How Far a Metal Detector Can Detect (With 3 Tips to Use a Metal Detector the Right Way)

How Far a Metal Detector Can Detect (With 3 Tips to Use a Metal Detector the Right Way)

How far can a metal detector detect is always a question for many. Most people who are not familiar with this device think it can detect very high depths regardless of the ground condition. However, several factors affect how deep a metal detector can sense metal in the ground.

The accepted depth a metal detector can detect is a relationship to the size of the metal detector coil diameter. So, a 12 inch diameter coil can detect 12 inches deep. Other factors such as: size of object, type of soil and the detectors sensitivity also contribute to depth of detection.

The detector’s frequency and discrimination also affect its ability to detect metal buried deep.

If you are new to using metal detectors, there are some tips that you can check out so you can use your device correctly. However, you need to remember that laws cover this practice, which you need to know before you start detecting and digging.

Finding Out How Far a Metal Detector Can Detect

A metal detector has a search coil that transmits an electromagnetic field into the ground to detect buried metals. Any targets reached by that electromagnetic field are energized, causing them to send their electromagnetic fields. Then, the detector’s search coil will then receive the retransmitted field and produce noise to inform you that it detected a target.

However, how far a metal detector can detect is always a question.

The truth is that there are no exact figures to answer this question. But several factors can affect the depth that your device can reach when detecting metals.

  1. The size of the target detected

If your metal target is large, the metal detector can detect it deeper than the smaller ones. The reason is that larger metals have more surface area. For this reason, it causes more disruption in the electromagnetic field created by the metal detector’s search coil.

Additionally, the device can detect circular targets buried deeper as they also possess more surface area.

  1. Type of soil

The type of soil you are detecting metal from can significantly affect the depth of detection. If you are detecting from mineralized soil, your metal detector will probably face some issues.

Soil mineralization happens when there is a high amount of metallic particles and minerals present in the soil.

So, if you are looking for metals buried in this type of soil, your detector will find it difficult to find what you seek. Such is because mineralized soil generates a magnetic response when metal detectors detect it.

One soil type leads to something called “Hot Rocks” which is highly mineralized soil.

Hot Rocks Metal Detecting
Hot Rocks Metal Detecting

Moreover, how far a metal detector can detect from mineralized soil will depend on the soil’s mineral level. The higher the mineral level there is, the shallower your metal detector will detect.

  1. The metal detector’s sensitivity

The sensitivity level of a metal detector depends on its manufacturer. For instance, the Garret Ace 250 has eight sensitivity settings. For this reason, it has better target precision and deeper reach.

Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector
Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector

Metal Detecting Tip: Selecting the correct sensitivity is critical. Learn more about what sensitivity is and how to set it. How to set the sensitivity on a metal detector

But generally speaking, the size of the search coil directly influences how deep your device can detect. If your detector has a large coil, the more detection depth it will have. But it will also have less sensitivity to small targets.

  1. The detector’s frequency

One thing that differentiates one metal detector from another is the frequency it operates at. The operating frequency is the number of ground-penetrating EM or electromagnetic waves the detector can transmit every second.

Metal Detecting Tip: I’m often asked about the best frequency for metal detectors so I wrote up this article – Best Frequency for Metal Detectors

Moreover, this factor also affects how far a metal detector can detect.

Manufacturers measure detector frequencies in kHz or kilohertz. So, if your metal detector states that it has a frequency of 7kHz, it can transmit 7,000 electromagnetic waves per second.

Many of the metal detectors on the market have frequencies ranging from 7kHz to 25kHz.

They also operate under either single-frequency or multi-frequency. Low-frequency detectors are ideal for detecting deeply buried, large, and highly conductive metals. Meanwhile, multi-frequency detectors are more sensitive to small and less conductive metals.

  1. Discrimination

How far a metal detector can detect will also depend on its discrimination. This term describes the machine’s ability to differentiate metals accurately based on their magnetic properties and electrical conductivity.

Metal Detecting Tip: One of the biggest technology improvements is discrimination on metal detectors. Read all about it here – How to Set the Discrimination on Metal Detectors

If your detector discriminates against unwanted objects, it will detect metals buried deeper, such as coins. (source)

3 Tips to Using a Metal Detector Correctly

People often use metal detectors for two reasons — to find lost items or as a hobby. But if you want to find objects buried in the ground, you need to know how to use metal detectors the right way. Knowing how to use your device correctly will affect how far a metal detector can detect.

That said, here are three effective metal detecting techniques:

Apply Preset Search Modes

If you are not sure how to use your metal detector’s adjustable and advanced settings for maximum target detecting, the preset search modes are available for you. These presets have the right parameters to help you detect a particular object. You can also use them for metal detecting in a specific place.

You will often see these search modes labeled as:

  • Relics or Artifacts
  • Coin and Jewelry
  • Beach
  • Field
  • Park
  • Gold

Create Your Search Profile

There are times when presets will not work well. Of course, manufacturers cannot always predict the suitable search modes for your site. Fortunately, some detectors allow users to create their search mode and save it for future use.

In the long run, you will develop your knowledge and skills about metal detectors. Once you have enough knowledge, you can set the best sensitivity, discrimination, and ground balance settings to improve your detector’s performance. Knowing these advanced settings can also enhance how far a metal detector can detect.

The Right Way to Sweep

Sweeping your metal detector is the best skill you need to master if you want to use your device the right way. Sweeping or swinging is the act of moving the detector’s coil side to side when searching for targets.

Metal Detecting Tip: Use the right sweep technique – means OVERLAPPING.

Slow Sweep and Overlap - Metal Detecting
Slow Sweep and Overlap – Metal Detecting

Moreover, the best way to search objects using metal detectors is to sweep them slow and low. It would help if you overlapped your sweeping pattern to ensure that the detector is not missing any ground. Also, you should never tilt or lift the coil parallel to the ground as this action could affect how far a metal detector can detect. (source)

What You Need to Know Before Using a Metal Detector

While metal detecting is a mere hobby for many people, some laws cover it. These laws vary from one state to another. So, before you start digging, you need to ensure that the government allows metal detecting in the area you are in.

Moreover, Federal law does not allow metal detectors within the US federal properties and national parks. It is also important to note that you should never hunt for targets in historical and archeological areas.

Meanwhile, national forests allow metal detecting, rock collecting, and gold panning even if you don’t ask for permits. But the best thing to do is always to check and ask the office of the local park rangers to be sure.

In addition, the officials you need to contact to ask for permission before metal detecting will depend on the site. If you plan to hunt at a park, asking permission from local officials or park rangers will allow you to know your restrictions. Similarly, you need to get permission from landowners if you are planning to hunt on private property. (source)


Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


Sources

  1. How Metal Detectors Work, Mine Lab, https://www.minelab.com/knowledge-base/getting-started/how-metal-detectors-work/ Accessed September 2, 2021.
  2. Simon Owen, How To Use A Metal Detector Like An Expert Detectorist, Tech Metals Research, https://www.techmetalsresearch.com/guide/how-to-use-a-metal-detector/ Accessed September 2, 2021.
  3. Simon Owen, Metal Detecting Laws You Need To Know Before You Go, Tech Metals Research, https://www.techmetalsresearch.com/guide/metal-detecting-laws/ Accessed September 2, 2021.

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.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Virginia [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Virginia [Maps, Laws and More]

Heading into “The Old Dominion,” you have to understand that Virginia has a long and rich history. Aside from famous Virginians such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, among many more to have risen to the highest levels of society, many great people live in the state. I thought if I could find a lost treasure left behind by a great person, then that would make our family trip into Virginia that much more exciting.

We started our adventure with a tour of some of the best state parks the United States has to offer. Virginia has some strict regulations for metal detecting, though, so I had to call ahead to the parks to ensure I could get written permission (a permit) to use my metal detector.

After calling ahead to ensure we had permission to metal detect, we carried on with our adventures through Virginia. I’ve compiled a list of my seven favorite state parks to treasure hunt in and some info about laws, clubs, great finds, and more. This way, you’ll be well-prepared for treasure hunting in the state. Let’s start with the seven parks.


1. Bear Creek Lake State Park – Nestled In Virginia’s Woods

Our first stop was smack in Central Virginia’s Cumberland State Forest at Bear Creek Lake State Park. This gem hidden in the middle of the woods is a fantastic getaway for you and your family. There are plenty of things to do for all, which I’ll mention in a moment.

Metal Detecting at Bear Creek Virginia
Metal Detecting at Bear Creek Virginia

The staff at this park are friendly and professional. If you consider the environment and leave no trace, there shouldn’t be much issue getting a permit from the park manager to detect metal. Although the beach is closed from time to time for clean-up following storms, make sure you call ahead.

As mentioned, there are a lot of great things to do at this park. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Boat rentals
  • Playground
  • Lakeside snack bar (open on weekends)
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Archery

Here’s how to find the Bear Creek Lake State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/Lwb33w11xS9NMaAA6

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/bear-creek-lake#general_information


2. Holliday Lake State Park – Forests And Nature

Close to halfway between Lynchburg and Richmond, you’ll find another central Virginia State Park called Holliday Lake State Park (yes, that is the correct spelling). Another forest park, Holliday is deep in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. If you like nature, this is the park for you.

The beach is decent at Holliday Lake SP, but there’s more to do than just swim here. You can fish and camp and boat too. Here are some of the park’s compiled highlights:

  • Camping
  • RV camping sites
  • Swimming beach
  • Fishing
  • Picnic shelters
  • Boat launch
  • Hiking

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/WtJEVXnAbT8FXSgD7

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/holliday-lake


3. Hungry Mother State Park – Western Virginia’s Best Kept Secret

When you look at some of those travel sites and see how some people stay in different kinds of buildings, I’m often fascinated by the construction. Because of this, I jumped at the chance to stay in a yurt for a night when we went to Hungry Mother State Park.

The park boasts some other great features as well; just remember to call ahead for your permission to metal detect. Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Yurts
  • Boat rentals
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Swimming Beach
  • Hunting

You can find the Hungry Mother State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/ueL2r9aQEQoiCykf6

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hungry-mother#general_information


4. Twin Lakes State Park – A Premiere Central VA Park

Another central Virginia State Park, Twin Lakes State Park, is southeast of Holliday Lake State Park, near a town called Farmville in Prince Edward County, Virginia. We liked this park because it has a lovely sized beach, so we were not falling all over other families when we had our beach day.

Twin Lakes has more than just a sandy swimming beach; there are plenty of things to do at the park. Here are some of the park’s activities and amenities:

  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Swimming beach
  • Hiking trails
  • Fishing

You can find Twin Lakes State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/WNm9pCS6ddihZswa7

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/twin-lakes#general_information


5. Claytor Lake State Park – Bigger Lake, Bigger Adventure

Virginia has plenty of large water bodies, and Claytor Lake is one of them. The lake boasts 4,500 acres of water has about three miles of State Park frontage. There is no shortage of places to stay, with three lodges, 15 cabins, yurts, and camping available. However, when you call ahead for permission to treasure hunt, ensure you reserve your preferred accommodations.

Claytor Lake State Park offers plenty to do. The park offers hiking, fishing, boating, camping (as mentioned), swimming, and more.

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/claytor-lake#recreation


Metal Detecting Tip: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years metal detecting is not to get discouraged. There will be times when you find little to nothing. There will be times when all you find is garbage. Don’t let those times get you down. Instead, try documenting them in a journal and move to a different location each time. You’ll find your luck soon turns around. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6. Lake Anna State Park – The Pride of Spotsylvania

The first time I went to Lake Anna SP, I stayed at one of the six cabins. However, I understand that the park now also offers yurts as an alternative which I find pretty interesting.

The park also offers camping, and although RVs up to 60 feet are allowed, the best you can get is electric and water hookup. There is a community bathhouse with hot showers, though.

Lake Anna State Park allows fishing and is well-known for its largemouth bass fishing. Swimming is permitted during the day at the beach, and there are also some very nice hiking trails to keep you occupied.

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/lake-anna#general_information


7. Smith Mountain Lake State Park – Blue And Turquoise Waters

In Huddleston, Virginia, you will find Smith Mountain Lake State Park. This beautiful park resides on Smith Mountain Lake’s north shore, Smith Mountain Lake being the state’s second freshwater lake.

The lake itself is beautiful and perfect for boating, swimming, and other water-borne activities. The beach is often busy, so permission to treasure hunt on hot summer days will be limited. Aim for those days or times when the beach is open but not likely to be busy. Those times are cooler and overcast days, mornings, and similar times. Ensure you call ahead to the park to arrange your permit.

Aside from the joys of treasure hunting (with permission), there are several other amenities the park offers. Some of these amenities include rental cabins and a campground, fishing and boating, and some fantastic hiking trails.

Source: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/smith-mountain-lake#general_information


Metal Detecting Laws For Virginia

Virginia may be a beautiful state, but you still need a permit to do metal detecting in many places. Take the state parks, for example. According to Virginia State Park’s website, they only allow metal detecting on “designated manmade beaches and only with a DCR special use permit.” The permit is available at the park from the park management.

Cities within Virginia have varied rules about metal detecting. Take a look at the following list of cities and the particular rules the city imposes.

  • Alexandria, VA – Written approval from the city manager is required.
  • Fredericksburg, VA – Permit required.
  • Glouchester County, VA – Not permitted.
  • Hopewell, VA – Not allowed.
  • Manassas, VA – Not permitted without permission of city council.
  • Newport, VA – Written approval from parks management required.
  • Petersburg, VA – Metal detecting (and possession of detectors) not permitted on city-owned properties.
  • Williamsburg, VA – Written approval from parks management required.

Quick Law Recap:

  • National Parks in Virginia: Not permitted.
  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required. Read more at the BLM website HERE
  • Virginia State Parks: Permitted in specified areas only, and you must have a permit. Read more at the state website Here

Metal Detecting Clubs In Virginia

  • Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Association – Fairfax, VA – This club holds regular meetings at the NRA National Firearms Museum on the first Tuesday of each month. The club was founded in 1972.  – http://www.nvrha.com/index.htm
  • Hampton Roads Recovery Society – Hampton, VA – A club that started in the mid-1980s, the club has active members and regular meetings. – http://www.hrrsmetaldetecting.com/index.html
  • The Central Virginia Civil War Collectors Association – Glen Allen, VA – Founded in 1980 and formerly known as The Central Virginia Relic Hunters Association, this active club holds regular meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month. – http://www.cvcwca.com/
  • The Rapidan River Relic Hunters Association – Unionville, VA – Founded in 2011, this club meets on the second Tuesday of the month. – https://rrrha.com/
  • Tidewater Coin & Relic Club – Virginia Beach, VA – Other than stating the next meeting is in May, the website doesn’t tell us much about this club. – https://www.tc-rc.com/

Metal Detecting Tip: Dig on every hit. You never know when a tiny blip turns out to be an obstructed cache or a deep yet more extensive object. Sometimes we can pass by an incredible find by making an assumption. Just remember that you’re playing a numbers game, so the more times you dig, the more chances you have of finding something. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Virginia

Can you imagine losing a class ring right before graduation? That’s what happened to one such unfortunate fellow in Virginia Beach.

One day, twenty-one years later, the man got a message on Facebook. The message was from a metal detectorist who found the right, just 21 years after it had gone missing. Read the full story here – https://www.pilotonline.com/news/article_83768510-89d4-11e8-99cb-1b8b18ad8aaa.html


Metal Detecting Resources In Virginia


Metal Detector Stores In Virginia For Expert Advice


Go on Your Next Metal Detecting Trip to These Awesome Locations!


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.

Will A Metal Detector Find Keys? (4 Things You Can Find Too)

Will A Metal Detector Find Keys? (4 Things You Can Find Too)

One of the most common questions detector owners often ask is will a metal detector find keys. Of course, losing your keys is no doubt an inconvenience. So, having a tool that can help you find it can be a great help.

Fortunately, a metal detector can find keys. Most keys have metal conductors as their base, so a detector can quickly locate them. However, it would help if you had a preliminary idea about the location where you lost them. 

Metal detectors can easily find your lost keys under the snow or even under dry leaves, dirt or sand. There are so many things that this device can locate apart from just keys. (source)

Will A Metal Detector Find Keys? Find Out

At one point, we all probably came back home after a long day and reached for our pockets only to find that we lost our keys. Not only is it frustrating, but it is also a major inconvenience, especially if you need to get inside your home immediately. 

Searching for a lost key can be challenging if you have been to different places in a day. But suppose you suspect that you accidentally dropped it somewhere. In that case, you can use a metal detector to locate it in the area where you suspect it went missing. 

Metal Detecting Tip: Learn about how deep metal detectors detect in this ARTICLE. The size of the item, electromagnetic qualities and orientation all play a factor.

Fortunately, a metal detector can help you during unfortunate situations. Most keys have metal conductors as their base. For this reason, they will react to the electromagnetic waves sent by your metal detector’s search coil.

Regular keys consist of brass as their primary material. Such a metal type has a mixture of zinc and copper, thus producing alloy. Both these metals possess high electric conductivity, making them highly detectable by metal detectors.

Looking for Lost Keys with Metal Detector
Looking for Lost Keys

On the other hand, which is the cheapest not-so-common type of key is also detectable. Finally, silver, which is among the most conductive metals, is the most detectable key material. 

The bottom line is that regardless of the type of metal used to make a key, a metal detector will always be helpful in locating it. So, the answer to will a metal detector find keys is always a yes regardless of the key conditions. (source)

How To Find Lost Keys Using A Metal Detector

It is quite natural to experience a little anxiety once you realize that you lost your keys. However, it would help not let panic take over you as it could only worsen the situation. Becoming overwhelmed with panic is counterproductive and can hinder you from thinking where you last saw your missing key.

Metal Detecting Tips: If you don’t own a detector, guess what? Some shops will rent them. Read how and where to rent metal detectors in this article: Metal Detector Rental (How and Where)

So, instead of panicking, try to calm down and remember the places where you might have gotten your key from your pocket. Once you have an idea where to find it, you can proceed with the following steps.

Ok this might sound silly but, my wife will say a little prayer. It goes like this: “Tony, Tony look around. somethings lost and must be found.” I use this and it calms me down and usually the last place I look is where the keys will be found. 😜

Where to look for keys metal detecting
Where to look for keys metal detecting
  1. Narrow down the search area

It is natural to have a long list of areas to search for your missing keys. But if you look in those areas one by one, you will waste a lot of time and effort. For this reason, the best thing that you can do is to narrow down the search area. 

Now that you already have an answer to “will a metal detector find keys,” the next thing you need to do is to retrace your steps of where you possibly lost your keys. 

To do that, you can:

  • retrace the path that you took when you went home
  • try to remember all the detours that you made
  • think about when you think you lost the key

That said, the ideal thing to do is check your car to see if you dropped your keys there. You can also concentrate so you can remember when you might have lost them. Did you rush home after work? Did you go to other places like a restaurant or the grocery store? Remembering where you went can help you have an idea of where you dropped your keys. 

  1. Make sure that you did not drop the keys anywhere else.

The best place to start finding your keys is to try and remember where you last know you had them in your pocket. That can be at home, in your car, workplace, or even in a grocery store. This way, you will not have to spend so much time dragging your metal detector along grasses only to find that you did not drop your keys there.

  1. Use your metal detector to find the keys

Will a metal detector find keys is already proven to be a yes. For this reason, you can use your device to start finding your keys on the places you suspect you dropped them. 

If you do not have your metal detector, you can look online for people who would allow you to rent their unit for a day. Of course, a metal detector is expensive, so you cannot just decide to purchase one to locate your lost keys. 

You can also look for a hobbyist in your area who will be willing to lend or let you rent their metal detectors until you find your keys. 

Moreover, you should make sure to mark where you already searched for when you are trying to locate your keys. This way, you will not have to go over areas repeatedly. (source)

  1. Sweep your detector one area at a time

Will a metal detector find keys? In some instances, the answer will depend on how you use the detector.

Think of sweeping your metal detector like you are mowing a lawn. Once you are in a particular search area, start sweeping the detector from one side to another while walking. Make sure that the search coil tilts at an approximately 45-degree arc in front of you. 

In addition, the search coil should always be parallel to the ground. About three to four inches is enough in terms of the closeness the coil and the ground should have. Since you are trying to look for a key that fell to the ground, the search coil does not need to be in very close proximity to the ground. (source)

4 Things That Metal Detectors Can Locate

Metal detectors are electronic devices with a large search coil that sends electromagnetic waves into the ground to find metals. Once these EM waves hit metals, those targets will also generate electromagnetic waves, which the detector will receive. That way, this device can locate objects buried in the ground.

Will a metal detector find keys? Definitely. But apart from that, there are many other things that this device can locate under the ground.

Metal Objects

A metal detector can detect all types of metals. It can locate nickel, iron, copper, and even gold nuggets. If you own a general-purpose metal detector, you can use that to find buried items such as coins, jewelry, and relics. 

However, metal detectors can also locate invaluable objects, like nails, foils, and small metals. To avoid getting signals from such types of targets, you can change the discrimination settings of your metal detector. The lower the discrimination setting is, the more efficient your detector will be in ignoring invaluable items buried in the ground.

Signals

If you have a very low-frequency metal detector of VLF, you will be able to pick up even the signals coming from ferromagnetic substances. That can include grain minerals mixed with iron in the sand or soil. The reason is that such mineral particles have conductive properties much higher than what a small metal has. 

Metal Detecting Tip: The art of metal detecting is learning the sounds your machine makes. Subtle differences in tone and sharpness are clues to finding treasure. Good headphones make a difference and time swinging your detector

So, if you use your metal detector on mineralized soil, you will be able to detect signals even if there are no targets buried there. But if you are using your VLF metal detector on balanced ground soil, you will be more likely to locate targets more accurately. You may even find nuggets or flakes of gold. 

Relics

Archeology widely used metal detectors since Fon Rickey, a military historian, first used them in 1958. These days, archeologists use them to look for artifacts buried underground.

However, Federal law does not allow the public to recreationally use metal detectors to find relics and artifacts within protected areas. The reason is that there are looters and artifact seekers who disrupt archeological sites with their hobbies. 

Unwanted Targets

While it is exciting to think that metal detectors can find gold and treasures, they detect the most common objects are ferrous materials. That includes nails and other invaluable pieces of metal. Similarly, these devices can also detect non-ferrous materials, such as bottle tops.

Metal Detecting Tip: Learning how to set the discrimination will allow you to by pass gum wrappers, iron nails and pop top pull-tabs. Read about this article: How to set the Discrimination on a Metal Detector

To prevent your metal detectors from locating objects that you may not benefit from, you can change their settings. For instance, you can decrease the discrimination settings and increase the metal detector’s sensitivity to ensure that it will only detect targets that you can benefit from. (source)


Sources

  1. Carrisa Harmer, Can Metal Detectors Find Lost Keys?, Detecting School, https://detectingschool.com/can-metal-detector-find-keys/ Accessed September 3, 2021. 
  2. Rom Myers, How To Find Lost Keys In The Grass Or Anywhere Outside, Metal Detector Planet, https://metaldetectorplanet.com/lost-keys-grass-outside/ September 4, 2021.
  3. Kathryn Hatashita-Lee, What Can Metal Detectors Detect?, It Still Works, https://itstillworks.com/can-metal-detectors-detect-7301534.html/ September 4, 2021.

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.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Texas [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Texas [Maps, Laws and More]

Visiting the second-largest state in the US is an exciting prospect. I was particularly committed to trying legitimate Texas barbecue, something the state is known to do very well.

One thing that struck me when planning our family trip to Texas was that for a state with seemingly strict laws for metal detectorists, there is an exceedingly high amount of treasure-seeking clubs in the state.

We’ll talk about the laws metal detectorists face and some clubs, resources, and more for the eager treasure hunter who wants to hunt in Texas for lost treasures. Before we get into these things, let’s take a look at my seven favorite places to detect metal in Texas.


1. Rockport Beach – Texas’ First Blue Wave Beach

Rockport Beach is a beautiful beach with a calm and tropical feel. Intended for day-use, the beach charges for parking and has facilities people can rent for parties and gatherings. The beach is a common destination to host beach weddings as well.

The Bayside Walking Path is a beautiful and scenic ¾ mile path along the beach that you can also cycle (but give pedestrians the right way).

Here’s how to find the Rockport Beach – https://goo.gl/maps/CLRYwTJtfwAz42qD9

Source: http://www.rockportbeach-texas.com/index.php


2. City of Houston Parks – Multiple Small Parks To Detect

Due to Texas strict laws, State Parks are a lost cause to get permission to metal detect. However, some cities have rules that specify precisely which parks you can use your detector with without issue. Houston is one of those cities. Houston has 17 small parks that you are permitted to use a metal detector.

Finding Money Metal Detecting on a Beach
Finding Money Metal Detecting on a Beach

Here is a list of parks that you are allowed to metal detect in, in Houston Texas:

  • Bane Park
  • Bauer Park
  • Bayer Park
  • Doss Park
  • Dyess Park
  • Emnora Park
  • Froehner Park
  • Hellums Park
  • Independence Park
  • Lindsay-Lyons Park
  • Lloyd Park
  • Mathews Park
  • Matzke Park
  • MUD 257 Park
  • Mulrooney Park
  • Pitner Park
  • Southwell Park

You can find these incredible parks here – https://www.google.com/maps/search/houston+parks/@29.6614881,-95.5394257,288211m/data=!3m1!1e3

Source: https://www.hcp4.net/assistance/questions/#:~:text=Metal%20detecting%20is%20permitted%20only,257%20Park%2C%20Mulrooney%20Park%2C%20Pitner


3. El Jardin Beach – A Forgotten Jewel For Treasure Seekers

El Jardin is about 10 minutes from downtown Seabrook, Texas. It’s a typical beach with a bit less strict rules than other beaches. For example, at El Jardin, you are allowed to bring dogs onto the beach. Dogs like to dig, so getting permission to metal detect is not a hurdle by any means. Most people don’t even bother to get approval for this beach. As long as you aren’t bothering anyone and being respectful, I would be concerned, not like the National Coastline beaches that are strictly off-limits to metal detectorists.

Here are a few of the beach’s amenities and activities:

  • Swimming
  • Beachcombing
  • Dogs allowed
  • Picnicking

You can find the El Jardin Beach here – https://goo.gl/maps/tQ1ZASSus5yVFTmV9

Source: https://beachcatcher.com/beach/el-jardin-beach-texas


4. Texas City Dike/Beach – One Long Dike, All Man-Made

The beach on the Texas City Dike is a great place to explore and bring your metal detector. Check with officials if they’ve changed permission for detecting, but it was no issue when I went. There have been some great finds along the dike, including gold civil war buttons and coins.

The beach has a few amenities. Here are some of them:

  • Five lighted parking boat ramps
  • Three fish cleaning stations
  • Fishing allowed with a license
  • Fishing pier on site
  • Swimming beach
  • Restrooms
  • Bird watching

You can find the Texas City Dike/Beach here – https://goo.gl/maps/g9peAk3C9tdL23vS6

Source: http://www.texas-city-tx.org/page/rec.park_dike_beach


5. Benbrook Lake – U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Site

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Benbrook Lake area. They allow metal detecting in the developed regions that they define as being mowed and managed by the USACOE.

Benbrook Lake offers many amenities, including several campsites, swimming, fishing, and more. It’s a beautiful reservoir as well, making your stay there pretty nice. I liked the fact that I wasn’t worried about going to jail for taking out my detector.

Source: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/benbrook/index.asp

Metal Detecting Tip: Whether you’re new to metal detecting or you have a new metal detector, it is best to practice with the detector in your yard. You can bury coins and metal objects at specific depths and places where you can test out and fine-tune your metal detector. Best of all, you’ll get comfortable with your equipment in a stable and safe location. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6. Bardwell Lake – Ennis, Texas Best Kept Secret

Another USACoE managed ‘park,’ metal detecting is again permitted in developed areas. It includes a beach that I’ve heard several treasure seekers have had decent luck investigating.

The area boasts amenities and allowed activities like boat ramps, a swimming beach, multi-use trails, fishing, and a dump station.

Source: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/bardwell/


7. Wilson H. Fox Park – Granger Lake’s Best Park

The parks at Granger Lake offer a variety of things to do. Wilson H. Fox Park is not an exception. This park, also run by the USACoE, offers camping, swimming beach, fishing, a playground, bbq, and more. There are camping sites, and many offer water and electrical hookup also.

Nearby is the Pecan Grove Wildlife Area if you get tired of treasure hunting on the beach and developed areas of the park. Overall, I think I liked the parks and beaches managed by the USACoE the most in Texas. They seem the most laid back about metal detecting.

Source: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/granger/Recreation/Parks/Corpsparks.asp


Metal Detecting Laws For Texas

Like many other states, Texas is strict when it comes to allowing metal detectors on state lands. It is true for state lands, and it is valid for state parks. Here’s what the Texas Administrative Code, Title 31, Part 2, Chapter 59, Subchapter F, Rule §59.134 (i) “Metal detector. It is an offense for any person to operate or use a metal detector, except as authorized by permit.”

The Texas Historical Commission points out that it is prohibited to detect metal in state and federal parks in Texas. They mention that these laws respond to a looting and salvage event of a 1554 Spanish Plate Fleet.

The THC specifies that metal detecting is not restricted on state public land, which is not classified as a park. Referencing other information from the DNR, we see that as long as the land is not classified as a state forest, and as mentioned, not a park either, but still state-owned, then the use of metal detecting is permitted. However, removing artifacts is not allowed, so as long as the finds are recent items, you should be good to go to places like beaches that do not park. If it is a state park, you’ll need to get a permit. And they only allow permits for known lost items, not for hobby treasure hunting.

The state does not allow the removal of archaeological resources located on public lands without a permit. However, if the items found are non-archaeological in nature, and no plants or wildlife are disturbed, it may be permitted. Just ask the park or property management first to be specific.

Quick Law Recap:

  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required for relics. Read what the BLM says HERE
  • Texas State Lands (not national forest or parks): metal detecting permitted; removing artifacts is not.
  • Texas State and Federal Parks: Permit required. Read more about getting a permit HERE

Metal Detecting Clubs In Texas

  • Golden Spread Gem, Mineral & Treasure Society – Amarillo, TX – Meeting monthly on the second Tuesday, this club boasts a family-friendly atmosphere. They claim to be very environmentally conscious and want like-minded individuals.
  • Austin Metal Detecting Club – Austin, TX – The AMDC meets monthly, if not in person, via Zoom. – http://www.amdconline.com/index.php
  • Central Texas Treasure Club – Brownwood, TX – This club is active and holds monthly meetings. They also arrange an annual hunt for their members. – https://centraltexastreasureclub.webs.com/
  • Golden Triangle Explorers Society – Dallas, TX – An active club dating back to 2005, holds monthly meetings, and has an annual club hunt event. – http://www.goldentriangleexplorers.org/index.php?n=Main.HomePage
  • Cowtown Treasure Hunters Club – Fort Worth, TX – Meeting on the third Thursday of each month; this active club has a friendly bunch of members. The club boasts that it is all about being a hobby metal detectorist and loving the outdoors. – https://sites.google.com/site/cowtowntreasurehuntersclub/home?authuser=0
  • East Fork Treasure Hunters Association – Garland, TX – Founded in 2005, this club has an active membership and holds monthly meetings.
  • Rusk County Treasure Hunters Association – Henderson, TX – This club dated back to 1991 and formed to join together fellow hobby archaeologists, treasure hunters, artifact recoverers, and, of course, metal detectorists. The club hosts monthly meetings and metal detecting adventures. – https://www.rctha.org/
  • Tomball Archeological Recovery Club – Tomball, TX – A family-oriented club that meets monthly to discuss metal detecting. – http://tomballmdclub.com/
  • East Texas Treasure Hunters Association – Longview, TX – Founded in 1982, this active metal detector club holds monthly meetings and annual events. – https://www.ettha.org/
  • Treasure Hunters Association of Pasadena – Pasadena, TX – One of Texas’ oldest treasure hunting clubs, forming in 1968. The club is open to new members interested in the metal detecting hobby. They meet monthly and welcome families. –  https://sites.google.com/site/pasadenatreasurehunters/home

Metal Detecting Tip: When you seek treasures in a particular area and don’t want to miss anything, use a sweeping pattern that is overlapping. Using an overlapping scanning technique means that each pass will cover a thin area of the pass before. This way, you reduce your chances of missing something dramatically. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Texas

2020 was a year of unrest, instability, and pandemic. So, for two men from Temple, Texas, when a long-lost treasure was found and returned at the beginning of 2021, it was a sign of good tidings.

One man, Tommy Harrison, had lost his school ring. HoweveTommy lost it 50 years ago. You can imagine his shock when someone tracked him down, that someone being David Doughty, a local metal detectorist, to let him know he had his ring from 50 years ago. Read the full story here – https://www.kcentv.com/article/news/local/lost-temple-hs-class-ring-found-50-years-later/500-070438e9-e119-41e4-8485-447a9f607ae6


Metal Detecting Resources InTexas 


Metal Detector Stores In Texas For Expert Advice


Looking for more ways to learn how to metal detect? Below are some of my my most popular articles:


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.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Massachusetts [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Massachusetts [Maps, Laws and More]

Having kids, I wanted to take them to Massachusetts to see Harvard. It’s every parent’s dream to have their kids attend a school of higher learning, isn’t it? We started our journey with a campus tour but soon decided to turn our trip into more of a vacation and started for some state parks.

I enjoy doing some metal detecting when my family goes camping. I can often sneak off in the morning for a few hours, and my sleepy family is none the wiser while I seek out treasure and lost items.

Metal Detecting Tips for Beach
Metal Detecting Tips for Beach

The state of Massachusetts is more stringent on its rules for metal detecting, so I made sure to call ahead to each park and speak with the park manager for permission to metal detect. See the section later in the article for the details of metal detecting laws in the state. First, let’s start with my favorite seven parks in the state where I was able to get permission to metal detect.


1.      Salisbury Beach State Reservation – Where River Meets Ocean

Salisbury was our first stop at one of the beaches of Massachusetts. Located at the mouth of the Merrimack River, where it feeds into the Atlantic, the park offers some fantastic fishing, swimming, and boating.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset and offers camping, so you can technically stay all day and night if you are in the campground. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Horseback riding

Here’s how to find the Salisbury Beach State Reservation – https://goo.gl/maps/hmu2HWJiJDcKzW5Y6

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/salisbury-beach-state-reservation


2.      Constitution Beach Park – Metal Detectors Secret

When you’re in Boston, don’t miss out on one of Boston’s secret beach paradise locations. Tucked away in Orient Heights is Constitution Beach Park. The park sports some rather nice athletic fields and a good and wide, sandy beach for beach sports or swimming. Naturally, one might include metal detecting on such a beach if one were so inclined. Here are some of the park’s highlights:

  • Swimming
  • Basketball courts
  • Bathhouse
  • Playground
  • Tennis courts
  • Fishing

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/DwQARnG2zUHTH52o8

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/constitution-beach-park


3.      Nantasket Beach Reservation – Busy Beaches And Lost Treasures

Nantasket Beach is a bustling beach in Hull, Massachusetts. Forget trying to do any kind of metal detecting here on a hot summer day. On rainy days, however, this beach can be an incredible place to prospect for lost treasures. It is not unusual to find a decent amount of coins and jewelry along this beach, given the crowds that can swarm the beach on a hot summer day.

Here are some of the park’s activities:

  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Swimming

You can find the Nantasket Beach Reservation here – https://goo.gl/maps/GHyw7ssdZLSXYua6A

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/nantasket-beach-reservation


4.      Revere Beach Reservation – The First Public Beach In The US

As my title suggests, Revere Beach was the first public beach in the United States. This achievement means one thing for metal detectorists: The beach has the most potential to find lost treasures.

Beach detecting potential aside, the park is rather lovely with a decent width beach. Since the beach is on the Atlantic, there is excellent potential also to do some fishing. Ensure you’re carrying a valid fishing license, and you’ll have miles of coast to wander and fish.

Metal detecting on beaches
Metal detecting on beaches

One of the best times I had with my family was taking them to Revere Beach in July. We were able to see the International Sand Sculpting Festival held from July 17 to July 19. What an incredible display of sand-sculpting talent! You haven’t seen a sandcastle until you’ve seen the sand sculptors go to work at this internationally acclaimed event. Okay, it’s a far cry from metal detecting, but it stood out in my memory as something even a hardened and staunch treasure hunter can appreciate.

The other facilities at Revere Beach include:

  • Athletic fields
  • Historic sites
  • Playground
  • Info booth
  • First aid station
  • Restrooms

You can find the Revere Beach Reservation here –  https://goo.gl/maps/qGj4q8TQrkiCuyjz6

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/revere-beach-reservation


Metal Detecting Tip: Picking up a lot of garbage signals from garbage? Try using a smaller coil. Smaller coils have a smaller search area. It lets you hone in on your search without getting a lot of clatter from a larger debris field. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


5.      South Cape Beach State Park

South Cape Beach is a beautiful mile of white sandy beach to enjoy. The cool Atlantic Ocean is a perfect place to take a dip on a hot summer day with the family. When the weather isn’t hot and sunny, it’s an ideal beach to do some treasure hunting.

There are several amenities at South Cape Beach State Park that allow you and your family some extra fun and luxuries while visiting. The park offers boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, hunting, swimming, and even have grills and picnic areas that are generally available. Some of the amenities may be closed due to local health situations, but you’ll need to call ahead for permission to use a metal detector anyway so you can double-check before you go to the park.

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/south-cape-beach-state-park


6.      Demarest Lloyd State Park

Demarest Lloyd is a fantastic small park in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, that exhibits an 1800-foot saltwater beach. The background of the beach is some scenic wandering hills sporting some fantastic spots to sit in the grass and enjoy a picnic with the family.

The park has some of the best birdwatching around if that’s an interest to you. I enjoyed combing the beach, and when it wasn’t so busy, I got permission to get the detector out and see what I could find. The staff at the park were friendly when I was there, and it had a feel of a best kept secret sort of place. Like something that people forgot about but then on rediscovery, you wonder why everyone doesn’t go there.

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/demarest-lloyd-state-park


7.      Horseneck Beach State Reservation – Sandy Dunes And Ocean Spray

One of Massachusetts’s most popular beaches, I enjoyed my stay at Horseneck because they have camping sites on location. The two-mile-long beach offers plenty of opportunity for swimming on the warmer days and metal detecting on the other ones.

As mentioned, we stayed at the campground, and I was surprised to see how many boaters enjoy the area as well. I had not seen a lot of sailboats out until we stayed at Horseneck Beach. It led me to believe that the site is great for sailors, boaters, and those that enjoy watersports and activities. Although I spent my time on the beach, beachcombing during busy hours and metal detecting in the off hours, I would think that if I had a boat, I’d take advantage of the boat ramp they have at Horseneck Beach. There’s also a decent little playground for the kids if you intend to stay landbound as I did.

Source: https://www.mass.gov/locations/horseneck-beach-state-reservation


Metal Detecting Laws For Massachusetts

According to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, metal detectors are not allowed on DCR property. However, it is also noted that metal detecting may be permitted on select beaches and camping areas under the sole discretion of the park manager or area supervisor, depending on where you read the information.
Like most other states, the National Forests in Massachusetts are off-limits to metal detectorists without special permits. These permits are typically only awarded for scientifically backed ventures, so they can be challenging for a hobby detectorist to obtain. The same is the case for BLM lands.

Quick Law Recap:

  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required Read about BLM Here
  • Massachusetts State Parks: Certain parks allow metal detecting on select beaches and camping areas, but only with written permission from the park manager. Read more about Massachusetts State Parks HERE

Metal Detecting Clubs In Massachusetts

Despite the strict conditions legislation has placed on the hobby within Massachusetts, there are a surprising number of clubs to support our hobby within the state.

Metal Detecting Tip: Belt pouches are one of the handiest tools for a metal detectorist. Use one to keep those dirty finds secure while keeping dirt out of your pockets. A belt pouch is convenient, lightweight, out of the way, and most importantly, it is an efficient tool in your treasure hunting arsenal. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Massachusetts

Pirate booty and coins abound with tales and legends of times long gone. And some ancient coins found not only tie together the past of certain states but also help unlock answers about a pirate mystery.

One such event occurred recently in New England. It ties together several states, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, in a pirate treasure mystery of the past.

With metal detecting, you never know what mystery awaits just under the surface! Read the full story here – https://www.abc6.com/ancient-coins-found-in-new-england-could-unlock-answers-to-pirate-mystery/


Metal Detecting Resources In Massachusetts


Metal Detector Stores In Massachusetts For Expert Advice

Usually, one sees a correlation between a good number of local clubs and metal detector stores within a state. In the case of Massachusetts, there appears to be a 2:1 ratio. I was only able to find two decent metal detector sales companies within the state.


The East Coast Has Some Amazing Places to Metal Detect


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.