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

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

In our family adventures across the United States, we weren’t far from Indiana come Memorial Day weekend, so I thought it would be fun to swing past Indianapolis for the Indianapolis 500. As this event is known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” I thought I’d take the family to see it. With so many tourists in town, there would be many a lost item to find with my detector, after all.

Regardless of whether you’re a race fan or not, there are plenty of great things to do in Indiana. The state boasts many great parks and places you can go to find nature and do some prospecting with your trusty metal detector.

The laws in Indiana are a bit stricter than in some of the other states regarding metal detecting. So, stick with me, and we’ll cover those laws after I tell you about my favorite seven state parks to do detecting in Indiana.


1.     Pokagon State Park – 2 Lakes, Beaches, And More

Once called Lake James State Park, this park near Angola in the northeast corner of Indiana is a great little park to stay for a weekend. It boasts a fishing lodge-themed inn which is a popular destination in the Midwest.

Nestled between Lake James and Snow Lake, there are ample opportunities to do some excellent shore detecting or prospecting. Just remember to get your permit from the park rangers. Here are a few of the amenities you’ll find at Pokagon:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Sledding
  • Ice fishing
  • Hiking
  • Paddle, pontoon, and rowboat rentals
  • Camping

Here’s how to find Pokagon State Park: https://goo.gl/maps/yuKRwQU7RMowGH9z5

Source: https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2973.htm


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

2.     Pike Lake Beach – Family-Friendly Fun

On our adventures, we swung through Warsaw, Indiana, and spent the day at Pike Lake. There’s a campground there and some of the best fishing around. The lake boasts many pike fish, hence the name, which attracts many anglers to the lake.

There’s also swimming at Pike lake, and with such a nice campground and picturesque views of the lake, it’s no wonder this place is busy. And do you know what that means? More lost treasures to find! Just make sure you get your permission before you do any prospecting here.

  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Incredible views

Finding Pike Lake Beach and Campground are easy; just take a look: https://goo.gl/maps/8K4MzKSQs6j3okXi8

Source: https://www.kcgov.com/eGov/apps/locations/facilities.egov?view=detail&id=10


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

3.     Deam Lake State Recreation Beach – Boating and Beauty in One Place

Deam Lake should be called Dream Lake because it’s so beautiful that it’s like being in a dream. You can rent these quaint little cabins to spend the night or camp on the 194-acre property. The views of the lake are incredible, and getting permission to do some hobby prospecting with your detector is no big deal – just swing by the park office first and get permission. You’ll be glad you did (but you might not want to leave this beautiful oasis).

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking

You can locate the Deam Lake State Recreation Beach here: https://goo.gl/maps/X1cWYsdo8F3Zujiz8

Source: https://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/4825.htm


Having the right tools to dig with makes a HUGE difference when Metal Detecting. Digging items quickly allows you to work more ground. I recommend three tools:

Lesche Digging Tools for Metal Detecting
Lesche Digging Tools for Metal Detecting

4.     Indiana Dunes State Park – Lake Michigan Awaits

Located in Chesterton, Indiana, on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, is a vast expanse of beach and sand to explore at Indiana Dunes State Park. Permission is required to use your metal detector, like all state parks in Indiana, but this one is especially worth the effort.

Here are a few of the amenities you’ll find at Indiana Dunes:

  • Nature Center (the kids love this)
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Birding
  • Camping

You can easily find the Indiana Dunes State Park here: https://goo.gl/maps/dxgV26DidH194mwT7

Source: https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm


5.     Versailles State Park – Swimming, Boating, And More

If you’re headed to the rolling hills of southeastern Indiana, you need to stop in at Versailles State Park. The park boasts a 230-acre lake where you can swim, boat, fish, and more. There’s even a boat ramp here, so you can launch a powerboat (or detect near the ramp).

Here are a few of the fun activities you can do at Versailles State Park:

  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Swimming
  • Rental canoes, kayaks, and rowboats

Source: https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2963.htm


Metal Detecting Tip: Winter weather is no fun, but when it melts, things start to heat up! The best time to go detecting is after the snow melts. Trinkets and treasures lost in the snow are often right in plain view or just under some surface clutter. All you need is your detector and these treasures waiting for you to find them. For more great tips for metal detecting, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


6.     Summit Lake State Park – Beautiful Lake and Woodlands

Located near New Castle in mid-Indiana is one of my favorite parks: Summit Lake State Park. The hiking here in the Zeigler Woods is incredible and looks like it has barely been touched by humans (another incredible feat). The park offers rental canoes, paddleboats, and rowboats and even boasts three boat launch ramps. With picnicking, fishing, hiking, swimming, and more to do, the family will have fun all day while you’re combing the beach with your detector. Just make sure you get permission, like in other State parks of Indiana.

  • Picnicking
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Boating (3 launch ramps)
  • Swimming

Source: https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2967.htm


7.     Potato Creek State Park

In north-central Indiana resides Potato Creek, State Park. This beautiful state park boasts a 327-acre lake (Worster Lake), wetlands, and mature woodlands. Its pristine beauty is only matched by the fun times you can have detecting here. Like other Indiana state parks, you’ll need permission, but it’s worth it. Look at all the fun things you can do at Potato Creek:

  • Boating (2 launch ramps)
  • Hiking
  • Biking (3.2 miles of bicycle trails and 6.6 miles of mountain bike trails
  • Fishing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Canoe, kayak, rowboat, and trolling motor rentals
  • Family-friendly playground

Source: https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2972.htm


Metal Detecting Laws for Indiana

Indiana has some of the best prospecting opportunities around, but you need a permit in most places. For us metal detecting folk, we are very restricted in Indiana. To do any real metal detection, in most places you need a permit. The laws are pretty clear about that fact.

Metal Detecting in Indiana
Metal Detecting in Indiana

Your best bet is to find some state parks where you can get written permission to use your metal detector. Often this falls to beaches within state parks. And unlike other states, you can’t just claim to be doing a hobby. You’re going to need a permit in most cases, but fear not, they aren’t that hard to get. In many cases, the park rangers are well aware that people with metal detectors will come around, and most park offices have the forms that need to be filled out.

Metal Detecting Tip: Steer clear of any national parks. These parks do not permit the use of a metal detector.

It may seem to you that Indiana is all “doom and gloom” when it comes to metal detection. Although it’s true, the state is relatively strict, there is hope, and that’s in finding land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. According to mdhtalk.org, detection on BLM land is permissible as long as no artifacts are removed. Well, this doesn’t stop you from finding coins and jewelry lost at typical camping sites on BLM land, and you’re not required to have a permit, so it works out fine. (source)


Quick Indiana Law Recap:

Indiana State Parks: Only allowed with a permit and typically only on beaches.

National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Permitted without removal of artifacts.


Metal Detecting Clubs in Indiana

  • Fort Wayne – Miami Valley Coin and Relic Hunters Club – This club has a Facebook page that has been inactive since December, 2018. You can attempt to connect with them here: https://www.facebook.com/mvcrhc
  • Hartford City – East Central Indiana Research & Recovery – Another club with little to no activity (the last update on the website was 2017). You can attempt to reach this club here: http://ecith.weebly.com/

Metal Detecting Tip: Who doesn’t love fun in the sun and sand? Well, if you want a great experience with your detection, then go to the beach! Beaches are great because most of the time, using a hobby metal detector is no issue in most places. The sand is quickly turned over and easy to leave no trace. Best of all, people lose jewelry, coins, and other valuables at the beach all the time. Once lost, it’s up to you and your detector to find them! For more great tips, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Indiana

There’s nothing like a heartfelt story to make you smile. And metal detecting in Indiana can give us a story all right. Recently an Evansville, Indiana veteran of metal detecting Tony Montgomery (30 years or more detecting) found something in town, and it was gold!

The once lost item was the gold-plated fireman’s badge of a man named “C.Ayers,” as per the engraving on the badge. After contacting some local news agencies, Tony finally found the descendant of C.Ayers, who was ecstatic to have a memento from his late father’s career as a fireman.

You can read all about the story here: https://www.14news.com/2021/01/26/evansville-man-finds-retired-fire-department-badge-with-metal-detector/


Metal Detecting Resources in Indiana


Metal Detector Stores In Indiana For Expert Advice


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 Arizona [Maps, Laws and More]

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

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? I can tell you it is a site you just can’t imagine. You need to see it with your own eyes. When my family went to see this majestic site, we decided to make it a road trip with a journey across the state and visit some of our favorite state parks. Naturally, I brought my metal detector.

There are many great state parks in Arizona, such as Lake Havasu, Davis Mountains, and more. Many of these incredible parks feature multiple amenities and have some significant areas to use a metal detector. However, the detector’s use is prohibited in ecologically, geologically, or culturally sensitive areas.

Although the Grand Canyon is in a National Park and therefore, you can’t use a detector there without special permits, Arizona’s state parks allow the recreational use of metal detectors. As mentioned above, you’ll need to be careful what areas of the parks you use them in. Luckily, there’s always friendly park staff, usually at the entrances to the parks, that you can ask where you’re allowed to use your detector.

Places to Metal Detect in Arizona
Places to Metal Detect in Arizona

Let’s take a journey through seven of my favorite places in Arizona to do some hobby detecting.


1. Lake Havasu State Park – Swimming and Sun

You’ve likely gone to a beach to prospect. Beaches are great places to find coins, jewelry, watches, and all manner of goodies lost in the sands of time. And if your detector is water-resistant, then walking out into the water to find treasures lost by swimmers is an exciting prospect.

One of the best times I’ve had detecting was on the beach of Lake Havasu State Park. I like that there are not only beach areas to detect but also a boat ramp. And again, a waterproof detector is needed, but you can find all kinds of goodies just out past the edge of the water. You’d be surprised what falls off launching boats! Just watch that you aren’t blocking anyone from launching a boat! And the beach is definitely worth detecting, like so many other places where people lose valuables.

There are lots to do at the park other than prospect as well. You can also enjoy activities like:

  • Boating
  • Watersports
  • Golfing
  • Hiking
  • Camping

Here’s how to find the Lake Havasu State Park :- https://goo.gl/maps/oQ2ChW9dspeg3Md1A

Source: Arizona State Parks – Lake Havasu


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

2. Dankworth Pond State Park – Mountain Views

One of the most fun I’ve had was hiking the Dos Arroyos Trail, a 1.75-mile-long trail that leads to the Dankworth Village recreation. There are historic buildings, plants, wildlife, and some incredible geology to explore along the way. It’s a great place to hike and use your detector.

The park features some great hiking and the water where you can also fish or go boating. But this park doesn’t have an official boat launch, so it’s usually only used by kayakers and canoeists. However, the picnic area is often used, and many a ring and other trinkets are likely to have been lost there to the sands of time (for you to find, hopefully).

One of the reasons we stopped at this park is to see the replica Indian village along the Dos Arroyos Trail. The kids loved it, and it was a fascinating site. With just a short drive to the hot springs of Roper Lake, there are lots to do and see in the area nearby.


Metal Detecting Tip: You can ensure that your detector picks up everything correctly only if you position it correctly. Keep your coil parallel to the ground, and don’t lift it too far away from the ground either. Your detector will work best if you keep the coil close to the ground. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/dXZxSWpdqmuuDpLH7

Source: Arizona State Parks – Dankworth Pond


3. Lost Dutchman State Park – Mysteries Of Gold Mines

Traveling along State Route 88, we had to stop to check out the legendary Superstition Mountains. Here lies the home of the famous tale of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. You can guess that I wanted to get my detector out the minute we pulled into the Lost Dutchman State Park.

The park has some stunning, if not breathtaking, trails you can traverse from the park. These trails run up into the mountains, and the area is quite rugged and picturesque. Dating back to the seventies, this park has seen its fair share of visitors.

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

  • Beautiful scenery
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Cabins & Camping

You can find the Lost Dutchman State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/yLKPASqu3JSzWTdf6

Source: Arizona State Parks – Lost Dutchman


4. Lyman Lake State Park – Reservoir In The Heat

Nestled in the northeastern side of Arizona along the Little Colorado River lies Lyman Lake. The state park was opened back in 1961 and is used for fishing, camping, swimming, boating, and more. It’s a great place to get away in Arizona and have some fun outside.

There are plenty of choices with its camping and cabins if you want to do a multi-day detecting adventure. One of the things that you’re going to want, though, is a waterproof detector. There are some docks and boating, so naturally, there’s detecting under the docks if you have the waterproof gear to go under the water.

There are also two boat ramps at this lake, one in the north (a double-wide ramp) and one in the east sporting a single lane ramp. These are areas people often drop things, and you might be lucky enough to find a ring or something else of value in these areas.

Here’s how you can find Lyman Lake State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/bJ6UiRgdYsC5FhK48

Source: Arizona State Parks – Lyman Lake


5. Red Rock State Park – Incredible Rock Formations

Red Rock State Park is one of the most beautiful parks I can imagine. The geography and beauty of the Sedona red rock formations are surpassed by none.

The park is relatively new, spawning from a land trade deal that finally ended in the parks’ formation in 1991.

The focus of this park is on its trails. The Sedona hiking trails are a 5-mile network of loops along Oak Creek and the Sedona rock formations. It is gorgeous, and these trails leave many places for us to explore with a detector.

Aside from detecting, there are also a few trails used for biking and equestrian use, but most of the trails are meant to be taken on foot, so stick to the foot trails if you use full earphones on your detector to avoid getting hit by a cyclist.

Source: Arizona State Parks – Red Rock


Metal Detecting Tip: You can find a lot more and cover the ground efficiently with an excellent sweeping technique. Using a panning and semi-circular moving pattern with your detector ensures you cover your ground effectively and that you don’t miss a possible hit. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6. River Island State Park – Beaches And Camping In The Sun

If you like detecting on beaches and campgrounds, the River Island State Park is a great place to go. The park is another excellent place to use a waterproof detector. However, there are many great spots to use a non-waterproof one on land as well.


Warning: If your metal detector isn’t completely waterproof you might not want to scan beaches. When a metal detector manufacturers WATERPROOFS a unit it has been designed to keep SAND, SALT WATER and MOISTURE out. Don’t ruin your machine get a waterproof unit – I highly recommend the: Garrett AT MAX link to Kellyco

Garrett AT MAX photo credit Kellyco

The beach here is a fairly compacted and clay-rich earth. It can be a bit tough to dig when you get a hit. The good thing about it is that it can hold quite a bit of stuff easily found in normal sand. Take a ring, for example. If someone loses a ring and the ring gets stepped on, it can be easily lost to the semi-compacted ground. Unlike sand, once lost to the earth here, it isn’t easily found without a detector. It makes your chances of finding something pretty good considering. With a big campground and RV area, there are plenty of areas to explore with that detector of yours.

Source: Arizona State Parks – River Island


7. Kartchner Caverns State Park – Alien Worlds To Explore

Saved the best for last? Quite possibly as the Kartchner Caverns are another spectacular sight to see in Arizona. Being inside the caverns is like something out of a science fiction movie. It’s breathtaking. It’s not a surprise once you’ve seen the formations that you find out that a man was taken blindfolded first to see the caves to help make the area a park and driven to the caves at night so he couldn’t reveal the actual location. Quite the secrecy just to create a state park. Go there and see for yourself and you’ll understand, it’s breathtaking.

Aside from the fantastic cave tours, the park also sports camping and cabins and 3.2 miles of trails where you can do some detecting. Just remember not to use in areas that aren’t permitted.

Source: Arizona State Parks – Kartchner


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

Metal Detecting Laws For Arizona

Arizona is a state that has some fairly specific requirements when it comes to metal detecting. If the land is controlled by the BLM (aka Bureau of Land Management), then you are NOT allowed to hunt for relics or other historical items. At least, not without a permit. Most parks are open to detecting as long as you fill any holes and leave no trace.

In Arizona, the rules for treasure hunting are wide open when it comes to classifying treasure as there exists no particular rule in the state about detecting non-relic items. So gold and coins are a go! But before you head off into the sunset with your detector, always confirm the rules at individual sites first, as the laws can change in local parks given local conditions.

Quick Arizona Law Recap:

National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service

BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required

Arizona State Lands: Permit required for relics, jewelry, etc., significantly beyond 100 years old items. No permit for coins, arrowheads, or non-relic metals. Hobby detecting is permitted in areas that are not ecologically, geologically, or culturally significant.


Metal Detecting Clubs In Arizona

  • Arizona Association of Gold Prospectors – This is the premier club in Arizona if gold and prospecting are on your mind. They have cool handouts at the annual May meeting, but the Pheonix chapter meets once a month on the fourth Tuesday, so they are pretty active. Link: https://www.arizonagoldprospectors.org/AAGPPhoenixChapter.htm
  • Arizona Treasures Unlimited – This club meets on the third Tuesday of every month at American Legion Post #1 in Phoenix, Arizona. – http://www.aztreasures.org/info.php
  • Superstition West Treasure Hunters – Based out of Apache Junction, the SWTH club has an annual membership fee of $25 and makes some cool trips together. They journey to ghost towns, old mining camps, and more, so it’s well worth joining if you live in the area. Learn more here – http://superstitiontreasure.com/

Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Arizona

One of the coolest recent metal detecting stories to come out of Arizona relates to two friends. In January of 2021, one man, David Doughty, was over at his friend’s house Antonio Arredondo in Temple, Arizona. David was using his metal detector and found a weak signal. It was one that he almost ignored!

A good thing happened when David didn’t ignore the signal. They found a gold school ring from 50 years ago, all caked in mud and only 5-6 inches down! What a find! After posting the find on Facebook, he soon discovered the senior who owned the ring and returned the once lost item to its rightful owner. Read the full story here – https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/lost-temple-hs-class-ring-found-50-years-later/500-070438e9-e119-41e4-8485-447a9f607ae6


Metal Detecting Resources In Arizona


If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.


Metal Detector Stores In Arizona For Expert Advice


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 Oregon (Maps, Laws, and More)

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Oregon (Maps, Laws, and More)

With its vast stretches of picturesque coastline and densely forested interior with rivers meandering throughout, the state of Oregon is an outdoorsman’s paradise. From fishing to skiing and camping to rafting, just about any outdoor activity can be done in Oregon. This also makes it a haven for metal detectorists of all levels, from recreational hobbyists to diehard enthusiasts.

There are plenty of old relics to be found in Oregon too. Indigenous peoples lived in Oregon for thousands of years before the Lewis and Clark expedition ended at the Oregon coastline. Parts of Oregon are dotted with mining towns that were once settled by treasure-seekers who looked to make their fortunes in the Beaver State.

Here are the seven best places to metal detect in Oregon:


1. Florence and the Siuslaw River – Better Bundle Up

Nothing is as scenic and relaxing as walking along the northern Oregon coastline in the middle of summer. Tourists and native Oregonians flock to these beaches during the warmer months. As far as metal detecting goes, however, fall and winter may actually be the best times of the year. There are several reasons for this:

  • When the weather turns cold and foul, the beaches will be barren, so sweeping sandy areas where beachgoers would normally lie down or play in the sand can pay immediate dividends
  • Fall and winter in Oregon bring Pacific storms which batter the coastline with large waves, churning the sand and uncovering long-buried items
  • These same storms can also overturn rocks and move debris, exposing nooks and crevices where items can collect and hide

Here’s how to find Florence: https://goo.gl/maps/18Dhhw2bcuiMDQYk6

(Source: Old Town Inn)

One more thing to keep in mind is to check the tide tables. The best hunting on Oregon’s beaches will often be at low tide when the waves pull back from the sand.


2. Umpqua National Forest – Bring the Entire Family

Located on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountain range, Umpqua National Forest occupies nearly a million acres of federally managed land, and among the multitude of outdoor activities it supports and allows is metal detecting.

Since it is a national forest, it is important upon arrival to check in with one of the many ranger stations to learn exactly where and how metal detecting is allowed. It may even be a good idea to call ahead in case a permit needs to be purchased. (Here is a list of the ranger stations with phone numbers: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/umpqua/recreation/rocks-minerals/recarea/?recid=63384&actid=60.)

Aside from metal detecting (this is a national forest, after all), the list of activities for people of all ages is long and diverse. These are just a few highlights:

  • Boating
  • Cycling
  • Camping
  • Climbing and hiking
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Rockhounding
  • Swimming

Here’s how to get to Umpqua National Forest: https://goo.gl/maps/uvEgsfZj7hGbjuXFA

(Source: United States Department of Agriculture – Forest Service)


3. Agate Beach – A Beachcomber’s Paradise

Agate Beach is an Oregon state recreational site, and according to the state’s park department, metal detecting is allowed on mowed lawns and picnic areas. It is also allowed on the sandy beaches lying between the vegetation line and the ocean. This means the opportunities are there to uncover some bling, old coins, and other noteworthy items.

Metal Detecting on Oregon Beaches
Metal Detecting on Oregon Beaches

Agate Beach isn’t just a metal detectorist’s paradise. It is a fantastic place for beachcombers as well. In fact, as the name implies, colorful agate rocks can be found all over Agate Beach and, when cut open or polished, can make wonderful additions to any rock collection.

Another fun activity is hunting for glass fishing net floats (they are basically spherical glass balls) that people hide for others to find.

Heading to Agate Beach? Here’s where to find it: https://goo.gl/maps/JBVhFoJrb4YN2RFx9

While metal detecting is allowed on large stretches of beaches up and down Oregon’s coastline, shipwrecks are considered protected archeological sites and are therefore strictly off-limits.

(Source: The Adobe Resort)


4. Munson Creek Falls – A Lush Backdrop

Although it was established only two decades ago, Munson Creek Falls is already a hiking favorite among Oregonians because of its lush scenery and spectacular waterfalls. Named after the locally well-known 19th-century settler, Munson Creek Falls attracts throngs of visitors eager to partake in its rich native flora. As detectorists know all too well, large and active crowds of people equate to great metal detecting.

As a state natural site, Munson Creek Falls allows metal detecting so long as detectorists are mindful of Oregon’s regulations relating to historically significant artifacts and items exceeding a certain value. And with the area’s rich history of native peoples and European settlers living and foraging here, chances are quite decent that a deliberate scanning session will yield a fair share of strong tones for items old and new.

Here’s how to get to Munson Creek Falls: https://goo.gl/maps/tbUqiMUexReW8EHf9

When metal detecting in Oregon, remember to leave existing vegetation alone (no cutting) and replace any dirt that has been moved. Also, any recovered items exceeding $100 in value must be turned over to park authorities.

(Source: Oregon Hikers Field Guide)


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

5. Granite Ghost Town – Step Back in Time

Many of Oregon’s original settlers arrived with the hopes of making their fortunes mining for gold and other precious metals. As more and more of them settled in Oregon, mining towns began sprouting up all over the state’s eastern and southern portions. Granite was one such town, and it remained active until 1942, when the U.S. government shut down gold mines due to World War II.

Metal detecting in Granite can unearth items like old tools and implements, jewelry, and other personal effects from its former citizens. There is no telling what else lurks beneath the soil in Granite.

(Source: Oregon Secretary of State)

Metal Detecting Oregon at Granite Ghost Town
Metal Detecting Oregon at Granite Ghost Town

6. Mount Hood – Summer Hunting in a Ski Resort

Among the many outdoor activities that are popular in Oregon are skiing and snowboarding. Mount Hood in the Cascade Range offers world-class facilities and is a true winter sports haven. But the fun does not end as the snow melts. Mount Hood Skibowl offers over 20 summer activities, including:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Ziplining
  • plenty more

With so much activity year-round, the warmer months on Mount Hood offer great hunting opportunities for savvy metal detectorists while providing some of the most spectacular vistas in the Pacific Northwest.

(Source: Travel Oregon)


7. Milo McIver State Park – Hunting Near Portland

Located roughly 20 miles southeast of Portland and lying adjacent to the winding Clackamas River, Milo McIver State Park is a large recreational area offering a broad range of outdoor activities, including:

  • Biking
  • Disc golf
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Kayaking

Just to name a few. In other words, like so many areas in Oregon, it is a recreational utopia.

Milo McIver State Park has all the makings for fertile hunting grounds, and metal detecting is allowed without a permit in the day-use, equestrian, barn, and viewpoint areas.

(Source: Milo McIver State Park – Oregon State Parks)


Metal Detecting Laws for Oregon

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department regulates metal detecting in the state and lays out areas where it can be done without permits and areas where permits are required. In general

  • Oregon beaches may be metal detected from the vegetation line toward the sea.
  • In state-managed parks, metal detecting is usually limited to mowed lawn areas and picnic sites.

Any recovered item exceeding $100 in value must be turned over, suspected antiquities must be left alone, and only ice picks, screwdrivers, and small knives may be used to probe and dig for buried items.

Further information can be found at https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.page&id=21.

Metal Detecting Clubs in Oregon

  • The Oregon Treasure Trail Society is based in Portland and offers group activities for detectorists of all ages, including the find-of-the-month contest and organized group hunts. Learn more about them here: https://ottsclub.org/
  • The Oregon Metal Detecting Club is a Facebook group catering to the Oregon metal detecting community. With over 500 members, this online club provides a platform for detectorists to share their hunt finds, buy and sell equipment among each other, and exchange information. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OregonMetalDetecting/about

Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Oregon

Seasoned metal detectorists throughout the Pacific Northwest, but particularly in Oregon, have heard stories and perhaps even seen the fabled (but true) Phoenix Buttons. These small brass buttons smaller than the size of a quarter were originally brought to the area by an American who intended to trade these items with indigenous peoples for furs.

The Phoenix Buttons were originally designed and produced in Europe for the army uniforms of King Christophe of Haiti. They never made it to their intended destination, finding their way to the areas around the Columbia River and Puget Sound instead.

Each Phoenix Button represents a tiny piece of history from nearly two centuries ago and is a bona fide treasure for those fortunate enough to find one.

(Source: https://mynorthwest.com/1976707/mysterious-phoenix-button-found-puget-sound/)

Metal Detecting Resources in Oregon

Located on Portland’s outskirts, Northwest Detector Sales is the largest metal detecting equipment dealer in the Pacific Northwest region, with virtually all major makes and models in stock in their large showroom. In addition to their incredible selection, they offer unparalleled expertise with personalized customer support.

For more information: https://nwdetectors.com/

Final Thoughts and Finds

From sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains to arid plains, Oregon has something for all outdoorists. Metal detecting opportunities in the Beaver State are as wide-ranging and diverse as its natural features.

Whether in all-metal or discrimination mode, metal detecting in Oregon is a fantastic year-round way to enjoy the great outdoors in one of the most scenic places in the United 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.

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. 


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

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: 


Warning: If your metal detector isn’t completely waterproof you might not want to scan beaches. When a metal detector manufacturers WATERPROOFS a unit it has been designed to keep SAND, SALT WATER and MOISTURE out. Don’t ruin your machine get a waterproof unit – I highly recommend the: Garrett AT MAX link to Kellyco

Garrett AT MAX photo credit Kellyco

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: 


Having the right tools to dig with makes a HUGE difference when Metal Detecting. Digging items quickly allows you to work more ground. I recommend three tools:

Lesche Digging Tools for Metal Detecting
Lesche Digging Tools for Metal Detecting

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!

Using a Pin Pointer
Using a Pin Pointer – Photo Credit Kellyco

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.


Learning How to Use Your Metal Detector Can Be Tough, But I’ve Got You Covered with These Articles


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!


Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


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.


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

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.


Plan your Next Metal Detecting Adventure at 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.

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

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

Ahhhh, Idaho. You might be a metal detectorist’s dream come true. You are beautiful, with geography varied from arid landscapes to green, forested hillsides, to rugged mountains and spine-tinglingly beautiful rivers once famed for gold. And, best of all, Idaho is one of the most metal detecting-friendly states I’ve found in terms of regulations and areas open to detectorists. As for those snooty, superior looks you sometimes get from other outdoor recreationalists…. I can’t promise anything, but just look the other way and you’re sure to have a jaw-dropping view to look at!


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

Before I dive into my list of top Idaho metal detecting sites, it might be useful to narrow down your primary interest in metal detecting. Do you hope to make historic finds and fascinating relics from the past? If so, you’ll want a historical, research-based approach to choosing sites like former home sites and farms. Keep in mind, you’re not legally supposed to keep archaeological finds but it can be exciting nonetheless. Historically-minded detectorists should learn the basics of using maps and historical records to locate promising spots – and you’ll have to request permission if your target is on private property.

Metal Detecting in Idaho
Metal Detecting in Idaho – Photo Credit Kellyco

Do you just want to find cool trinkets and potentially valuable items lost by modern people? These are items you’d most likely be able to keep and/or sell. Then, you’ll want to focus on high-traffic public places.

Now that you’ve identified your interest, you can choose appropriately from my top 15 places to metal detect in Idaho. Note: I’ve done my best to research the jurisdictional regulations for these places, but I’m not an attorney and cannot guarantee this information. You should always check with local authorities before metal detecting.

Boise, Idaho: City Parks

Boise City Parks allow metal detecting with a permit, which cost $10.50 at the time of publishing this article. You can find permit application info here .You are, of course, required to fill in any holes or divots made if you dig.

Finding treasure in Idaho
Finding treasure in Idaho

Boise parks are great if you’re a metal detector interested in modern finds. Parking lots, playgrounds and sports fields offer much in the way of lost coins and sometimes jewelry.

1. Ann Morrison Park

This is one of my favorites because it offers playgrounds, a variety of sports fields, multiple parking lots and even some river frontage where object might be washed ashore from the Boise River.

2. Hulls Gulch Reserve

Drainages with intermittent flow are arguably the most effective locations for random finds (i.e. not requiring historic research). The water washes objects into gulches, arroyos or creeks then, when the flood or seasonal flow ends, the relics have already been excavated and consolidated in one relatively condensed area. You’ll find a huge variety of things – from modern to historical. Hulls Gulch offers 292 acres to explore at the base of the foothills and, as a Boise City Park, allows permitted metal detecting.


Abandoned Villages and Ghost Towns

Roosevelt Lake is located in the Payette National Forest, about 6-7 hours from Boise. Roosevelt Lake is a fascinating place to visit – with or without a metal detector. Like most of Idaho’s ghost towns, it was part of the gold rush. Unlike other mining towns, however, it wasn’t abandoned just because the gold petered out (though that had already happened). The town was inhabited from 1902 to 1909 when a mudslide damned up the creek that flowed through the valley. The waters rose over the months until the entire town was underwater. Today, the naturally-created reservoir is known as Roosevelt Lake, and logs from cabins beneath the surface occasionally float to the surface. If the water is smooth and clear, you may be able to make out the shadows and shapes of the buildings underneath. And you never know what you’ll find metal detecting along the shore!

3. Florence, Nez Perce National Forest

This ghost town, near modern day Riggins, was once a silver mining town. When the silver waned, it had a brief resurgence with the discovery of quartz in the region, but it’s been uninhabited since the 1950s. It’s more easily explored with an informative driving map from the US Forest Service. You may access that HERE. Metal detecting is permitted, though removal of artifacts is not.

4. De Lamar

This ghost town is listed on the National Register of Historic sites, so no metal detecting is permitted. However, it’s located on BLM land – where metal detecting is permitted as long as no artifacts are removed. So make sure you explore farther away from the historic buildings and report any artifacts you find. The ghost town was once known as the “Womanizing Capital” of the state because of its abundant bars, gambling and madams.

5. Reynolds

Reynolds once was home to a school and a post office and a cemetery, of course. Nearby, the Camp Lyon Site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, may be worth a visit but doesn’t permit metal detecting. However, BLM areas – accessed easily via the Hemingway Butte OHV Trailhead – do permit metal detecting. How do you decide where to hunt? Here are some expert tips HERE.

6. Vienna, Sawtooth National Forest

While metal detecting at an actual mine – even one long-abandoned like the Vienna Silver Mine – is rarely recommended due to continued mining claims, but Old Vienna town is a different story – if you can find it! That’s part of the endless intrigue of Vienna. Once one of the largest communities of its era, with over 200 buildings, 800 inhabitants and even its own newspaper, nothing now remains. It’s a mystery that someone with a metal detector might be able to solve…

Metal Detecting tip: Use a tool belt (similar to a carpenter’s tool belt) or a safari vest so that everything you need is within hand’s reach without digging through a bag. Come up with an assigned place for each item to make packing your gear beforehand faster and easier and you metal detecting trips more efficient. For example, have a certain pocket or pouch assigned for extra batteries, a hand spade, a water bottle (if you’re not using some kind of hydration system), probe, gloves, etc.


Warning: If your metal detector isn’t completely waterproof you might not want to scan beaches. When a metal detector manufacturers WATERPROOFS a unit it has been designed to keep SAND, SALT WATER and MOISTURE out. Don’t ruin your machine get a waterproof unit – I highly recommend the: Garrett AT MAX link to Kellyco

Garrett AT MAX photo credit Kellyco

7. Wallace, Idaho: Pulaski Tunnel Trail

For any history enthusiast, the quaint mining town is worth a visit in itself. Named the “Center of the Universe” by official mayoral proclamation, the town has more than a fancy title to draw visitors. It’s got multiple mining museums, recreation trails (many good for metal detecting) like Route of the Hiawatha, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes Rail Trail, the Blossom Lakes Trail and even Eagle City Park, a “Recreational Gold Prospecting & Small Scale Mining Park” perfect for newbies to metal detecting. I do love Wallace. But I’m not the only one. It’s a popular tourist destination, so time your visit accordingly. Nearby Kellogg is also a historic mining town that’s worth a visit and possibly some investigation into metal detecting sites.

Pulaski Tunnel Trail commemorates tragedy and heroism. In 1910, the largest forest fire in US history swept through the town and “Big Ed” Pulaski, a local forest ranger “saved 38 men by guiding them to safety in a mine tunnel south of town and holding the frantic workers there at gunpoint until the fire passed.” (link: http://www.wallaceidahochamber.com/history-wallace/). (If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the inventor of the combination ax and hoe that’s used today throughout the world.) The trail has interpretive signs along the way and high visitor traffic, so the chance for finding lost personal items is good, but I’d go early in the morning or right before sunset to avoid crowds. Scan the parking lots, trail and trail shoulders for finds from modern visitors. Or, if you’re fit and have a high pain tolerance, do some bushwhacking through the spruce and fir forests to the banks of the West Fork of Placer Creek to see what the water’s washed up. Or maybe even find some gold!

8. Burgdorf

Much of the abandoned, former mining town of Burgdorf, Idaho is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places, making metal detecting off-limits. However, because it’s located in a National Forest, you still have permission to metal detect in campgrounds, parking lots, trails and other areas not “known” to be of historic value. Additionally, long before the mining rush brought white immigrants to the area, Native Americans cherished the area as a sacred site, due to the hot springs in the area. You may find lost items from yesterday’s hiker or utensils from yesteryear’s miners, or even something much older – you never know!



Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip

Abandoned Logging Camps

Abandoned logging camps are some of the best places to metal detect because they’re usually on National Forest Service land where metal detecting is generally permitted. Like other temporary/nomadic settlements they were often packed in haste, leaving objects behind. With little value to today’s Americans, they’re often completely abandoned (unlike abandoned mines where oftentimes mine rights will interfere with your chances of metal detecting), and they’re rarely tourist destinations. These last two points, however, are also two downfalls of metal detecting abandoned logging camps: They’re often hard to locate – even in historical documents. And they’re even harder to locate in person. Here are some suggested general areas, but you’ll want to do some of your own supplementary research of maps and historical documents to pinpoint your own targets.

9. Marble Creek (closest town St. Maries)

From Forest Service Trail #261, you’ll see remnants of cabins and logging camps. More than a dozen logging splash dams were built along the creek between 1915 and 1931. Most are now long gone, but at least one remains (Number 7). I doubt you’ll find much with a metal detector there (though I’d love to be proven wrong), it’s still interesting to see.

10. Abandoned Marble Creek Railroad Tunnels (closest town St. Maries)

If you’re adventurous and willing to do some research with maps and GPS, you might try your hand at locating and metal detecting two abandoned railroad tunnels on Marble Creek. They’re nearly invisible from the road (Forest Service Road 321) and partially collapsed. One you find the entrance, shrouded by trees and growth, the tunnels themselves are spacious and enticing – but not to be deeply explored without some specialized cave gear and safety training.

11. Ruttledge Logging Camps.

Scattered around the St. Joe National Forest, in the vicinity of Clarkia, Idaho, the 15 logging camps have been abandoned since the early 1930s. Some of the 15 have been completely reclaimed by the forest (at least to the naked eye), so some skills with a map and reading the land to find metal detecting sites may be necessary. But you’ll have very little competition, that’s for sure! If you’re up for a hike, you can reach Camp #5 on Forest Service Trail #254, also off Forest Service Road 321 in the Hobo Creek drainage, and you’ll be rewarded with the partially collapsed remains of multiple buildings and exciting metal detecting.

Metal Detecting tip: Hunt after rain. First of all, it’s easier to dig in moist, soft dirt. Secondly, moist ground provides more conductivity for your signal so you can pick up deeper finds. Thirdly, you better get used to rain if you’re going to metal detect in Idaho!


Beaches

As always, beaches are popular and promising locations to metal detect. Idaho has an abundance of options. Most of these lakes are in areas with a rich history of mining, railroad and logging industries, meaning they could be combined with nearby historically-focused metal detecting excursions. Of course, familiarize yourself with metal detecting regulations at the site before beginning any metal detecting.

 Just take your pick!


A couple tools are a must for beach metal detecting. A waterproof proven pin-pointer and a strong sand scoop. I highly recommend the GARRETT AT PRO POINTER and the CKG SAND SCOOP (link to Kellyco to check prices and ratings)


12. Lake Cascade, Cascade, Idaho

A great day trip from Boise, this is a State Park. Recent proposed policy changes would open the park to metal detecting with permission from the park ranger provided it doesn’t interfere with other park uses. So check with the park ranger to be sure.

13. Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho

The “jewel of northern Idaho,” this lake is far away but worth the visit.

14. Redfish Lake, Stanley, Idaho.

Located in Sawtooth National Forest, you won’t have to worry about checking regulations for metal detecting at Redfish Lake.

Metal Detecting on Beaches in Idaho
Metal Detecting on Beaches in Idaho

15. Pend Oreille Lake, Sand Point, Idaho.

About as far into Idaho as you can get without crossing into Canada is Sand Point, Idaho. There, you’ll find Idaho’s biggest, deepest lake with a whopping 111 miles of shoreline. Whiskey Rock Campground, Springy Point and numerous beaches around the lake a great sites for metal detecting. I met a fellow detectorist with an antique diamond ring (diamond still attached) that he’d found at Pend Oreille.

16. Coeur d’Alene.

There are over 55 lakes within an easy drive of Coeur d’Alene! The metal detecting options are extensive.

Metal detecting tip: Overlap your sweeps and make sure your sweeps are slow and controlled, staying at the same approximate height. This systematic approach gives you greater accuracy and greater consistency of coverage, meaning you won’t accidentally miss spots or detect at varying depths.


Metal Detecting Laws in Idaho

  • Metal detecting is not allowed in National Parks or National Monuments anywhere in the US.
  • Metal detecting is allowed on BLM lands as long as no artifacts are removed. Artifacts should be left alone and reported to the appropriate Field Office. Avoid all cultural and archeological sites and only make minimal surface disturbances. 
  • 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 permission, but there’s an additional restriction that’s unique to state metal detecting laws: If you find something, it automatically belongs to the property owner.
  • 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.  It is permissible to collect coins, but prospecting for gold would be subject to mining laws.
    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, stop metal detecting in that area, and notify the local Forest Service office. 

Item number 3 is not surprising and, in fact, is s 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, regardless of the type of property you’re on, 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.


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

Idaho Metal Detecting Clubs

Boise Basin Search and Recovery (http://diggin4treasure.org)

Gem State Metal Detecting Club (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Sports—Recreation/Gem-State-Metal-Detecting-Club-773913942980814/), Meridian ID

Northwest Treasure Hunters Club (https://www.facebook.com/Northwest-Treasure-Hunters-Club-180101685357904/), Spokane, ID

Additionally, there are numerous clubs devoted to prospecting and gem hunting in Idaho that may also be friendly for metal detecting in their ranks but few devoted entirely to metal detecting. If you find a gold and gem club in your area, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Favorite Metal Detecting Shops in Idaho

Gerry’s Metal Detectors, Boise, ID (http://gerrysdetectors.com/)

Wild West Metal Detecting, Pocatello, ID (https://wildwestmetaldetectors-com.3dcartstores.com/)


Fascinating Treasure Finds in Idaho and Metal Detecting News

“Boy diving ‘for treasure’ in Idaho hot springs finds wedding ring lost in the 1970s” (https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/wedding-ring-found-nearly-40-years-after-disappearing-at-trinity-hot-springs-in-idaho/277-dc23768e-655a-440d-808b-66475d6e6d7b)

“Kuna man finds, returns 28-year lost class ring” (https://www.idahopress.com/kuna/news/kuna-man-finds-returns-28-year-lost-class-ring/article_5faa7448-794d-5e72-9620-b95b9c556822.html)

“Spokane treasure hunters: Two men with metal detectors search for history” (https://www.khq.com/news/spokane-treasure-hunters-two-men-with-metal-detectors-search-for/article_b01265ec-89f2-5cfb-83de-c9c59ef382d2.html

“How a teen tracked down the owner of an engagement ring found buried on the beach” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/11/01/how-teen-tracked-down-owner-an-engagement-ring-buried-beach-two-years/)


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.