Knowing how rich and diverse the history is in Pennsylvania, I had to swing through some of the state parks for some detecting. After all, the state is where the Constitution was written and thus deserves a visit. With 13 million people in Keystone State, it’s worth taking the time to see the sites and detect the parks!

There are several great stories about lost or stolen gold in every state, and Pennsylvania is no exception. With its rare beauty and well over 100 state parks, Pennsylvania has a lot to offer, from a seemingly endless supply of parks to a historically rich atmosphere.

Pennsylvania Metal Detecting
Pennsylvania Metal Detecting

During our state adventures, I found 7 of my favorite parks to do some detecting. Let’s have a look at these parks, shall we?


1.     World’s End State Park – A Gem in The Wilderness

Starting our journey in the eastern end of Pennsylvania, we find one of my favorite parks that always reminds me of pirate movies. World’s End State Park is an incredibly scenic park with more than a few great spots to detect. Down by the river, there is a great place where kayaks are often launched. A small and sandy shore area there is widely used and often a spot to find lost treasures.

There’s much more to World’s End than a small canoe and kayak launch, though. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Environmental education programs
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking (BYO)
  • Camping

Here’s how to find the World’s End State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/SE1G9wz1ms9597QN8

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/WorldsEndStatePark/Pages/default.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.     Tuscarora State Park – Over 1600 Acres of Fun

Another incredible state park to do some detecting (and maybe some boating and fishing) is Tuscarora. This park is also on the eastern side of Pennsylvania, and with Locust Lake State Park not far, it’s sort of a double feature.

The park is open all year from dawn to dusk and plays host to many a family reunion and other gatherings. Current rules for pandemic bylaws may be in place, so if you want to have a gathering there, you’ll want to check the rules first. But if you’re just going to do some detecting, then just drop a call into their park office to find out what areas you’re good to go into with your detector.

Here are some of the park’s highlights:

  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Camping

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/rUATjkYVTCTxsspS9

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/TuscaroraStatePark/Pages/default.aspx


3.     Caledonia State Park – Pet-Friendly Camping

Traveling to the south end of the state, we find another feature-rich park. One of my favorites, Caledonia State Park, offers various amenities and some great places to do some detecting. Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • Pet-friendly camping
  • Cabins
  • Trailer sites
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Hiking

You can find Caledonia State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/9VtSUvZHoGQHjpYt8

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/CaledoniaStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

4.     Cowans Gap State Park – Pristine Lake Camping

When you’re traveling through the southern side of Pennsylvania, don’t miss taking a night or two at Cowans Gap State Park. It sports a 42-acre lake, some gorgeous rustic cabins, hiking, and more. They even have a concession area you can buy snacks and hot foods. Here are some of the park’s amenities:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • EV charging station

You can find Cowans Gap State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/EL1rXgBBmTZ7QAv96

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/CowansGapStatePark/Pages/default.aspx


5.     Moraine State Park – Cabin Life and Boating

Going to spend a night or two at Moraine State Park is reminiscent of having a cottage. The fact that there are quaint little cottages to rent in this park is fantastic. No camping allowed, only cabins. There are also two beaches and plenty of boating opportunities.

With fishing, hiking, hunting, wildlife watching, and more to do at Moraine, it’s a great park to take the whole family. Everyone will find something fun to do (so you can sneak off and do some detecting).

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/MoraineStatePark/Pages/Hunting.aspx

Metal Detecting Tip: Don’t let a trip or two with no treasures get you down. Sometimes you’re only going to find what seems like garbage. But keep the faith and don’t falter because one day you will find something of value, and you’ll see how it’s all been worth it. Remember, if treasure were so easy to find, everyone would find it, so don’t give up! For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

6.     Presque Isle State Park – Sand Out to Sea

When you’re up in the northern corner of Pennsylvania, right along the shores of Lake Erie, you’ll find Presque Isle State Park. This sandy 3,200-acre peninsula arches into the lake and offers some spectacular sandy beaches.

With many activities like swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and biking, there’s never a dull moment for you and your family at Presque Isle. There are often a decent amount of people on hot days, so if you want to do some prospecting, best to do so on cooler days. You’re also less likely to get any flack from the park staff if it isn’t busy. Just make sure to check in with them first, like in any state park in Pennsylvania.

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/PresqueIsleStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

Metal Detecting at Playground
Metal Detecting at Playground

7.     Lyman Run State Park – Beach and Picturesque Views

Near Galeton, Pennsylvania, you’ll find a great park called Lyman Run State Park. It offers hiking, ATV riding, boating, fishing, swimming, and more. Rest assured, there’s always something fun and exciting to do at Lyman Run, and the gorgeous forested hills are a perfect backdrop to this magical place.

Grab your detector and take a stroll down the beach or along any of the numerous trails in the area. Just check in with the park first to see if there are any sensitive areas you’re not allowed, but it’s pretty straightforward to get detecting there as long as you check in with the staff first.

Source: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/LymanRunStatePark/Pages/default.aspx


Metal Detecting Laws for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is an excellent state for metal detecting because the laws are open and transparent. Metal detecting is allowed in Pennsylvania, but there are a few conditions.

Metal detecting is allowed in most state parks, but it’s limited to certain areas. For example, metal detecting is not allowed in areas where it may conflict with park operations. It is also not allowed in any fenced-in swimming areas.

There are specific dates and times metal detecting is allowed. The metal detecting ‘season’ is from Tuesday after Labor Day until the Saturday before Memorial Day for beach areas. It’s up to each park manager during the summer whether they will let you on the beach with a detector or not. Similarly, in all state parks, metal detecting is only permitted between sunrise and sunset. No nighttime metal detecting is allowed.

The rules are also quite particular about the use of tools. Now, you might think a small spade would be okay, but it is not permitted. The only digging tools allowed are narrow-pronged like a weeder tool or an ice pick. They recommend using a screwdriver as an appropriate digging tool on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources website.

If you find anything while metal detecting in a state park, you have to show what you found to the park manager before leaving the park. Many parks have historical artifacts, and so the park rules stipulate you have to show the park manager what you want to remove from the park before you remove it.

Whenever you want to go metal detecting in a state park in Pennsylvania, check with the park first to ensure you have permission. There are no fees, and often it’s as simple as a quick phone call and saying hello when you arrive on site.

Quick Law Recap:

Pennsylvania State Parks: Allowed under conditions noted above. See the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources for more information.

National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service.

BLM Lands: Permit required.


Metal Detecting Clubs in Pennsylvania

  • Beaver County Detecting Club – New Brighton, PA – It was founded in 2007 and had dozens of members. You can see their website here. – http://www.beavercountydetectingclub.com/
  • Black Diamond Treasure Hunters Club – Forty Fort, PA – https://bdthc.org/
  • Lancaster Research & Recovery Club – Lancaster, PA – Founded over 30 years ago as the Lancaster Treasure Hunter & Coinshooter’s Club, the club has regular meetings and a good membership. – https://lrrc.org/
  • Laurel Highlands Searchers – Greensburg, PA – Meetings are on the first Thursday of every month. Here’s a link to their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/538969263507776/
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Historical Recovery Group – Glen Mills, PA – Formed in 2008, the club meets regularly and does group excursions. – https://sphrg.tripod.com/home.html

Metal Detecting Tip: Some metal detectors have a speaker and can beep without the use of headphones. But it would be best if you used headphones anyway. Sometimes that elusive lost treasure only makes a tiny blip that you can easily miss without headphones. But make sure they are comfortable, and if it’s summer, make sure they let your ears breathe too. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Pennsylvania

Recently a man named Dennis Parada and his son Kem met with the FBI and presented evidence that they had located a buried shipment of gold. But rather than let them move forward, Dennis claims the agents told him, “If the gold’s there, it’s ours.”

Finding a cache of gold treasure is always something that every metal detector wants to find. And when you follow the proper channels to lay claim to your find, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want. So, always ensure you are doing things the right way, and with any luck, the treasure will be yours to claim!

Read the full story here – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/treasure-hunters-claim-fbi-stole-civil-war-gold-hoard-ln5w2b6sf


Metal Detecting Resources in Pennsylvania


Metal Detector Stores in Pennsylvania For Expert Advice


Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


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.