Massachusetts, known as the Bay State, has a long and storied history. This is one of the most populous states in the New England region and has been settled for thousands of years. Native American Tribes, most notably the Massachuset Tribe, settled this region approximately 10,000 years ago. European settlers began to arrive on the Mayflower in Massachusetts and have been part of the culture ever since.
Metal Detecting Tip: Massachusetts has some fantastic treasure opportunities. Find some great places to go in this article -> Best Places to Metal Detecting in Massachusetts
Massachusestts’ history also consists, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and the Revolutionary War. The Bay State was home of the American Industrial Revolution and has been known for its large Irish population. There is no shortage of amazing historical artifacts you can find while you metal detect in Massachusetts!
The beaches of Massachusetts are beautiful, scenic, and just waiting for metal detectorist to uncover their many secrets. You may find older artifacts, coins, and jewelry, or more modern coins and jewelry, depending on where you search.
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1. Mayflower Beach – Pristine Beach with Tidal Pools!
Mayflower Beach lies off Dunes Road in Dennis, Massachusetts. This is a popular spot during the summer months for tourists and locals alike. Mayflower Beach sits along the shoreline on Cape Cod Bay. During low tide, you can walk for miles in the tidal flats. The public portion of the beach has many options like frisbee, public restrooms, picnic areas, paid parking, and lifeguards.
Many homes are available for rental along Mayflower Beach. The area has a miniature golf course a full-sized golf course, and major shopping center nearby.
Where to Metal Detect on Mayflower Beach
Along the sandy portion of the beach where people set their towels and chairs, called the towel line, is one of the best places to metal detect. This area is where people sit throughout the day, and where you have a fantastic chance of finding dropped items like coins and jewelry. Near the parking area is another great spot to detect. When the tide goes out, you can search in the tidal flats.
2. Crane Beach – Conservation meets recreation
Crane Beach is one of the most important nesting sites for piping plovers, a threatened bird species nearly hunted to extinction. This is a popular beach, visited by over 350,000 people each year. Crane Beach is 1,200 acres of dunes, maritime forest, and beachfront and is home to many recreational opportunities.
Crane Beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, hiking, walking, birdwatching, and spectacular views. The area has over 5 miles of trails to explore, a bathhouse complex, and lifeguards during the summer season.
Where to Metal Detect on Crane Beach
As with most beach areas, you need to avoid the sand dune areas of Crane Beach. These are protected areas and very fragile. Stick to the sandy areas of the beach only. Check the towel line, along the surf, and near the parking areas and recreation spots. These are all suitable places to find dropped items.
Metal Detecting Tip: Do not abandon iffy or weak signals. When you metal detect, some signals may come through weakly. This does not mean the item is not worth your time! If you have the time, dig them all, especially if you are new to metal detecting. Sometimes the item is buried deeper than your metal detector can successfully identify, so you must dig the item to ensure you are not missing treasures! Learn more about these iffy signals here: http://www.ohiometaldetecting.com/articles-blog-old-format/digging-iffy-signals
3. Horseneck Beach
Horseneck Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of Massachusetts. This beach lies at the west end of Buzzard’s Bay. The Beach has many recreational opportunities including camping, fishing, boating, biking, sailing, swimming, bird watching, and basketball. There is a boat ramp, picnic area, showers, and trailer dumping areas.
Horseneck Beach lies within a state reserve, therefore you will need permission from the park supervisor before you can metal detect. Detecting during the off season will give you the best chances as the beach is less crowded.
Where to Metal Detect on Horseneck Beach
As with all beaches, the towel line and surf are the best places to search. The surf line is always changing from the tides and storms, and constantly uncovers new items or brings them in from the ocean floor. Check near parking areas, bathrooms, and picnic areas for dropped items.
Check Out These Spots for Your Next Metal Detecting Trip
4. Revere Beach
Revere Beach sits along Massachusetts Bay, just 5 miles north of Boston. The crescent shape of the beach shows beautiful blue ocean for miles as it lazily slopes out to sea. A rail link was built near Revere Beach in the late 1800s and adds to the area’s history.
Revere Beach is the oldest public beach in the US. It is a popular spot for fishing, boating, swimming, and relaxing along the sandy beach. Revere Beach now hosts fireworks, music and other outdoor festivals, a kite festival, and sandcastle competition. The beach is not heavily used during the weekdays, so it is a great time for detectorists to explore.
Where to Metal Detect on Revere Beach
As always, the sandy areas where people congregate are your best bet for finding dropped loot. Check the towel line, nearby parking areas, and along the surf line. The southern end of the beach has strong tides, so this is a fantastic place to check for items that have washed ashore or been uncovered by the tides.
5. Half Moon Beach
Half Moon Beach is quiet, small beach in Stage Fort Park, Gloucester. The beach’s crescent shape gives it is name. The area was home to the first settlers in Gloucester in the 1600s. Half Moon Beach is perfect for picnics, grilling, swimming, and relaxation.
The historical age of this beach means you have a fantastic opportunity to find relics from the past. You may also find newer items like jewelry and coins while metal detecting along the beach.
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6. Singing Beach
This picturesque beach is almost a half mile wide and features a bathhouse built in the early 1920s. It has a snack stand, restrooms, showers, and a large parking area. The name, Singing Beach, comes from the squeaky singing sound the sand makes as you walk across it.
The beach can get quite busy during the summer months. Try metal detecting here during the off season for the best chance of finding lost items.
7. Good Harbor Beach
Good Harbor Beach is in Gloucester. It is a wide, flat beach with beautifully soft sand. During low tide, you can walk out to Salt Island. The area is popular for body surfing, boogie boards, picnics, and sunbathing. The beach is home to concession stand and restroom. It is a wonderful place for the entire family to get out and enjoy.
Metal detecting will be most profitable if you search along the towel line, near the concession stand and restroom, along the surf line, and near the parking areas.
Metal Detecting Tip: While metal detecting on Massachusetts’ beaches, try using a high-quality sand scoop. Sand scoops make finding treasures on the beaches so much easier. They are a scoop with holes to allow the sand to filter out while the treasure stays behind. Learn more about sand scoops here: The Best Digging Tools for Metal Detecting
Metal Detecting Laws for Massachusetts
Metal detecting is legal in Massachusetts, in designated parks. You can read more about these places in this article: Metal Detecting in Massachusetts. Always be respectful of private property and remember if you’re friendly and conversational, sometimes you can even be invited to swing your metal detector on private property. Read this article How to Metal Detect on Private Property
As with all states, Massachusetts is governed by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Both ensure the country’s past relics remain safe by not allowing anyone to remove any man-made object over 100 years old that has been found on public, state, or federal lands. If you find an item under this category, you should report it to the proper authorities immediately.
Any historic site is off limits to metal detecting. If you wish to detect on private property, ensure you have the written permission from the landowner to keep yourself safe. The laws do not apply to metal detecting on private lands, so you may keep any item you find. Make sure you discuss with the landowner what will happen to the items you find. This should be incorporated into the written permissions to search their lands.
Metal detecting is not allowed on Department of Conservation and Recreation lands. If you wish to metal detect on DCR land, you will have to contact the area supervisor and request permission. Permissions are given at the supervisor’s discretion.
Beaches and campsites within State Parks can be metal detected with permission from the park supervisors. Always make sure you seek the proper permissions prior to metal detecting to keep yourself safe from legal recourse.
Cities and counties have their own rules, in addition to the federal level laws. For instance, Fairhaven Massachusetts allows metal detecting with a permit. Find the Fairhaven permit here: https://www.fairhaven-ma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif7541/f/uploads/metal_detector_application_1.pdf
Metal Detecting Clubs in Massachusetts
- The Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Society is an active club that welcomes guests to their monthly meetings. Learn more about them here: https://www.masstreasure.com/
- The Silver City Treasure Seekers promotes metal detecting as a hobby and meets regularly. They have annual treasure hunts and a treasure show. Read more about them here: http://www.silvercitytreasureseekers.net/about_us.html
- Central Massachusetts Metal Detectors Club is a small club aimed at preserving Massachusetts and US history. Read about this club here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Sports—recreation/Central-Massachusetts-Metal-Detectors-Club-109540187325412/
Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Massachusetts
Tim Sauer of Edgartown found a 1652 pine tree shilling, one of the first coins minted in colonial Massachusetts, while metal detecting on Martha’s Vineyard in 2015. He had found many clad coins that day, more modern coins. As he sorted through his finds the following day, one grabbed his eye. It was bigger than the others, lightweight, and had a faint outline of a pine tree on it.
A coin like this, in excellent condition, is worth up to a quarter of a million dollars! Read more about Mr. Sauer’s incredible find here: https://vineyardgazette.com/news/2016/04/21/rare-coin-find-sparks-journey-metal-detecting-hobbyist
Metal Detecting Resources in Massachusetts
- MDHTALK is one of my favorite websites for resources about metal detecting in Massachusetts. They have useful information about the laws, clubs, and where you can and cannot metal detect. Check them out here: http://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=MA
- Tidewater Coin and Relic has a lot of useful information about the laws pertaining to metal detecting in Massachusetts. Read more here: https://www.tc-rc.com/detecting-state-laws
Metal Detector Stores in Massachusetts for Expert Advice
- Detector Electronics Corp: https://www.metaldetector.com/
- J & E Enterprises: http://capecodmetaldetectors.com/