or servicing a metal detector:

  1. Shops for power tool supplies and rentals will often carry metal detectors. Similarly, some small electronics repair or power tool repair shops may be able to service your metal detector.

Also, if you’re unsure about your commitment to the hobby, I highly recommend renting a couple times, keeping in mind the quality of a rental is usually lower than one you would by. Many metal detector dealers and, also, local tool rental companies have metal detectors for rent.

2. Online purchase – and even repair – of metal detectors is becoming hugely popular – for good reason. The selection is better and the convenience of the location isn’t an issue than a standard showroom-type shop. The only drawback is the long delay for shipping of your purchase or repair. This also brings me to my final metal detecting tip.


Metal detecting tip: Learn and perform basic maintenance on your metal detector. Even if there’s a great repair shop close to your home, there’s never any guarantee there will be one close to your search site. There’s nothing worse than being deep in the woods for a full-day or even a weekend-long hunt and having something break. Also: carry a spare coil, extra batteries and any other common replacement parts for the model you use.

Treasure Finds in Nevada and Metal Detecting News

“Eldorado Canyon Day; From Lawless Gold Mining Mecca to a Hoarder’s Dream” (Link: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/03/25/eldorado-canyon-day-from-lawless-gold-mining-mecca-to-a-hoarders-dream/

“It’s All About the Treasure Hunt for Reno Prospector” (link: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/02/19/treasure-hunt-reno-prospector/23706277/)

“Amazing Treasure Finds in Every State” (link: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/amazing-treasure-finds-in-every-state/ss-AAK6ArC)


David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.


15 Best Places to Metal Detect in New Hampshire (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in New Hampshire (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

Last summer, my elderly mother decided to take a month off from her Florida retirement to spend time with my family in New Hampshire. It was a great idea – but in practice, what could I possibly offer her to fill her time? She wouldn’t be able to keep up with us on our hiking and backpacking in the White Mountains, and we had no interest in watching Jeopardy with her every night. I needn’t have worried. When she arrived, she brought the solution with her: her trusty metal detector. For years, she’d combed the beaches with it, and now we had a chance to learn about New Hampshire together – with a metal detector!

It helped immensely that my mom loves to read and research, while we like to hike and explore. When we combined forces on a month of New Hampshire metal detecting, we were an impressive team. Between research and metal detecting expeditions, I learned more about the state in one month than I had the previous 12 months living in New Hampshire. For example, most of the hiking trails and remote wilderness areas I love so much would not be accessible today, if it wasn’t for logging operations and the extensive networks of mostly temporary railroads built to serve them. Ever hiked the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire? You’re benefitting from an old railroad bed.

So, if you’re interested in metal detecting in New Hampshire, here are our top 15 metal detecting locations:

Abandoned Towns, Settlements and Mines

When looking out at some vantage point over New Hampshire’s White Mountains, they’re forested, thick and green. The idea of calling them “white” seems very inapt. Though there are references to the “White Mountains” or “White Hills” in Colonial documents, no actual historical record exists of how the White Mountains were named. The accepted theory is that the name goes back to the first view of the area by white explorers, possibly even in the 1500s. When viewed from the sea, the peaks of the mountains were often snow-capped, even at times when the rest of the landscape was green. Hence, the White Mountains.

Over the course of New Hampshire’s logging history, 19 railroads were built in the state or farther north to move supplies in and product out. The majority of the railroads and accompanying logging settlements are now completely abandoned. Some are commemorated with signs, parks or museums, but most are virtually forgotten. Most of these sites are located in White Mountains National Forest. Technically, you’re not permitted to metal detect at historic sites, so use these suggestions as a jumping-off point in your search but not where you do your actual metal detecting.

When metal detecting for historical items, the goal is discovery and documentation, not possession. You’re not allowed to keep anything over 100 years or of historical significance, but are supposed to report it – to a park manager or state archaeologist, depending on the type of land.

Finding-Money-Metal-Detecting
Finding-Money-Metal-Detecting

Rules for metal detecting in New Hampshire National Forests: No permit required. No digging allowed, just surface searching. No removal of historical artifacts.



1. Thornton Gore Farming Settlement (via Tripoli Road).

The history of Thornton Gore is slightly different than other abandoned logging settlements: It was an agricultural village before timber became the dominant industry, as opposed to a slipshod temporary settlement built for loggers. When timber companies took over, their goal was the regrowth of the forest for future harvests with no interest in the buildings, so they simply left former homes and the school undisturbed, to be swallowed up by the forest.

The White Mountain Historical Society captures the poignant process well: “The effect of decades of decay was inevitable; the buildings fell to the ground, their timbers decomposed, and the forest reclaimed the land.  In some cases, farm equipment was left to rust in the fields and some remains today.  Only stonewalls, cellar holes and cemeteries are left to tell the stories of the once thriving towns.” To learn more about the history of the area go HERE.


2. Passaconaway Settlement

Passaconaway Settlement may be one of the largest of New Hampshire’s abandoned logging towns, once home to as many as 1,200 people, two schools, a store, a post office, boarding houses and homes. Today, you’ll find a Forest Service Visitor Center, but only the cemetery is readily visible.


3. Village of Livermore via the Sawyer River Trail

A former logging settlement, Livermore once claimed 200 residents at its peak but was completely abandoned by the 1950s.



4. Zealand logging settlement ruins (via Zealand Falls Trail)

(Map: ). Even if you come up empty-handed, you won’t regret this stop. The hike is only 2.5 miles, easy and scenic. Keep your eyes open for the ruins of the ill-fated Zealand logging company, which was done in by, not one, but two wildfires before closing its operations here.


5. Make your own discovery

During the heyday of New Hampshire logging, logging camps popped up haphazardly, with little planning, documentation or thorough removal. Many camps and artifacts remain, unrecorded, nearly invisible, awaiting discovery – or complete absorption into the forest. Along the abandoned Swift River Railroad in the Swift River Valley, just as one example, nearly 20 logging camps have been documented for the first time by outdoor recreationists! Dozens of logging railroad lines lay abandoned in New England’s bountiful forests – many on National Forest land – and along each one are untold numbers of abandoned logging settlements. A few railroads with sections that meet these criteria are the Zealand Railroad, the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, the Swift River Railroad and Gordon Pond Railroad. So, do some research and become an amateur anthropologist!

For our family’s metal detecting hunts, most of these sites required extensive walking, often off-trail and weren’t appropriate for my mother’s level of fitness. So keep in mind the level of exertion you’re interested in when choosing your metal detecting locations. No matter what, bring a backpack with plenty of water, snacks, clothing for adverse weather and anything else you’d prudently carry on a remote outdoor activity.


Metal detecting tip: Pile all the removed sand/dirt into an upside-down Frisbee so that when you finish digging you can refill the hole with minimal effort and minimal impact on the area outside the hole.


Beaches: Lakes

At the foot of the White Mountains, in the Lakes Region, you’ll find numerous – you guessed it! – lakes. With only 13 miles of coastal shoreline, most beaches in New Hampshire are on lakes. You can pretty much pick any beach, whether lake or ocean, and it’s a prime spot for metal detecting. Personal items that are easily dropped are then, just as easily, buried by the sand. Moreover, metal detecting is almost universally permitted at public beaches, unless otherwise posted. While New Hampshire’s ocean beaches have an entrance fee, most of my lake beach metal detecting suggestions are free.

General beach detecting guidelines include: Avoid metal detecting during crowded times and avoid interfering with other recreational activities. Fill in any holes you make.


6. Bartlett Beach, Lake Winnisquam:

Small but pleasant. Check the picnic area in addition to the beach.


7. Brewster Beach – Wolfeboro Public beach, Lake Winnipesaukee

Bustling with activity all summer long. Kids’ swimming activity make mid-day too crowded for detecting. Like many beaches, recommend early morning for metal detecting.


8. Weirs Beach Endicott Park, Lake Winnipesaukee

We’ve had a lot of luck detecting at this popular beach.


9. 19 Mile Bay Beach, Lake Winnipesaukee

Oft-forgotten, this is a good beach to visit when others might be too crowded to pull out a metal detector.


10. Ellacoya State Park, Lake Winnipesaukee

This is a gorgeous and popular beach, a very good bet for a detectorist. Consider the campground areas, parking lots and other frequently-traveled areas that may permit metal detecting.


11. Sunapee State Beach, Sunapee Lake

Tip: check out boat launch area. You’d be surprised how much goes overboard here.


12. Wellington State Park, Newfound Lake.

The largest freshwater beach in the state, it’s no surprise that this beach can get very crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.


13. White Lake State Park, White Lake.

A scenic gem, tucked away and usually less crowded. If you come with a family or enjoy other hobbies – like canoeing or camping – in addition to metal detecting, you might want to make a weekend visit.

Bring your bathing suit and towel because the crisp, blue water and a sunny day may distract you from your metal detecting mission and entice you in!


Metal detecting tip: If it’s the monetary value of your finds that excites you, research any old coins you find. Out of everything you find (and are permitted to keep), rare, older coins will bring in the most money. If you know what they’re worth.


Beaches: Ocean

Finally, we put my mom’s metal detector to use in its native habitat: an ocean beach. This was the type of metal detecting my mother had been doing in Florida for years, and she was a pro. She gladly shared her techniques and years of experience with us beach-combing newbies.

When metal detecting at beaches, your goal is almost always modern-day finds. Lost watches, coins, phones. This may or may not excite you much, but an industrious detectorist can make a pretty rewarding endeavor of returning lost items to their owners or find that a summer’s worth of assorted coins adds up to a decent sum of money. If this type of metal detecting doesn’t get you jazzed up, you’re not alone: skip the beaches! But if you are targeting beaches: think “high traffic.” Parking lots, entrance and exit points to the beach, the most crowded beach spots…those should be your targets. However, you’ll want to do your actual metal detecting during less crowded times. Also, check the calendars for major events! The day after a triathlon or a beach concert are strategic times to go metal detecting.  

Some of my mother’s fellow detectorists in Florida have made a veritable business out of their detecting hobbies, setting up “lost and found” websites or social media pages specifically to return items found while metal detecting (with a “tip” or reward gladly accepted). They also check for flyers and other notices requesting help finding lost phones or wedding rings and respond accordingly.


14. Hampton Beach (Seashell, South Beach and North Beach)

The biggest and most popular beach in a state with admittedly few ocean beaches. Since you’ll be going during quieter times, you may not have any trouble finding parking in one of the metered spots on Ocean Boulevard. But you can also find private lots on Ashworth Avenue, which will let you avoid gridlock during peak traffic. To park in the parking lot at South Beach is $15 per vehicle.


15. Wallis Sands State Beach, Rye

Smaller and less crowded than Hampton Beach, it’s nevertheless very popular with beach-lovers, and a promising site for beach metal detecting at low tide. Parking fee of $15 per vehicle.


Research Is Your Friend: Before and After the Hunt

Regardless of what triggered your interest in metal detecting, most of us end up spending quite a bit of time doing some form of research. If you’re particularly interested in historical finds, you’ll probably become frustrated by the regulations on public land that require you to avoid historically significant sites. You want to find some historically-significant areas you where you are allowed to metal detect. So, how do you do that?

State and local historical societies are great informational resources, as is the local library and county clerk’s office where land plats are archived.

Learn to cross-reference historic maps and modern maps to pinpoint the location you want to metal detect. Google Maps and Historic Aerials (https://www.historicaerials.com/) are indispensable tools available online. For New Hampshire-specific resources, you’ll find some great maps and other information at Whitemountainhistory.org (http://whitemountainhistory.org/White_Mountain_Maps.html).

Even if you’re not particularly historically-minded in targeting your search, you’ll inevitably find something, someday, during your metal detecting that makes you scratch your head and say “what in heaven’s name is this thing?” Take pictures from every angle. Make notes about it, including the location around it and any knowledge you have of the historical background of the area. Then, you’ll have to return home and…get to researching! Numerous chat boards – on metal detecting forums, metal detecting Facebook groups, Reddit, allow you to post pictures and pick the brains of others who may (or may not) have more knowledge of historical artifacts than you. Getting hooked up with a local metal detecting club (see below) is also beneficial – and fun.

But my point is, don’t be scared of the research. It’s almost inevitable if you pursue your metal detecting hobby. And you may find that having more historical context for your hunts makes them more interesting and more satisfying.


Metal Detecting Laws in New Hampshire

On state-owned land, metal detecting is permitted in the following places (unless otherwise posted):

 (a) Beaches;

(b) Athletic fields;

(c) School grounds;

(d) Perimeters of cemeteries;

(e) Unpaved roads;

(f) Within 25 feet of picnic tables and park pavilions; and

(g) Currently used dumps.


New Hampshire State Parks:

State Park regulations on metal detecting are a little hazy. You are permitted to use metal detectors but not “in or around known or undiscovered cultural or historic sites in order to protect our valuable, non-renewable historical resources.” A great option for metal detecting in State Parks – especially if you’re new to the hobby and/or looking for opportunities to learn about archaeology – is the Passport In Time Program. “Passport In Time (PIT) is a national program inviting the public to work with agency archaeologists on historic preservation projects. We have done numerous projects through PIT in cooperation with metal detecting clubs and individuals. The cooperation has been beneficial for both the detectorists and agency’s archaeologists. Locating archaeological sites becomes a joint endeavor and we learn a great deal. If you would like more information on this program, call 1-800-281-9176 or visit www.passportintime.com (http://www.passportintime.com/).”

National Parks: It’s illegal to metal detect in National Parks, National Recreation Areas and National Monuments.

City & County Parks: Regulations for city and county parks and other public lands will vary from place to place, so be sure to check with the appropriate agency to determine if metal detecting is allowed.

Private Land: Metal detecting is permitted on private land with the property owner’s written permission. Do some historical research to choose a promising location, then contact the property owner. Don’t be disheartened by rejection, though! Just move on to the next site on your list and don’t take it personally.


National Laws: Remember, when metal detecting anywhere in the US, regardless of local regulations, we’re bound by both the Antiquities Act of 1906, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Archaeological Resources Preservation Act (ARPA). These national laws mean that you can’t remove anything you believe is 100 years old or more. These potential archaeological artifact should be reported to the State Archaeologist or the governing body of the park/land where you make the find.


New Hampshire Metal Detecting Clubs

If you’re new to the metal detecting hobby and overwhelmed by how much you have to learn, or want to share the excitement with other passionate metal detectorists, get involved with a local club. Clubs/forums are a great source of information on metal detecting regulations, tricks of the technology, identifying finds and more. Here are a few I found, but I’m sure there are many more in New Hampshire:

Favorite Metal Detecting Shops in New Hampshire


Treasure Finds and Metal Detecting News

“Massachusetts woman reunited with wedding ring 10 days after losing it in the ocean at Hampton Beach” (https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/08/massachusetts-woman-reunited-with-wedding-ring-10-days-after-losing-it-in-the-ocean-at-hampton-beach.html)

“Silver Madonna Sends Detectors on Decades-long Search” (https://www.vnews.com/Area-treasure-hunters-seek-silver-Madonna-from-1700s-4943253)

“A group of hikers in New Hampshire used a metal detector to find a wedding ring lost on a snowy mountain” (https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/28/us/new-hampshire-lost-ring-mountain-trnd/index.html)

“Treasure Hunters of the Contoocook River Park” (https://www.nhmagazine.com/treasure-hunters-of-the-contoocook-river-park/) “Wentworth Buried Treasure Tales” (http://www.seacoastnh.com/wentworth-buried-treasure-tales/)


The 15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Vermont (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

The 15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Vermont (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

Searching and exploring is in the DNA of many people in Vermont. Native Americans scoured the land in search of the heralded maple syrup. When the state was introduced into the union in 1791, the European settlers saw how valuable of a product it was and began trying to make a profit off of it. 

Since then, the Vermont government has made it a priority to allow people to search for treasure and enjoy their time in the outdoors. There are few states in the country with as lax of laws as Vermont. All of the state parks are open to be searched as well as a majority of the city parks. 

The most important thing with these states, however, is to respect the rules and regulations in place. Ask anyone who is an avid treasure hunter and they’ll describe how short of a leash they have in most states. These short leashes are in place because people have failed to follow the guidelines the state has put in place. 

As long as you’re willing to go out of your way to Leave No Trace, Vermont will continue to be one of the best states in the union to visit. 

Here is a list of the 15 best places to metal detect in Vermont.

1. Sand Bar State Park 

Sand Bar State Park is a must visit for anyone interested in looking to detect in Vermont. You’re allowed to detect along the beaches, parking lots and within campgrounds. These are the main places you would want to detect if you had the opportunity. 

The Park is on the far East side of the state right along Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain is one of the largest lakes in the entire United States. As a result, there is going to be quite a bit of treasure for you to find. When searching along the shores of the lake, be sure that you’re focusing on the areas where people spend the most time. 

Also, on beaches, the low points in the sand are the first places you should look. As the water passes over the sand, artifacts are going to be pulled into the holes and other low areas of the beach. This park was built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps so you have a strong possibility of finding something historical! 

The campgrounds and parking lots are also available to be searched. Campgrounds can sometimes be more productive than beaches! Be sure that you aren’t crowding people or entering their campsites without permission. Campgrounds are smart to detect in the early spring and late fall when the park is not as busy. 

State parks are a perfect place to bring your family. Sand Bar State Park is perfect for people interested in spending time on the water! 

Access Sand Bar State Park here: 


Check out these great Metal Detectors on AMAZON


2. Button Bay State Park 

Button Bay State Park is a 253 acre state park in Ferrisburgh. This was a farm up until 1964. It’s one of the more unique state parks in the entire state. It also borders Lake Champlain, so you’ll have plenty of beach to detect. The park has a fairly large campground with around 70 sites to search around. 

If you do choose to dig, be sure that you aren’t going any deeper than 10-12 inches. Also, if you do find an artifact with historical value, you are required to submit it to the state. This is not always easy to do because of the value of it, but if you want to keep the freedoms that you have, you must follow these protocols. 

Digging Treasure In Vermont
Digging Treasure In Vermont

The parking lots near the beach are a great place to detect as well. If you’re new to the hobby, go ahead and detect in these areas. You don’t have to do much for switching your sensitivity and there is no digging required. Be sure to wear headphones so you can easily pick up on the tones that your detector is providing. 

When you’re hunting along the beach be sure that you don’t put your sensitivity to auto. You want to manually set your sensitivity to ensure that you’re going to have the most success in your searching. Sand can make the searching process difficult due to the density of the sediment. 

Sneak your detector into the car and see if you can sneak away for a few hours! There is too much good land in this park to explore! 

Access Button Bay State Park here: 


3. Little River State Park 

Little River State Park is located right near Waterbury. This park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935. Prior to it being a park, it was a settlement of around 50 families. There are cemeteries, sawmills and other historical sites spread throughout the park. 

The CCC camp had 2,000 men in it at one point. The park surrounds the Waterbury Reservoir, so you’ll have access to both campgrounds and beaches. The reservoir is also an amazing spot to fish! If you’re somewhat interested in history, mountain biking or hiking, Little River State Park is a wonderful option for you. 

The campground has around 100 sites for you to search. Spend the early mornings and evenings searching the beach. Take the afternoon to scrounge around the campgrounds. Remember, you should not enter campsites that are occupied. Even if people are not present, you need to stay away and only search around your campsite and those that are unoccupied. You can be hit with a hefty fine if you are detecting in areas that are off-limits. 

You can access Little River State Park here: 


4. Stillwater State Park 

Stillwater State Park is located in the area where Europeans first settled in Vermont. Native Americans and Canadians had been traveling through the area for years, but due to the easy access to a variety of waterways, it was an ideal location for a settlement. 

The park is surrounded by the Groton State Forest. Plus, it’s only an hour or so outside of Montpellier. It’s a beautiful spot that has ease of access and a nice amount of areas to detect. The beach area is a nice size for detecting. You can have a bit of privacy but be respectful of those around you. 

If you want to try Metal Detecting under water look at my article – How to Metal Detect Underwater

It’s not nearly as large as the Lake Champlain beach so that is both good and bad. The items are going to be more concentrated, but you’ll have to time things properly, so you aren’t in the way of those looking to enjoy the beach. 

The Groton State Forest is a beautiful area to spend time! You aren’t able to detect anywhere except the parking lots and campgrounds, but if you’re interested in mountain biking, off-roading or hiking, this is a wonderful spot to visit. 

Due to the close proximity to Montpellier, this is one of the parks that will provide you with the most items. Plan the trip accordingly so you have some privacy. Also, wear headphones because you won’t interfere with people and their vacations! 

Access Stillwater State Park here: 



5. Woodford State Park 

If you’re interested in spending time at elevation, Woodford State Park is your best option. It sits at 2400 feet and is around 400 acres. The state park surrounds the Adams Reservoir, so beach access is plentiful! 

Plus, this is one of the largest campgrounds on the list. You have over 130 campsites to detect. The 2.7-mile trail around the lake is a great place to detect. Bring your family and give them time to explore. Sneak away and spend time around the water. The Vermont state fish is brook trout and the Adams Reservoir is filled with them. 

The park is located on the southeastern border of the state. You are only an hour and a half away from Albany, New York. The increased elevation makes it for a bit more of an interesting area to search. Obviously, artifacts aren’t going to make their way up mountains. Since this area was the location of a historic settlement, you’ll have a decent amount of success in finding things.

This is an extremely unique state park. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy your time within Woodford. Sit back, relax and spend some time detecting. You’ll likely find something awesome!


6. Elmore State Park 

Elmore State Park is located within the southern part of Lamoille County. Within the state park is Lake Elmore. The lake stretches across 219 acres and flows into the Lamoille River. The park was established in 1936.

Residents of Elmore gifted the state 30 acres and since then the state has taken 700 more. This is one of the larger state parks in Vermont. You’ll have 60 campsites to choose from as well as some enjoyable hiking to the top of Elmore Mountain!

The beach around Elmore Lake is extremely large! You could easily spend an entire morning searching along this beach. If you’re off the beach by 10 am or so, you’ll be fine. You’ll start running into crowds as the day continues.

You always want to have good digging tools when metal detecting. To learn move check out this article. Best Metal Detecting Digging Tools

Elmore State Park was another CCC location, so you have the possibility of finding some artifacts important to United States history. While it may be tempting to detect along the hiking trails, it is not allowed. You have to spend your time in the campgrounds, beaches and parking lots.

This is one of the more secluded state parks in the state. You won’t have to worry about running in to too many crowds. It also helps that some call this park “The Beauty Spot of Vermont.” As you walk along the beach take a look at the top of Mount Elmore. Even if you aren’t finding anything spectacular, you’ll be able to enjoy the views.


7. Muckross State Park 

Muckross State Park is the newest state park in Vermont. Therefore, people aren’t as aware of this spot as the other parks on this list. It’s a 204-acre property so it’s a bit smaller. This land was owned by former Vermont State Senator Edgar May. It was 1000 acres, but the state took control of 200 acres to turn it into a park.

You can search around the trout pond as well as along the Black River. The most unique feature of this park is the 80-foot waterfall that’s just downstream of the pond. Overall, this park is fairly undeveloped. There is no designated trail system and you have more freedom for where you can detect.

In these undeveloped areas, make sure you are taking care of the property. If you dig, you must do your part and put the dirt back in place. There is also no specific parking area. However, there is a common spot that most people park their cars. Search around this area. You have a better chance of finding something because it’s a gravel lot and more of a challenge to find lost items.

The history of this land is fascinating. Plus, it’s not far from Springfield so you can enjoy the night life the town has to offer. This isn’t as family friendly of a park and there is no camping so be sure the people you bring along are capable. There are much more family friendly options on this list.


8. Emerald Lake State Park 

The focal point of this state park is Emerald Lake. This is the site of a former marble quarry so industrial equipment are common finds within these lands. When the quarry shut down in the early 1910’s, Robert Alfred Shaw purchased 1,000 of the acres for his own land.

In 1957, the state purchased the land from the Shaw estate. They turned half of the land into the Emerald Lake State Forest and the other half was turned into the park. You can search around over 100 campsites as well as the acres of shoreline.

You can find this park outside of East Dorset. This is a perfect spot for the family. Having over 1,000 acres to explore is a rarity across the state so take advantage of it. If you’re interested in mountain biking and hiking, this is a perfect park for you.

The lake is non-motorized watercraft only. Enjoy the peace and quiet of this park. You’ll be thankful for the time you get to spend away from civilization.


9. Underhill State Park 

Underhill State Park is located smack dab in the middle of the Mt. Mansfield State Forest. The forest itself is 40,000 acres and this park stretches across around 1,000 acres on its own. Within the park you can summit Mt. Mansfield at about 4,300 feet and see the headwaters of Brown River.

The headwaters of Brown River are a great spot to start your searching. Don’t venture too far from the banks of the river. You’ll have the potential to be stopped by a state park employee and lose your detector.

If you choose to hike Mount Mansfield, stay on the marked trail. Due to the higher elevation, there is some unique vegetation that the park does not want disturbed. The campground within Underhill State Park is a bit smaller. You have around 15 sites to explore.

Vermont Metal Detecting
Vermont Metal Detecting

However, the parking lot by the Mt. Mansfield trailhead is extremely popular and cars flow in and out of it all day long. This is a great spot to search before or even after your hike. Take a warmup lap around the lot and see what you can find.


10. Maidstone State Park 

Maidstone State Park is the most remote park in Vermont. You can find it outside of Guildhall. Be sure to visit this park and spend your time searching around Maidstone Lake. If you want, bring your fishing pole because the lake is filled with salmon and large trout.

The 60 camp sites make for another great spot to search. The effort to reach this park often pays off for those detecting. 


11. Gifford Woods State Park 

This park is found right at the base of Killington and Pico Mountain. These are extremely close to access points for the Appalachian Trail. The colors in this park in the fall are miraculous. There are a few trout ponds found throughout the park that make for great spots to search.

The former CCC Camp is another useful spot to search. People seem to have a solid amount of success in this area. Spend the majority of your time around the ponds and the parking lots. It’s a nice day trip. Do some hiking and detecting!


12. Bomoseen State Park 

This park is a must visit for anyone interested in metal detecting in Vermont. Within its borders is Lake Bomoseen, the largest lake only in Vermont. Bring your family to enjoy this large body of water and camp in one of the 65 campsites.

It’s one of the more popular parks on the list so if you are interested in detecting in an area filled with people, this may be your best option. It’s well-developed and has ample space for you to find some seclusion with your detector.


Some Great Metal Detecting Accessories


13. Smugglers Notch State Park 

This is another very remote part of Vermont. It was a spot where quite a bit of smuggling took place between Canada and the United States. The notch is a small pass through the Green Mountains. It has 1,000 cliffs on both sides and is wonderful to hike.

The campsites in the park require some hiking due to the complicated terrain. These areas are rarely detected so I would highly recommend putting in the effort to see what you can find. Don’t shy away from this park. It’s perhaps the most beautiful on the list!


14. Mt. Philo State Park 

Mt. Philo State Park was the first state park ever established in Vermont. It was officially crated in 1924. It provides you with some amazing views of the Lake Champlain Valley as well as the Adirondack Mountains.

This may be the most historic park on the list and well-worth the visit. Parking lots and the trout ponds are the best places to detect.


15. Private Land 

As always, private land is an option. You obviously have to have permission, but these private lands are well-worth trying to detect. Put on a brave face and start knocking on doors. You’ll never know how willing people are to let you detect on their land!


Vermont Metal Detecting Laws

Vermont is one of the most lax states in America regarding metal detecting. Most of the state owned land has areas where people can metal detect. Stay on the beaches, parking lots and the campgrounds.

Do not dig any further than 12 inches!

To find more about the Vermont Metal Detecting Laws check out this website – https://fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/activities/metal-detecting-and-gold-panning


Vermont Metal Detecting Clubs            

Vermont Metal Detecting Club– This is a great option for anyone in Vermont. They’re experts on all areas of metal detecting within Vermont.


Best Metal Detecting Shops in Vermont

R&L Archery– This store has everything you would need for outdoor equipment! Make sure to visit on your next trip to Vermont.


David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.