We were traveling through the northern states and had just finished our Pennsylvania tour when we thought it wouldn’t be right to head home when the statue of liberty was so near. My wife and I decided the kids had to see this national landmark. And while in the state, why not do a tour of some of the best parks for metal detecting? I mean, we were in the state now anyway, right?

New York State is one of the more fascinating states in the US. With over 800 languages spoken in the state (most in New York City) and sites such as the Big Apple and Statue of Liberty, it makes sense why the state and city are famous worldwide.

Metal Detecting in New York
Metal Detecting in New York

But the state has so much more to offer than just the Big Apple and Lady Liberty. New York has some of the most incredible state parks that you can’t pass up if you’re in the state. And despite needing a permit, there is some great opportunity to do some detecting as well.

Let’s take a journey through 7 of the state parks, and subsequently, 7 of my favorite places to get my metal detector running.

1.     Beaver Island State Park – Fun Close to The Border

Starting our New York journey at the top, we traveled to the Canadian border (almost) to visit Beaver Island State Park. While you’re there, a few minutes and you’re in Niagara Falls, where you can see some of the most spectacular freshwater falls in the world.

Your family will love the vast number of things to do at Beaver Island State Park. It’s a good thing, too, because you’ll likely want to be metal detecting, right? Take a look at some of the great things you can do at this park:

  • Swimming beach (great to use your detector here)
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Nature Center

Here’s how to find the Beaver Island State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/2s85yo6hkxfV3LGs5

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/beaverisland/details.aspx


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.     Cayuga Lake State Park – Beautiful Fresh Water Views

On the shores of Cayuga Lake is the Cayuga Lake State Park. This park is a beautiful adventure in the north-central region of New York State. With some fantastic fishing, camping, and more, there are all kinds of fun things to do at Cayuga Lake. That includes metal detecting.

When you are out with your detector, there are a number of activities your family can enjoy if they don’t see the thrill in detecting as you do. Here are some of those activities:

  • Swimming beach (great place to detect treasures)
  • Boat launches
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Playgrounds

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/QKWXNFWpdfJZHDNg7

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/cayugalake/details.aspx


3.     Cedar Point State Park – One of New York’s Oldest State Parks

A beautiful park along the Thousand Island region of New York, the sandy beach leaves many a treasure behind. There’s also fishing and being on the St. Lawrence River’s shores, and there is also good boating (rentals are on-site) to keep the family entertained.

Here are some of the park’s amenities:

  • Playgrounds
  • Boat rentals
  • Boat launches
  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Dockage
  • Fishing
  • Swimming beach

You can get to Cedar Point State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/Abz9HpPetYggwSZ77

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/cedarpoint/details.aspx


4.     Grafton Lakes State Park – Fun in Saratoga

Including six ponds that are more like small lakes, Grafton Lakes State Park includes over 2,500 acres of land. With beautiful trails, beaches, and more, it’s a great place to use a detector to find some lost treasures.

There are both summer and winter accessible areas in Grafton Lakes State Park, and you can even rent boats here in the summer. There are also lots of other things to do such as:

  • Ice Fishing
  • Equestrian trails
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Boat Rentals
  • Swimming beach

You can find the Grafton Lakes State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/PdgdqBLekvcqABp39

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/graftonlakes/details.aspx


5.     Taconic State Park – Mountains and Massachusetts

Taconic State Park is right by the border to Massachusetts. This beautiful state park offers various amenities, from camping to hiking to boating on the 64-acre pond. If you have your canoe or kayak, or even a small boat, you’re welcome to launch and spend some time on the water, as long as you’re licensed appropriately.

What I liked about this park was the quaint beach. There’s swimming here in the warmer months, and the beach is a popular destination, making it a great place to swing your metal detector around. Just remember to get a permit ahead of time like all state parks in New York State.

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/taconicruddpond/details.aspx

Metal Detecting Tip: If you find one coin, chances are you’re going to find more. Not to say you’ve got yourself a honey hole or anything, but it isn’t uncommon to find a cache. People can lose a coin purse just as easily as they lose a single coin. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be the one to find it, so if you find one coin, don’t give up and re-check the area for more! For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

6.     Chenango Valley State Park – A Glacier Leftover

A short drive north of Binghamton, just north of the border with Pennsylvania, lies Chenango Valley State Park. I like this park because it has two lakes that were formed when the glaciers retreated. Two massive chunks of ice stuck in the ground turned into the existing lake and marshland at the park today.

With amenities like a sandy beach, camping, and the fact that it’s busy with avid birdwatchers, Chenango is a perfect destination to do some detecting. With such a beautiful landscape, it doesn’t hurt to spend the night in the campground either. If camping isn’t your thing, they also have cabins you can rent.

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/chenangovalley/details.aspx

7.     Allegany State Park

Last stop in New York, and it’s in the beautiful area known as Salamanca. We spent the night camping in the Quaker area of Allegany State Park. There are two lakes, views to kill, a beach to swim (and metal detect), and a playground for the kids.

If camping isn’t something you like, there are also vacation rental cottages and cabins on-site that you can take advantage of and enjoy. With all the activities like fantastic hiking trails and boating (bring your own), it’s one of those state parks you just don’t want to leave.

Source: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/alleganyquaker/details.aspx

Metal Detecting Laws For New York

New York, the big apple, the state where anything is possible with a cup of coffee. And that includes metal detecting but replace the coffee with a permit.

Metal detecting is allowed in both state parks and in parks in the city of New York itself.

Please read and understand the laws – this site isn’t perfect so read what the State of New York has to say here – https://www.nycgovparks.org/permits/metal-detector

However, in both cases, you will need to get a permit. State permits cost $40 and are easy to apply. City park metal detecting permits are also obtainable via completing the appropriate form.

There are various regulations regarding the size of shovel you are allowed to use to dig. See the following table.

Park TypeMaximum Shovel WidthMaximum Shovel Length
New York State Parks1.5”6”
New York City Parks4”12”

Within New York City parks there are a number of other restrictions like you can’t dig within 25’ of a tree drip line, manicured lawns, or landscaped areas. For more information about the particulars of metal detecting within the particular park, speak with city or state park officials as each park may also have its specific regulations. I’ve included the links below that you need to get your permits.

Quick Law Recap:

New York City Parks: Permit required.

New York State Parks: Permit required.

National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service.

BLM Lands: Permit required.

Metal Detecting Clubs In New York

Metal Detecting Tip: If you’re new to metal detecting, or you just got a new detector, try using it and tuning it in your yard. Try a seeded hunt by burying different coins and objects in your own backyard, noting the items’ locations and depths. Then you can get a feel for how your detector works and get used to how it beeps and responds to the various test objects. Just make sure you don’t bury your wedding ring and then forget where you put it! You might even be surprised to find something you didn’t bury, like an old relic or coin or something from a previous decade. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

Metal Detecting Treasures Found In New York

A woman in New York was recently going over her late father’s possessions and found an envelope with a 1980 class ring in it. The woman’s name is Lois, and her father was an avid hobby hunter, always with a metal detector in hand. And he had a knack for finding things and always tried to return lost items like rings to their rightful owners.

Unfortunately, in the case with the enveloped right, there were no inscriptions to be able to tell who owned the ring. So, despite her late father’s attempts to find its owner, the ring remains in Lois’s care. Read the full story here – https://patch.com/new-jersey/berkeley-nj/beach-metal-detecting-turns-central-regional-class-ring

Metal Detecting Resources In New York

Metal Detector Stores In New York For Expert Advice


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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.