Maine is a small state with big personality! It is a perfect state for metal detecting. The history of the state goes back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Wabanaki, inhabited Maine thousands of years ago.
In 1607, English settlers came to Maine at Popham. Artifacts from Maine’s vast history can be found throughout the state.
Metal detecting the beaches of Maine is a rewarding part of any vacation, or for any local wanting to get out and explore. Maine has more coastline than California, at 3,748 miles! So, get your metal detector, and go enjoy the scenic beaches of The Pine Tree State!
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1. Long Sands Beach – Famous lighthouse, perfect for metal detecting!
Long Sands Beach in York, Maine is a wide, long beach with over a mile and a half of beautiful sands. There are several designated surfing areas along Long Sands Beach. Long Sands Beach is one of the best places to visit the ocean in the state of Maine.
There is private and metered parking available. The beach has designated surfing areas, lifeguards, restrooms, and gear rentals.
There are also shops and restaurants nearby. Long Sands Beach is open 7 days a week, 24 hours per day. The famous Nubble Lighthouse is located on Long Sands Beach and is a popular sightseeing destination.
Where to Metal Detect on Long Sands Beach
As with most beach areas, the sandy portion of the beach is the best place for metal detecting. Try detecting along the towel line, where people set up for the day.
This is a great area for finding dropped item. You can also check along the surf. This is a good area to metal detect as the sands are constantly shifted by the tides.
Metal Detecting Tip: Maine has a lot to offer a detectorist. I’ve got a complete guide detailing where to go in this article -> Best Places to Metal Detect in Maine
2. York Harbor Beach – Family friendly beach with great metal detecting opportunities
York Harbor Beach is in York. This beach is a family-oriented beach popular with the local population. It is a small and sandy beach along a rocky shoreline.
Locals call the beach Mother’s Beach because it is perfect for smaller children. The Harley Mason Park borders the beach and offers shady trees and benches. Several restaurants are within walking distance.
York Harbor Beach features outside shoers and public restrooms. Lifeguards are on site from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The parking is limited so you will need a permit parking sticker from the town clerk, or you can park along Route 1A for up to 2 hours.
Where to Metal Detect on York Harbor Beach
Try metal detecting along the towel line where people have set up their towels and chairs. This beach is popular with locals and is known for being a good place for children. This means you have a good chance of finding some dropped items like coins or jewelry. You can also check near the parking area.
Metal Detecting Tip: If you plan to metal detect on a saltwater beach, you will want to make sure you have the right metal detector. Saltwater is inherently conductive and can interfere with many metal detectors. Read my article -> Are Metal Detectors Waterproof?
3. Barrett’s Cove – Freshwater beach with spectacular views
Barrett’s Cove is located along Megunticook Lake. This freshwater beach is in Camden, Maine, and is a wonderful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This area is rarely crowded. The beach gives you amazing views of sheer cliffs rising from the water along the side of Mount Battle.
Barrett’s Cove is popular for swimming, with a shallow area for smaller children and deeper areas. There is a playground area, public boat ramp, rock climbing, grassy picnic area, public restrooms, showers, and phone service.
Where to Metal Detect on Barrett’s Cove
This area is a popular destination during the summer months, so you have a good chance of finding some loot! Check areas along the sandy portion of the beach for lost items. Check near the playground area and picnic areas too. It is always a good idea to check near the parking areas as people often drop items while packing items on and off the beach.
4. Ogunquit Beach – Best beach in New England!
Ogunquit Beach was called one of the top 25 beaches in the country and the #1 best beach in New England by Trip Advisor. This beach features a long stretch of beautiful, soft white sand. The area is popular with beachgoers and has botche ball, frisbee, and volleyball areas. There are several parking areas, and the beach is accessible by trolly.
The beach is near Ogunquit Village, with shops, restrooms, food vendors, and restaurants. You can also fish, deep sea fish, whale watch, sail, kayak, hike, and golf on or near the beach.
Where To Metal Detect on Ogunquit Beach
The best places to metal detect on Ogunquit Beach will be the sandy areas. Look for areas where people have been sitting and relaxing. Check near the surf for items that may have been uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tides.
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5. Crescent Beach
Crescent Beach is a lesser-known beach in beautiful Cape Elizabeth just south of Portland, Maine. Crescent Beach is in a State Park, so ensure you get permission to metal detect here before you unpack everything. The area features saltwater coves, rock ledges, and wooded areas. It is perfect for relaxing on the beach, fishing, nature watching, and watersports.
Crescent Beach is a mile long crescent shaped beach. It can get crowded in the summer, so try metal detecting here during the off season for better luck.
6. Drake’s Island Beach
Drake’s Island Beach is a smaller beach, at 2,800 feet. However, it is picturesque and the perfect place to metal detect while exploring the lovely Maine coastline. This area is perfect for relaxing, swimming, body boarding, and skim boarding.
Drake’s Island Beach is open year-round, so try metal detecting here during the off season. The beach will be less crowded than during the summer months, so you can have a relaxing metal detecting trip!
7. Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine. It features a beachside amusement park. 500-foot pier, and boardwalk. It is open year-round and is 7 miles of gorgeous sands. The area has ice cream shacks, shops, and restaurants. The beach is perfect for relaxing in the sun, surfing, swimming, and playing beach sports.
The best places to metal detect along Old Orchard Beach are the sandy areas, as with all beaches. Check near the amusement park, boardwalk, and pier. You are likely to find some dropped items in the sands of this beach!
Metal Detecting Laws for Maine
Metal detecting in Maine, as with all other states in the country, is regulated by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. This is a federal level law that prohibits removing man-made objects from public, state, or federal lands if they are over 100-years old.
The goal of this Act is to protect America’s heritage by protecting historically and culturally significant items.
Acadia National Prak is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. However, metal detecting is forbidden within the park. This is true of most national parks.
You can always check with the park rangers or park managers to see if there are certain areas where metal detecting is allowed. Do not expect to be allowed to metal detect in a national park, though.
State Parks allow metal detecting with a permit obtained from the park, but only in certain areas. Those areas designated as historic sites do not allow metal detecting. Ensure you speak with the park rangers to find out where they allow metal detecting within the state park. Learn more here: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/park_passes_fees_rules/park_rules.shtml
Metal detecting is often allowed in national forests. You still need to check with the forest rangers prior to metal detecting. Certain areas are off limits, and some areas where ore is commonly found may have a claim on the land. Learn more about metal detecting in national forests here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5261774.pdf
Metal Detecting Tip: If you have children, have them come metal detecting with you! There are many models of children’s metal detectors on the market that are inexpensive. They will have a blast learning about metal detecting and finding treasures! Kid’s metal detectors are simple to operate and lightweight so your kids will have no issues operating them. Great pick is the National Geographic Junior Metal Detector (link to Amazon for price and reviews)
Metal Detecting Clubs in Maine
- Maine Gold Prospectors Club focuses on learning how to identify the best locations for gold prospecting in Maine. They seek to help educate the public in the hobby of metal detecting and gold prospecting. Read more about the Maine Gold Prospectors Club here: https://www.mainegoldprospectors.club/
- Metal Detecting Maine & Beyond is a laid-back club where members share their finds, stories, and learn more about the hobby. Read more about them here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1714329665458309/about
Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Maine
A man named Brian Clunie was metal detecting Hinckley Farm in Waterville when he got a unique hit on his metal detector. He began digging and uncovered a set of dog tags that date back to World War II.
The dog tags were still legible, reading William E. Andrews. Clunie sought to find Andrews, or his family, and return the tags to them. He was able to find 2 of Andrew’s sons, Newell, and Wyatt Andrews on social media. Learn more about this incredible story here: https://fox23maine.com/news/local/dog-tags-found-in-waterville-returned-to-family
Metal Detecting Resources in Maine
- The website MDHTALK is a great resource for information on metal detecting in Maine. They have information about laws, regulations, and clubs. Check them out here: https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=ME
- Metal Inquiry is a great website for information on metal detecting Maine. Check them out here: https://metalinquiry.com/metal-detecting-in-maine/
Metal Detector Stores in Maine for Expert Advice
- Ed’s Alltronics: https://www.edsalltronics.com/
- Kittery Trading Post: https://www.kitterytradingpost.com/search/?q=metal+detector&lang=default
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.