15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Wisconsin (Maps, Laws and  more)

15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Wisconsin (Maps, Laws and more)

The state of Wisconsin provides the outdoorsy types with ample opportunities to fill their cravings. The hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities are nearly endless across the state. Like most states, however, the metal detecting opportunities are relatively unexplored. If you’re interested in expanding your outdoor hobbies, metal detecting is a perfect option.

You’ll have the chance to explore near the shores of two of the Great Lakes, wander through dense woods and visit the quaint towns all across the state. Don’t only visit with your metal detector! Enjoy all of the other activities Wisconsin offers.

Here is a list of the 15 best places to metal detect in Wisconsin.

1. Bradford Beach – Plenty of Relics!

Bradford Beach is located right along Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. Being that it is one of the more popular beaches in the state, it’s a wonderful place to visit. Plenty of relics and treasures to be found along the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan.

Metal detecting on beach for treasure

When you’re detecting along the beach, be sure to focus on the areas where people spend their time. It may require you to visit during the day, locate the popular places and return early in the morning or late in the evening to gain some peace and quiet while you are hunting.


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

People are not big fans of being too close to a metal detector. Therefore, it’s important you time your visits and digs properly. A nice sunset walk on the beach with your detector can be extremely relaxing!

You can access Bradford Beach here:

Be careful to stay away from the golf course land as well as the light house. These are specifically regulated and do not allow metal detecting.


METAL DETECTING TIP: When you’re searching beaches, look for dips or low points in the sand. This is where many of the treasures will be washed. Spend quite a bit of time around these areas! They usually lead to some pretty impressive finds.


2. Jacobus Park – 30 Acres of Land

Jacobus Park is a legendary park in the heart of Milwaukee. It’s fairly large for being in the middle of the city. You have over 30 acres of land to detect. You can search through woods, around ponds and trails.

Remember that Wisconsin rules are fairly strict with how deep you can dig. Dig right around six inches deep and you won’t face any issues. Jacobus Park allows access to many wonderful restaurants and is a perfect place to bring the family and allow you to escape for a few hours to do some detecting.

You can access Jacobus Park here:

Again, similar to beaches, keep your distance from people. For some extra courtesy go ahead and use headphones while you detect. This will allow you to hear more clearly and not interrupt those who are trying to enjoy a day at the park.


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)


3. Historic Third Ward – 19th Century Treasures!

The Historic Third Ward is one of the most unique places to metal detect on this list. Located right along the banks of the Milwaukee Bay, you’ll have a nice taste of nightlife, upscale restaurants and art. If you can visit early in the morning, you’ll have plenty of the area to yourself and a great chance to find some amazing artifacts.

There was a significant fire in the area in the late 19th century with some treasures still left to discover. It’s registered to the National Historic society so be sure that you return any significant historical artifact to the state so they can place it in the proper hands.

You can access the Historic Third Ward here:

If you’re searching in public parking areas and beaches, you won’t face any trouble. Be careful of private parking areas and green space. Business owners require permission for you to detect! If art and interesting architecture are of interest to you, the Historic Third Ward is a perfect place to spend your time.


4. Marathon County Park

The parks within Marathon and Wausau allow metal detecting. You are not required to have a permit if you are detecting in these counties. However, there are some restrictions about where you can detect these parks.

You aren’t allowed to detect in environmentally sensitive areas, archaeological and historical sites. These should be clearly marked in the parks. These counties also don’t allow people to dig further than six inches into the ground! You’re expected to follow the leave no trace policy when detecting in these parks.

Marathon County Park is one of the larger parks in the area. Located about an hour and a half from Eau Claire, this is not a bad drive from Minneapolis or the other larger cities around the area. You’ll have access to fields, trails and some smaller bodies of water across the park.

Be mindful of those trying to enjoy the park. Don’t abuse the regulations and you won’t be bothered by anyone. It’s a beautiful spot to bring the family.

Access Marathon County Park here:


5. Bluegill Bay County Park

Located on Lake Wausau, this park offers 68 acres to explore. The forests, trails and beaches are wonderful areas to spend your time. Since it’s located within Marathon County, you do not need a special permit to do your detecting.

This park is fairly busy on the weekends so either time your hunting for the mornings or evenings or go during the week. A nice morning or evening in the park is well worth your time. Popular locations with tourists are going to likely lead to some impressive finds.

Plus, you can plan an entire day with the family around the park. It has something for everybody. The fishing close by on the Wisconsin River is also worth trying. There is plenty of water to cover.

You can detect along beaches, trails and in the woods.

Access Bluegill Bay County Park here:


Go on Your Next Metal Detecting Trip to These Awesome Locations!

METAL DETECTING TIP: If you’re detecting along the beach, be sure your sensitivity is manually set. If it is on auto, you could get some inconsistent signals. Do some experimenting and manually set your detector while spending time on the beach.


6. Hurley

The town of Hurley was once a booming town in Wisconsin with over 7,000 people living in it. As the years have progressed, the population has dropped to around 2,000 people. It’s another small town in the northern portion of the state. It’s located not far from the Iron County Museum near Montreal, WI.

It’s an old mining town filled with all sorts of interesting history. It was a prominent town during the prohibition. Many gangsters from Chicago spent time in the town and opened quite a few saloons. If you visit the Iron County Museum, the employees will have plenty of information on the metal detecting in the area.


METAL DETECTING TIP: When seeking permission to metal detect in small towns, be courteous. These people don’t have to let you access their land. Do your best to be polite and gracious in whatever way possible!


7. Nelson Caves

Nelson, Wisconsin is a common area to metal detect in Wisconsin. Located in the center of the state near the Minnesota border, the bluffs are filled with caves ready to be detected. It’s rumored that soldiers hid treasure throughout the caves, but there is nothing of significance that has been found yet.

Spend your time wandering through the bluffs and seeing what you can discover. Much of this land is publicly owned, but be sure that you’re careful with where you are accessing the land. Wisconsin is fairly strict on how deep you can dig so be sure you’re not going deeper than six inches.

Be sure to have your sensitivity set to auto when searching throughout the caves. It’s a fairly diverse landscape so you’ll need to be able to adapt at all times.


8. Racine Beach

Racine North Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of the state. Popular beaches mean a nice variety of artifacts to discover. Don’t waste time searching the areas where people don’t congregate; you’ll likely have less success in discovering things.

Since you’re going to be searching along Lake Michigan, be careful of the cold temperatures of the water. Spend your time above the high water line or be prepared to get cold. This beach is massive and there are ample access points throughout the town of Racine.

If you insist on searching during the middle of the day, wear headphones so you can properly listen to your detector. Too many artifacts are missed on beaches because folks aren’t fully immersed in the experience.

All beaches are a bit different so be sure you experiment a bit with your sensitivity before you make a decision on the best way to detect. If you leave your detector on auto, it may not provide you with the best opportunities.

The Zoo Beach north of Racine Beach is another smart area to visit. This is going to be a more popular beach for young families. If you’re having a beach day here, pack your detector! Beaches are the least regulated areas to search in Wisconsin.


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


METAL DETECTING TIP: Many Lake Michigan beaches are fairly rocky so be sure that you have a cover to keep your coils protected. If the coils break, you’re in for a costly repair!


9. Donaldson

The town of Donaldson is legendary in the Wisconsin treasure hunting world. It’s considered to be one of Wisconsin’s “ghost towns”. As a result, there are plenty of interesting areas to do some detecting. It is located right on the Michigan border near the town of Land O’ Lakes.

At one point in the early 20th century, it was a logging town. The land is not owned by the state and quite a bit of it is private land. Therefore, you need to receive permission to do some detecting. However, the land that is public is available for you to detect.

Spend your time near the abandoned building and railroad tracks. Railroad tracks are government owned so you’re not allowed to detect them, but spending time near is smart. It was a common stop in the early 20th century!


10. Grant Park Beach

Grant Park Beach is located within Grant Park and is a beautiful place to spend an entire day searching. You have access to forest as well as a fairly rocky beach. Remember to have something to protect your coils!

Since this is a small, local beach, you may have to spend a bit more time detecting. When searching a rocky beach like this, be sure you have a small metal shovel. Plastic shovels don’t stand much of a chance against the rocks.

If you’re looking for some more privacy in the Milwaukee area, Grant Park Beach is a wonderful place to spend your time. It’s in the southern portion of the city, but still offers all of the beautiful views that the northern part of the city provides!


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

11. Big Bay Park

Big Bay Park is another lesser known beach along Lake Michigan. It’s one of the most family friendly areas on this list. The demographic is primarily younger families so you don’t have to worry about any extracurricular activities.

Focus on the parking lot, the trail to the beach and the other trails throughout the park. Also, spend your time searching as close to the water as you can. The water is going to wash up some artifacts and pull others down from the higher points of the beach. The low points of the beach are going to be the most productive!  


12. LaPointe

LaPointe is another town in Wisconsin with a semi-famous treasure story. Supposedly, there was $35,000 worth of gold buried in the town in the mid 19th century. Since then, people have been trying their luck at finding the treasure. There has been no confirmed report of this treasure, but it does provide an extra incentive.

LaPointe is located on Madeline Island in Wisconsin. To access the island, you either need to take your boat across Chequamegon Bay or take a ferry. The Madeline Island Museum has some great information on metal detecting across the island. There are fairly strict regulations across the island so be sure you have up to date information from the museum before you begin detecting.

Also remember that any significant historical artifact must be turned into the state. They’ll make the decision about what to do with it! While it’s not an ideal situation, these rules are in place for a reason. Be sure to not abuse them or metal detecting will become even more limited across the state!


Plan your Next Metal Detecting Adventure at These Awesome Locations

13. Star Lake

Star Lake is located in the far north of Wisconsin about 10 miles north of Saynor, Wisconsin. It was a common logging area, but as the logging industry slowed down, people began moving out of the town. There are a few homes, a post office and a grocery store still on the site. The land is privately owned, but seeking permission has not proven to be too complex.

The owner is not too picky about letting people metal detect. If you visit the Vilas County Historical Museum in Saynor, they have information on how to gain access to the land. The museum is closed during the winter so be sure that you’re seeking permission in the warmer months of the year!

Searching abandoned land is always promising. Spend some quality time in this area once you receive permission. You’ll be appreciative of the seclusion and variety of artifacts that you can find in Star Lake.


14. Schoolhouse Beach

Schoolhouse Beach Park has one of the prettiest beaches in the whole United States. The crystal clear water of Lake Michigan is alone worth the visit. Even if you don’t find anything, you’ll have a wonderful time being in nature and experience the beauty of the lake.

Schoolhouse Beach can be found in the northern portion of the state so be prepared for a bit of a drive. However, it’s less busy than the beaches around the Milwaukee area so it’s well worth the drive. Be sure to bring your family! They won’t want to miss this beauty.


If You Want to Learn More About Your Metal Detector, Check Out These Articles

15. Private Land– Ask First!

There are an impressive amount of farms across the state! Don’t be afraid to ask for permission to search some of it! Farmers are generally grateful for metal detectors. They don’t want metal in their soil so if a metal detector is willing to remove the metal they find, you’ll likely receive permission.

Remember, if you find anything of significance it’s best to alert the landowner before you do anything with it.


Wisconsin Metal Detecting Laws

Before you visit, it’s important to understand some of the laws in place for those trying to metal detect. You are not allowed to metal detect on state owned lands. This includes state forests and state parks.

If you discover a historic artifact it is your responsibility to hand it over to the state. Also, any sort of private land prohibited to detect unless you have received prior permission.

You can read further in the Wisconsin Legislature article NR 45.04 (general rules for state property) – https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/nr/001/45/04/3/i

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says you can search for specific lost items. A special permit is required. If you would like to read more about this at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The special permit form can be found HERE.

Wisconsin Metal Detecting Clubs

Central Wisconsin Treasure Hunters The name of this club speaks for itself! It’s a large community with over 1,000 members. Visit their Facebook page for more information. They’re very responsive.

Midstate Metal Detector Club– Midstate Metal Detector Club is another club in the central portion of Wisconsin. They branch out all over the state and provide awesome insight into what it takes to successfully detect in Wisconsin.

Favorite Metal Detecting Shops in Wisconsin

Deerfields Detectors– Located in Hancock, this is a small business with everything you’d need for your next metal detecting excursion. Small metal detecting businesses like these need our support. Don’t be afraid to visit on your next trip to Wisconsin!

Famous Metal Detecting Finds

Many folks think Metal Detecting is a waste of time, but this article in the Fond Du Lac Reporter discusses the incredible finds made in Wisconsin . Check out the article HERE.


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 Ohio (Maps, Laws, Clubs and More)

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

Ohio was the first state that I went metal detecting in, besides my home state of Michigan, and it’s not just because the two share a border. While I will always favor Michigan over Ohio, there is no denying that Ohio has some of the best public areas for detectorists. From the extensive beaches of Lake Erie to some of the most detectorist friendly city park systems in the nation; There is more recreation to be had in the buckeye state than just the roller coasters at Cedar Point.

Finding Money Metal Detecting
Finding $$ Metal Detecting

In terms of history, Ohio was originally inhabited by Native American tribes and over time also American and French fur trappers. Once officially part of the union, farmers and homesteaders moved in as well. This means that if you are a relic hunter you can expect to be searching for Native American artifacts, early English artifacts, and even artifacts from early American settlers. Not to mention the various lost/buried treasures which are suspected to be in various locations across the state.

With all of my experiences in Ohio through the years I’ve put together a list of what I believe to be the best 15 places to metal detect in Ohio…


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

1. Headlands Beach at Headlands Beach State Park – For Metal Detecting

Headlands Beach is a beautiful 120-acre state park that has all of the recreational activities one would expect from a state park, but it has one special natural attraction that makes it particularly attractive to detectorists. Headlands beach is the longest natural beach in the state of Ohio. It is a mile-long natural sand beach on the shores of Lake Erie surrounded by even larger and more majestic sand dunes.

These attractions combined bring in up to two million picnickers and swimmers every year. It is often ranked as Ohio’s best beach and is certainly its most popular. To all of you who like to look for coins and jewelry that visitors have left behind, the Headlands Beach is the place for you.


2. Geneva State Park Beach – Scanning Beaches

Geneva State Park Beach is another amazing beach located on the shore of Lake Erie. Although, the entire park is around seven times larger than the Headlands Beach State Park coming in at nearly 700-acres of land. The beach may not be as long, however visitors praise it as having some of the cleanest and whitest sand of any beach along the lake. Hundreds of thousands of visitors visit the park every year.

Beach metal detecting requires the right digging tools. Don’t get stuck using a shovel that broke in the middle of a hunt like me read about the correct digging tools in this article – Selecting the Best Digging Tools for Metal Detecting.

The land that the park is sitting on was originally inhabited by Native Americans, and before becoming a state park was also once part of the state’s extensive canal system for the shipping of goods to Ohio’s many rural farms. While metal detecting is usually reserved only for the sand areas of state parks (see metal detecting laws in Ohio below) there is also some talk on the forums of the park allowing detecting elsewhere in the past.


Metal Detecting on a beach has a couple TRICKS you’ve got to use. Luckily I’ve summarized my tactics in this article. How to Metal Detect: The Complete Beginners Guide

3. Kelley’s Island State Park Beach – Isolated Treasures

Kelley’s Island State Park Beach is one of the most unique locations on this list because, as the name suggests, it is located on an Island in the Lake Erie Island system. Located on the northern shores of Kelley’s Island, known locally as Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle, this is a 677-acre state park renowned for its unique location and size (It takes up almost 1/5th of the entire landmass).

While a unique location for vacationers, the isolation aspect of the island does mean that it doesn’t get nearly as much foot traffic as some of the other places on this list. To get to the island one has to take one of the frequent daily ferries which service everything from RV’s to bicycles.


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


4. Alum Creek Beach at Alum Creek State Park – Massive Potential for Metal Detecting

Although it differs from the previous four places on this list by being the first inland beach, Alum Creek State Park is still one of the most historically significant state parks in all of Ohio. Alum Creek State Park is a massive 4,630-acre park located just north of the state capitol of Columbus and has evidence of Native American settlements dating back over 2,000 years.

Furthermore, as Ohio shared a border with a former slave state of Kentucky the land that is now Alum Creek was once vital to the freeing of slaves along the Underground Railroad. More recently, the Alum Creek Dam was constructed as a flood control plan for the Ohio River basin and was completed in 1974 creating the Alum Creek Lake. Along the shores of this lake is the longest inland beach in the state of Ohio coming in at 3,000-ft long.


5. Wayne National Forest – For History Buffs

The Wayne National Forest, along with every other piece of land managed by The National Forest Service, benefits from loose restrictions regarding the use of metal detecting. The only restriction placed upon metal detecting is that if you find something which you believe to be a historical artifact you are supposed to report it to the forest management office. Otherwise, the enormous 240,101-acre forest is open to all kinds of treasure hunting.

The forest itself is split into three regions; The Athens Unit, The Marietta Unit, and The Ironton Unit. All of these divisions are located in southern Ohio, two of them in south-eastern Ohio. The land was originally cleared for lumber use, so there has been recent human activity which could result in treasures from the 18th and 19th centuries buried beneath the new growth.


Don’t miss a single piece of buried treasure! Read about 41 Metal Detecting Tips from years for swinging a detector.


6. National Trail Parks and Recreation District (Springfield, Ohio)

This location is different from the others on the list because it isn’t just one location. The National Trail Parks and Recreation District is a collection of 24 city parks all located in Springfield Ohio.

According to the CEO of the National Trail Parks and Recreation District Tim Smith “You can use your metal detecting equipment in the open park areas, you are required to return the turf to its original condition. You are not permitted to go on any athletic areas; softball, baseball, soccer, golf courses, etc. You are not permitted to go into any fenced/secured areas, pools, stadiums, etc. You are not permitted to utilize your equipment while events are ongoing in the parks.”

Given that many city park systems either require a permit to metal detect, or more likely do not allow metal detecting whatsoever, this is definitely a city that detectorists can support. Springfield is located just north-east of Dayton so it would be a great weekend getaway for those who live in the city and are looking for places to treasure hunt.

For more information visit… https://ntprd.org/



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

7. Cleveland Metroparks – Lots of People Means Lost Treasures

The Cleveland Metroparks system is another one of the unlikely pubic park systems in the State of Ohio which demonstrates Ohio’s uncommonly positive attitude towards metal detecting. It is 23,700-acres of land separated into 18 total reservations located in the famous city of Cleveland. Although, there are some additional restrictions which the city of Springfield does not have such as requiring a permit to metal detect. The process takes two weeks and comes with a list of further restrictions for the use of the metal detecting equipment within the park. The permits expire at the end of every year and therefore need to be renewed.

To obtain a permit you will need to contact/visit the
Cleveland Metropolitan Parks, Administration Office, Division of Activity Permits at
4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, Ohio 44144 or at (216) 351-6300 by phone.

For more information visit… https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/


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)


8. Salt Fort Beach at Salt Fork State Park

The Salt Fort State Park is the largest state park in Ohio at 17,229-acres of land and 2,952-acres of water. The Salt Fort Beach isn’t the largest inland beach in Ohio, but it still comes in at the impressive length of 2,500-ft. It also happens to be one of the few inland beaches in south eastern Ohio to be popular enough to be worth visiting looking for treasure. The park itself has some of the most developed, but amazing, amenities common amongst the more well-funded midwestern state parks including a large clubhouse with an accompanying swimming pool.

However, with so much land, even with all of these more developed version of recreation available there is still no shortage of wooded nature trails and grasslands. This is something that is always important to me when it comes to finding great places to metal detect because I love to take trail walks to either work off my frustration from not finding anything, or to work off my excitement of a good day treasure hunting.


9. East Harbor State Park Beach

East Harbor State Park Beach is an 1,831-acre state park located at the very tip of central Ohio on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie. This beach, while still large in comparison to most beaches, would have been the longest public beach on the shores of Lake Erie if had not been for a storm in 1972 which reduced the previously two-mile long beach into a much smaller area located at the north end of the park. And, if it wasn’t for the four additional breakwaters that were constructed and are segmented equal-distant from each other offshore the rest of the beach would be gone today as well. However, thankfully it is not because this is one of my favorite stops along the coast of Lake Erie and a quintessential part of every trip I make down to Ohio.


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

10. City of Aroura Parks

The city of Aroura Ohio is an eastern suburb of the Akron area just south of Cleveland. Within this suburb there are 11 parks with a total of over 1,500-acres of property all together. These parks have tons of open fields and other similar grassed areas which are perfect for easy day of metal detecting and are especially good for practicing your technique.

According to the director of the Parks and Recreation department of Aroura Jim Kraus the rules for metal detecting in the parks of Aroura are as follows…

  1. Metal Detecting is only allowed during normal park hours which are typically dawn to dusk unless otherwise posted.
  2. Metal Detectors shall respect other park users. Detecting should be limited to low use times at the activity fields, pavilions, boat landings, and other areas within the park.
  3. A reasonable effort should be made to return items of value or significance to its original owner. The Parks and Recreation Department would assist you in this process if you desire.
  4. All excavations must be returned to their original condition.
  5. Metal Detectors are subject to all rules and laws regulating conduct on County property.”

For more information visit… https://www.auroraoh.com/467/Parks-Recreation


11. City of Hillard Parks – A Great Weekend Treasure Hunt

The city of Hillard is a small suburb of the states capitol Columbus and has a total of 12 parks cumulatively. These parks are visited regularly by the nearly 40,000 residence of the city and have large amounts of open space and other recreational areas which people use every day. It’s location also makes it perfect for college students at Ohio State interested in metal detecting who are looking for somewhere to go on the weekends.

Most importantly, according to the Assistant Director of Recreation and Parks, Phil Schroeder, they “do allow metal detecting in the Hilliard Parks, except inside the fenced areas of the pool.”

For more information visit… https://hilliardohio.gov/recreation-parks/


12. The Beaches of Maumee Bay State Park

Maumee Bay State Park is 1,336-acres of land on the coast of Lake Erie. It also has some of the finest recreational facilities that I’ve ever seen. The clubhouse is enormous and has its own pool, even though its right next to one of the great lakes. The beach itself is kept immaculately clean and has been shaped into an interesting pattern of half circles. This of course means that you would want to go detecting near the end of the day or early enough in the morning that you get there before they clean the sand. This is certainly one of the most scenic location on this list, and definitely would be my pick if I was looking to stay at the lodgings of one of these facilities.


I’ve written about pin pointers in this article – What is a Metal Detecting Pinpointer. I highly recommend the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT (Kellyco Link) Waterproof, LED Light and the Z-Lynk Wireless System.


13. Buck Creek State Park Beach

The land of Buck Creek State Park was once the setting of a small battle between the Native Shawnee and the American’s who, led by George Rogers Clark, led a 1,000-man conflict in 1780. Although, today Buck Creek State park is more well known as a year-round attraction for recreation and appreciation for the natural world. In total the park is 4,016-acres of land located in Ohio’s Clark county. However, the C.J. Brown reservoir built by the Army Core of Engineers, in which the parks boundaries surround, is what makes this location attractive to detectorists. This beach is not the largest or most visited in the state, but it is the quintessential small-town getaway that is just filled with classic Midwest scenery. Plus, the city of Springfield is just a few miles away so you could spend an entire day detecting both this beach and the parks of Springfield.


14. Springboro Parks – Treasure Hunting in City Parks

Springboro is one of the more upscale suburbs of Cincinnati, although with the way that Parks and Recreation Director Greg Mytinger describes their metal detecting laws you wouldn’t know it. According to him, “The City of Streetsboro Parks & Recreation Department currently does not restrict the use of metal detectors within its city parks.” And even gives you well wishes by finishing his statement encouraging “Happy Hunting!” Only in Ohio will you get that kind of warm reception when you ask to metal detect in the parks of a posh city. Best of all, they have a total of 10 parks so you could spend days searching them all.

For more information visit… https://www.cityofspringboro.com/Facilities?clear=False


15. Oldfield Beach at Indian Lake State Park

Indian Lake State park is a 5,100-acre park with 2 different inland beach’s both on the shore of the namesake Indian Lake. Located in west-central Ohio Indian Lake State Park is one of the most visited parks in the entire Ohio state park system. And, although the park does have two beaches the more popular and larger of the two is the famous Oldfield Beach which draws a crowd almost every day in the swimming season. However, if you don’t like the self-conscious feeling that a crowd can often elicit the other beach is still popular enough to be worth your time.


Relevant Metal Detecting Laws in Ohio

  • Metal Detecting in State Parks: Metal detecting is prohibited in state parks except for the sand areas such as the beaches. However, permits can sometimes be acquired from park officials for use of a metal detector on other park land.
  • Metal Detecting in National Forests: Metal detecting is not restricted on any land managed by the National Forest Service. The only restrictions are ones which mandate that finds of significant historical value are supposed to turned in to the National Forrest Service.
  • Metal Detecting in City Parks: Most city parks either don’t allow metal detecting or require a permit. The ones on this list do, although rules and regulations can always change so it’s best to contact the Parks and Recreation Department of the city before you start looking for treasure.
  • Metal Detecting on Private Land: Just like in every other state, trespassing is a crime. You should always obtain permission from the landowner before you metal detect on private land.
  • General Practice: Always respect the Treasure Hunter’s Code of Ethics which can be found here… https://www.metaldetector.com/learn/buying-guide-articles/getting-started/code-of-ethics
  • General Practice: Always do your own due diligence and call the office of wherever you plan to detect to ensure your legal use of their properties. Laws and regulation can and may have changes since the posting of this article. 

Ohio Metal Detecting Clubs


Best Metal Detecting Shops in Ohio


Looking for More Places to Metal Detect?


David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting-1

David Humphries here, Wow! A couple years ago I grabbed my son’s metal detector to take on a camping trip. I thought it would be fun to walk the beach and just do a little sweeping. Little did I know I would be bitten by this amazing hobby. Read more ABOUT DAVID HERE

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

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

I love all things in nature: camping, fishing, boating. My kids – ages 13 and 9 – love their gadgets: Facepad, videogames, palm phones. Finding fun things to do together as a family is – you guessed it! – often NOT fun for at least one of us. But last year I had a moment of genius inspiration and bought a metal detector with the hope that the fancy technology, the videogame-like beeping and the “treasure hunt” of metal detecting would engage the kids while giving me the opportunity to spend time with them outside.

Digging for treasures in Tennessee
Digging for treasures in Tennessee

I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

It worked better than I’d hoped! We’ve spent the past summer exploring Tennessee in search of treasure – and in search of good metal detecting locations. Soon, my kids and I were poring over Tennessee maps together, reading up on metal detecting laws and planning one-day, two-day and week-long metal detecting treasure hunting trips all over the state. As a single dad, I only have the kids some weekends and the majority of the summer, so I feel this intense pressure to make their time with me extra fun and exciting. Stumbling onto metal detecting as a weekend/summer family activity was like winning the Single Parent Sweepstakes.

Beaches and Playgrounds are exceptional places to swing your metal detector. Below are articles teaching the “how’s and tools”

Digging is part of the fun, but digging with the wrong shovel is a pain. Read about digging tools in this article: Best Digging Tools for Metal Detecting

Searching on a beach and around water is a recipe for finding treasure. Read how in this article: Metal Detecting Underwater a Complete Guide

Tennessee is not one of the most metal-detecting friendly states in the country. The options for metal detecting on public land are fairly limited, due to the type of public lands in the state and the regulations there on use of metal detectors. You can bypass those regulations if you have written permission to metal detect on private property. Absent that, here are some recommendations for the best places to metal detect in Tennessee, almost all on public land:


J. Percy Priest Lake – Two of the Best Areas to Explore

Priest Lake is, by far, my favorite place to metal detect in Tennessee. For starters, it’s a short drive from Nashville: about 25 minutes, depending on where you’re coming from. The lake is 42 miles long and covers 14,200 acres, including an entire town, Old Jefferson, which was demolished in the 960s. The town history, particularly its demise, is fascinating and leaves the possibility that a metal detecting excursion could turn up any number of intriguing pieces of its history.

Metal Detecting in Water
Metal Detecting in Water

This US Army Corps of Engineers Lake allows some metal detecting – with restrictions on when and how. For the complete regulations, visit their FAQ page (link: https://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Locations/Lakes/J-Percy-Priest-Lake/FAQ/). The general rule is: you can metal detect in beach areas where it’s not likely you’ll find archaeological artifacts. The best time to go is October to November. You’ll enjoy less crowds and less heat and humidity. Most importantly for our purposes, that’s when the lake drawdown occurs! The receding water exposes more beach areas that haven’t yet been picked over by other users.

Exploring the lake beaches – with its assortment of nearby islands – and knowing the remnants of a town lay under its waters offers a sense of exploration, discovery and intrigue for me and the kids. You never know what’s going on inside your teen’s head, but I know I enjoy feeling like Indiana Jones!

1. J. Percy Priest Lake: Cook Day Use Area

This public access area map has been linked below. As you can see, it is a large park with lots of discovery opportunities.


2. J. Percy Priest Lake: Anderson Road Day Use

Outside of the Nashville, and south of Cook’s Day Use area this spot provides another potential for finds. Below is a map of the area:

Metal detecting tip: Bring your rain jacket. It’s always a good rule of thumb when metal detecting but particularly important when exploring the beaches of Priest Lake in October and November!


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


3. Indian Boundary Recreation Area Beach at Cherokee

Cherokee National Forest prohibits the use of metal detectors except at certain swimming beaches, which is just fine because beaches are great places for metal detecting!

By far, my favorite of the National Forest Beaches in Tennessee. You can’t beat the scenery, regardless of the success of your metal detecting!

Metal Detecting Tip: Please ask the park rangers before you even think about searching in a National Forrest. Be friendly and polite because you might get some valuable “insider” knowledge.


4. Mac Point Recreation Area Beach – Beaches are Perfect for Metal Detecting

While not my favorite location for metal detecting, the proximity to Chattanooga makes this location convenient for a day trip.


5. Chilhowee Recreation Area Beach – Worth the Trip to “Sweep”

Though the treasure finds here have been meager, the scenery and the proximity to Chattanooga make this location worthwhile.


6. Parksville Beach – Make This a Treasure Spot

Regardless of what you find, if you take the Ocoee Scenic Byway on your trip, your day won’t be wasted.


7. Shook Branch Recreation Area Beach – Picnic and Treasure Hunting

Shook Branch Recreation Area Beach. On the southern shore of Watauga Lake in Carter County, the closest town is Elizabethtown. I recommend bringing a picnic. Actually, I always recommend bringing a picnic!


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)


8. Watauga Point Recreation Area Beach

This is one of my favorite locations. Both the stream-fed swimming pools and the creek banks offer the hopes of a metal detector find and the scenery is great. The bath house and most of the structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, giving it a sense of living history you don’t find at many public places where metal detecting is currently permitted.

For more information on metal detecting in Tennessee National Forest, click below. https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/cherokee/recreation/rocks-minerals/?recid=34864&actid=60


Metal detecting tip: Sunscreen! Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and drinking water are a must for beach metal detecting. Remember to put sunscreen on your nostrils and lips because sun reflects upwards from the sand and water.


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

9. Puskus Lake Recreation Area in Holly Springs NF

Getting tired of metal detecting on beaches? Head to some other National Forests. Though located in Mississippi, Holly Springs National Forest is a close drive, and my favorite place there is:

A quiet, beautiful location to enjoy the changing seasons, Holly Springs National Forest is a convenient drive from Memphis and includes the former ceremonial grounds of the Choctaw Indians. National Forest guidelines for metal detecting allow it in developed areas like campgrounds unless it’s otherwise prohibited.

The primary rule to remember when metal detecting in a National Forest: The following are prohibited: (g) digging in, excavating, disturbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, or property. (h) Removing any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, property.” (Historic means older than 50 years.) Read complete guidelines (link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3840675.pdf)


10. Obey River Day Use Area

Spanning the Tennessee-Kentucky Border, Dale Hollow Lake has 620 miles of shoreline. The same regulations that govern metal detectors at Percy Priest Lake apply here, as they’re both governed by US Army Corps of Engineers. In short, beaches that are already disturbed and not likely to have artifacts of historic significance allow metal detecting. Some good spots are:


Plan your Next Metal Detecting Adventure at These Awesome Locations

11. Lillydale Campground and Day Use Area

Another spot to get your detector out to do some swinging is the Lillydale Campgroud. The playground is a perfect place to search and the walking trails offer plenty of spots for people to loose some coins.


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

12. Construction Sites, anywhere in Tennessee – Some “Insider Treasure Hunting”

Construction sites are outstanding places to metal detect! You’re pretty much guaranteed to find something and the digging is already being done for you. Plus, you don’t have to drive far or spend a whole day on it.

You’ll need to contact the property owner to secure written permission and will have to confine your activities to when the construction equipment is idling. If you want to target your metal detecting, do some historical research (at the library or local historical museum) on the area and see what existed on local construction sites in the past and focus on the ones that intrigue you most.

Metal Detecting Tip: Start with your own backyard. Then family, friends and neighbors’ backyards (with permission). Even though they may seem unglamorous, the benefit is that there’s most likely been fewer people and activities to disturb relics from the past in these private areas, unlike public areas that see hundreds of visitors a day.


13. Old Hickory Lake Beach

Close to Nashville, Old Hickory Lake is popular for all manner of outdoor recreational pursuits. Another US Army Corps of Engineers project, Old Hickory Lake allows metal detecting at beaches. Beaches are great metal detecting locations in general because of the high traffic and the frequency that users lose items in the sand, in addition to anything washed up by the water. It’s recommended that you restrict your metal detecting to less crowded times and days – and remember to fill in any holes you dig.


14. Martin Luther King Jr Park in Memphis – Trails and Marina

In the Memphis area keep in mind that metal detecting is OKAY in city parks, but not state parks. A favorite spot is the playground and beach at Martin Luther King Riverside Park. The marina is also a great spot, but the water levels can be high so make sure your machine is water proof.

Metal Detecting Tip: Remember – since we’re not supposed to keep artifacts – you’ve got the best chance of a find that’s “valuable” or “lucrative” with contemporary items like watches, coins or jewelry that have been lost by present-day visitors. With that in mind, high traffic areas can yield the most results, both in terms of quality and quantity. Think about areas like marinas, picnic areas, campgrounds, which are open to the public and “already disturbed” and not likely to contain anything of historic significance. After a summer of metal detecting, my son had a jar worth $75.00 in found coins.


15. Shelby Bottoms Trails in Nashville – Creeks and Trails

Whenever you get a chance to combine a park and creeks in a historic city you’ve got a winning formula for productive metal detecting. Copper Creek in Shelby Bottoms is PREFECT! A city park in a historic city with trails and water. If you get a chance check it out.


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

Metal Detecting Laws in Tennessee

From our personal research of dozens of sources of national, state and local metal detecting restrictions, this is what it all boils down to:

  • Metal detecting is not allowed in National Parks anywhere in the US, and in Tennessee it’s also forbidden in State Parks. In Tennessee National Forests, it is permitted in certain areas, primarily swimming beaches.
  • National laws, including the Antiquities Act of 1906, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Archaeological Resources Preservation Act (ARPA), all have implications on metal detecting in Tennessee. Essentially, even on land where metal detecting is allowed, you can’t remove anything you believe is 100 years old or more, a potential archaeological artifact.
  • You can metal detect on private land if you have the property owner’s written permission.
  • 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.

Tennessee Metal Detecting Clubs

If you’re new to metal detecting, the best thing you can do is get involved with local metal detecting clubs. They can help you understand local laws, give insider tips, organize metal detecting events and sometimes work with state and county archaeology offices on joint projects. Some of the biggest metal detecting clubs in Tennessee are:

Another way to find more metal detecting opportunities in Tennessee – with the added bonus of learning about the local history and serving the community – is to get involved with local historical associations. These organizations always need volunteers, and may need metal detecting services from time to time. You’ll also get a headstart on the historical research that’s necessary for any serious detectorist.


Favorite Metal Detecting Shops in Tennessee

Metal detecting tip: Carry extra batteries and anything you need for maintenance/longevity of your metal detector, such as a coil cover. There’s nothing worse than having a full day or weekend planned and making a long drive to your destination only to abort your plans because of a detector malfunction.

Most metal detector shops are not only useful for purchases but also for information. Bring your questions about your new hobby and pick their brains. You’ll probably find most shop staff are excited to share their knowledge and their passion.

Shopping for metal detectors? Many shops, such as Backwoods Metal Detectors, offer used detectors. Before you shovel a bunch of money into a new recreational interest, it might be worth trying it out with a budget-friendly detector to make sure you like it. You can even try renting a metal detector before buying. When renting, know that the quality of the detector is often questionable (usually cheap and heavily used) and check with local equipment/tool rental companies as a large number of them also rent metal detectors.


Tips For Metal Detecting from a Veteran James Pastor, former president of Murfreesboro Metal Detecting Club

“Metal Detecting takes patience. You kiss a lot of frogs (find junk) more than you do treasure,” says Tennessee metal detecting veteran James Pastor. At my request, he offered his top three tips for newcomers to the metal detecting hobby:

  1. Learn your detector. Every machine is like learning a new language. Listen to your machine.
  2. Learn how to research. This can include library trips, online or talking to people around town. Historicaerials.com (link: https://www.historicaerials.com/) is good to find old home sites, the official records of the Civil War to find CW sites. And just know that door-knocking may be more of a challenge right now with Coronavirus. You will still get rejected (when asking permission from property owners) so have a tough skin and multiple areas you want to search.
  3. Lastly, I would say to a beginner to not put too much money into the hobby until you are sure you like it. I started with a Bounty Hunter and now have a handful of machines.

Some Interesting Articles on Metal Detecting

“Treasure hunter’s metal detector finds bomb in Tennessee. Explosion heard for miles.” (Spoiler alert: It was a controlled explosion and the metal detector user wasn’t injured.) (Link: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article240385951.html)

“Amateur Treasure Hunters Dig For Artifacts in Their Own Backyard.” (Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/08/17/903152168/amateur-treasure-hunters-dig-for-artifacts-in-their-own-backyard)


The Most Important Thing to Know About Metal Detecting in Tennessee

Buried treasure from outlaw train robbers. Confederate spoils hidden ahead of the advancing Union Army. Civil War artifacts. These are the things that make your heart quicken when you get into metal detecting. But the truth – and the reward – of the hobby is much more ordinary and readily accessible. It’s not the big discoveries of historic significance that make metal detecting worthwhile, though those are the things that give it glamor and media coverage. It’s finding small, “ordinary” objects that connect us with people from the past. Some of our favorite “treasure” finds have been:

  • A padlock used in the 1800s
  • A pendants from a necklace or bracelet in the 1950s
  • Buttons from the early 1900s

When it comes to metal detecting finds, you can take the historical research as far as you’re interested and there’s available information. History buffs and scholarly types can delve deep into the history of specific locations, the uses and production of specific objects, the monetary value – both in the past and today.

For our family and the limited amount of attention span we have for “studying,” we like to get more creative. When we find something, we go home and research what it is, when it was used and let our imaginations roam. We imagine who the person was who owned it, what their life was like. We come up with entertaining scenarios for how they might have lost the item given what was going on in that era of history and make up our own stories.

For example, out of the items listed above: the padlock was used by a small farmer who had trouble with cattle thieves. He used it to lock them safely in their enclosure but a black bear triggered a panic in the herd and the stampeding cattle plowed through the fence, padlock and all. For the pendants, we pictured a fifteen-year-old girl (in a ponytail and poodle skirt of course), enjoying her first taste of romance. The object of her affection gave her a heart shaped pendant to wear on her necklace, but – when he told her that he planned to leave for college at the end of the summer and had no interest in a long-distance relationship, she ripped the chain off her neck and threw the necklace in the dirt. There it stayed, forgotten, until we came along with our metal detectors.

Not surprisingly, given the age of my kids, the only explanation for a lost button is a tubby little man who keeps getting fatter, bursting the buttons off his pants, much to the chagrin of his wife who sews on replacement after replacement. My kids get themselves into hysterics conjuring up embarrassing situations where the fat man pops his button off again and again. And even I, with a slightly more mature sense of humor, find myself giggling like a kid.

My kids and I have yet to discover a major treasure find, but we’ve spent hundreds of hours feeling more connected to each other and to our history. To me, that’s the most important part of metal detecting.


Find out more about Essential Metal Detector Gear with These Articles


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.

Where to Metal Detect in Ontario: MAPS INCLUDED

Where to Metal Detect in Ontario: MAPS INCLUDED

Thousands of years ago, Woolly Mammoths and First Nation tribes were wandering what is now Ontario, Canada. Each day, the goal was to find enough food to survive to the next. First Nations tribes followed the animals and gathered whatever vegetation they could to keep a steady diet. Hunting and Gathering were the means of survival until the 18th Century.

Etienne Brule, the first European explorer to travel through Ontario in the 16th Century, saw the land for all it was worth, but failed to erect a settlement. The Iroquois fought to keep their land until the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763. In 1776, nearly 9,000 British Loyalists moved to Ontario to claim the land.

Money just waiting to be found in Ontario
Money just waiting to be found in Ontario

Fast forward almost 100 years to 1867 and Ontario was named one of the first four provinces of Canada. The others were New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec. Today, Ontario is home to Toronto, Ottawa and Mississauga and is the second most prosperous province behind Alberta.


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

There are numerous outdoor pastimes to be found in Ontario. Fishing, hunting, hiking and kayaking are amongst the most popular, but metal detecting could easily be considered in the top five. The large amount of public land available to search makes it a common place to try the hobby. There are no regulations against detecting on beaches, parks and beaches. As long as respect is the main goal, people rarely have trouble finding places to detect.

The rules for private property and Provincial Parks in place similar to the United States. People need permission for detecting on private property and detecting within 500 meters of a historical site within a Provincial Park is illegal.

There are few laws on where people aren’t allowed to detect. The issues arise when people start trying to dig. Again, digging in designated historical areas is illegal. However, as long as the holes aren’t more than several inches on school grounds, public parks, etc., there are going to be few issues.

There is all sorts of public land to search all over Ontario! Here are a few spots to start:

GRAND BEND ONTARIO – Beach Lovers and Metal Detecting

Grand Bend can be found on the shores of Lake Huron. Located on the Southwest coast of Ontario, it’s a popular vacation spot for families all over the area. Everyone knows how much stuff gets brought to the beach. In Grand Bend, there is the “Main Beach” where thousands of people can be found lounging on a warm summer day. There is also the North Beach where younger folks hang out leaving behind all sorts of treasures.

Metal Detecting at the Beach Grand Bend Ontario
Metal Detecting at the Beach Grand Bend Ontario

The South Beach is designated more for families. Rambunctious children running around causing parents to drop valuables makes for a metal detectors dream. The difficulty with detecting on beaches is crowding folks who are trying to have a relaxing afternoon. I’ve had my fair share of elderly ladies give me death stares for getting too close. Don’t forget to bring your headphones! The loud beeping of your detector interrupts the screams of children and crashing waves. Check out our article on the best headphones to wear metal detecting for some options.

The Pinery Provincial Park has in Great Bend has a 10km beach perfect for detectors of all abilities to explore. While you’re at it enjoy the Oak Savanna trees and 300 bird species within the park. The sunsets over the water even make a slow day detecting enjoyable. When searching a Provincial Park, you’ll need to secure a permit from the superintendent. Since it’s not a “public” park, you’ll need to jump through some hoops to receive permission.


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)


The prevailing winds drive finds up onto the beaches. The waves do their part by keeping the treasure up on the beaches. Look for the natural dips in the sand. The water will bring the treasure to the lowest point. The beaches in Grand Bend are extremely smooth so no need to worry about gravel and rocks.


BURLOAK WATERFRONT PARK- Water, Picnic and Metal Detect

Burloak Waterfront Park is located between Mississauga and Hamilton and just south of Toronto. The proximity to the major cities makes it a hotspot for all sorts of people to visit. It’s a great place to spend the day picnicking and searching. Be careful with how deep you dig in the park. Don’t go further than several inches. Most police officers and park workers won’t mind, but if you’re creating a mess, you may find yourself in trouble.

The beach as well as park provide detectors with different types of ground to explore. It’s always exhilarating to search in the midst of the city.


HIGH PARK – Lots of Room

High Park is Toronto’s largest public park. There are numerous hiking trails, sports facilities and a waterfront that borders the Grenadier Pond. Again, the more people, the more treasure. However, you may encounter fellow detectors due to its proximity to the cities. It’s a great spot to bring your family! There is a playground as well as a zoo for the kids to enjoy while you’re out detecting.

Digging shallow holes here is fine, but be sure to only dig three sides so the soil can fall back into the place. Also, feel free to mess with your sensitivity while at the park. You’ll likely be catching all sorts of different metals due to the constant traffic so it’s important to have your settings exactly where you want them.


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


CHRISTIE PITS PARK – Lots of Activity

This is another park in the heart of Toronto. It’s a public park with baseball fields, soccer fields and other green surfaces. There is also a playground and pool. This is a common spot for sledding in the winter. Sledding hills are great spots to look. Kids get too ambitious and take a tumble off of their sled and send half of their belongings flying. It’s a perfect spot in the summer to detect, but go ahead and try it in the winter. Choose a morning during the week or early on the weekend and you’ll have the hills to yourself.

Pay attention to your digging depths! No need to get in trouble.


BLUFFER’S PARK – Many Parks to Scan

Bluffer’s Park is one of several parks located along the Scarborough Bluffs. It has one of the best urban beaches that folks love to spend time on in the warmer summer months. In the Instagram era we live in, people are spending quite a bit of time in this park due to the scenic views. When people are searching for the ideal Instagram photo, they wear fancier things. Go ahead and look at common photo spots and see what you can find.

Also, be sure to search the beach. It’s wonderful sightseeing. It’s one of the best parks in the greater Toronto area.


CENTENNIAL PARK – Busy but Lots of People Means $$

Centennial Park is going to be one of your busiest parks on this list. However, it also has the greatest variety. It’s home to a BMX park, ski hill, conservatory, sports fields and a wading pool. Again, it’s a great spot to bring family and let them entertain themselves while you detect. If you can secure permission in the winter, go ahead and search by the ski hill. Be sure to focus on looking near the lifts. This is where people will slip and fall and lose some of their precious cargo.

Also, the baseball fields are home to many weekend tournaments and league games. Search near the dugouts to see if you can find earrings or rings that parents or players lost.


NEWSWORTHY METAL DETECTING FINDS IN ONTARIO

In 2018, DJ Dowling, a patient at the Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre in Whitby discovered an old silver coin that belonged to the former agricultural minister of Canada. The coin was worth nearly $1700 and the man donated it to the Diabetes Centre. It will be displayed once their expansion is complete. Read the complete news article HERE.

Dowling has also found a 1990’s pure gold locket and a powder flask from the mid-1800’s while detecting in the area.

One of the most historical finds in Ontario was part of a gold Pyx from the 1600’s. A pyx is small round container that is used to carry the Eucharist. It was found in Northern Ontario off the coast of Fort Pierce. Underwater metal detecting is growing in popularity over the years and can be an extremely fun if you’re looking to expand your abilities!


METAL DETECTING CLUBS IN ONTARIO AND CANADA

Metal detecting clubs are great places to network and grow in your skill. Metal Detecting can be a lonely hobby. Joining a club gives you access to more ideas and locations to hunt as well as a chance to meet people. Members of these clubs are generally extremely nice and let folks borrow equipment when needed.

METAL DETECTING FORUMS IN CANADA

Forums of all types are useful to join. Forums are online clubs that give people a chance to ask questions and research anything they may be curious about. If you have a keyword or phrase you want to research, type it in to the forum and see what pops up. You may have to request permission to join, but once you’re in, you’re all set!

Canadian Metal Detecting – http://www.canadianmetaldetecting.com/


Plan your Next Metal Detecting Adventure at These Awesome Locations


David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting-1

David Humphries here, Wow! A couple years ago I grabbed my sons metal detector to take on a camping trip. I thought it would be fun to walk the beach and just do a little sweeping. Little did I know I would be bitten by this amazing hobby. Read more ABOUT DAVID HERE


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

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

Oklahoma is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. With ancient mountain ranges, sprawling prairies, mesas, and even wonderfully rich eastern forests. I love to visit Oklahoma, and because I love metal detecting, that also means that I love to metal detect in Oklahoma. Whether you live in the sooner state, or are just planning a vacation, Oklahoma is a treasure amongst treasure hunters a real detectorists paradise.

If you’re looking for coins or jewelry, like every other place, Oklahoma’s got them. If you’re looking for artifacts, either from the Native Americans or the Sooners themselves, Oklahoma’s got them. If you’re not looking for anything in particular, Oklahoma’s got those things too. No matter what you’re looking for, this list of fifteen Oklahoma locations are amongst the best places to metal detect in the state.


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

1. Osage Hills State Park

Like many of the state parks in this part of the country, the Osage Hills State park was constructed for the State of Oklahoma by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early twentieth century. During construction the CCC workers were housed at the north end of the park, and the remnants of the housing area can still be found today. Who knows what treasures they left behind?

Today the park is a 1,100-acre expanse of lakes, creeks, and hiking trails. Osage Hills State Park is a very popular tourist destination for anyone in north-east and central Oklahoma, bringing in tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) or guests every year. They come for the parks many recreational opportunities, as well as the tent campgrounds and RV parking areas that the park rents out.

Metal Detecting in Oklahoma
Metal Detecting in Oklahoma

According the Osage Hills State Park office to metal detect in their park you need to first visit their office where you can fill out a daily use permit as well as receive a map of the locations in the park in which you can detect. Once the permit is signed by the park manager, you’re on your way.

MAP:


2. Robbers Cave State Park

Originally name Latimer State park, Robbers Cave State park received its current name in 1936 due to its long history of sheltering fugitives from the law. Some notable examples include none other than Jesse James and Belle Starr. The Dalton Gang, the Youngers, and the Rufus Buck Gang are also amongst the more well-known criminals that once his out on the land that now makes up this state park. I can only imagine the kinds of relics and treasures they left behind (either on accident or on purpose)!

The park and its adjoining wildlife management area are over 8,000-acres in size and have three lakes in total. It offers a multitude of recreational activities, of which many thousands of people engage in every year. Furthermore, the park hosts multiple festivals every year. The amount of foot traffic in this park is one of the highest in the state when it comes to public lands.

According to the Robbers Cave State Park office, to metal detect in their park you simply need to obtain a daily use permit from the office as well as fill any holes you dig. In general, it’s always to use metal detecting best practiced when on land you don’t own, even if it is just to stay out of trouble.


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

MAP:


3. Beavers Bend State Park

Named after John T. Beavers, a Choctaw himself, the Beavers Bend State park is located on what used to be an old Choctaw settlement. Running through the park is the legendary Mountain Fork River, which at a certain point in the park makes an almost 180-degree turn, giving the park the remaining portion of its name. Furthermore, the Broken bow Lake, with its impressive 14,000-acres of water, is a popular destination for scuba divers if underwater metal detecting is your thing.

The park has the second highest visitation rate amongst all of the state parks in Oklahoma and brings in millions in revenues every year. The amount of foot traffic here is almost unparalleled. That combined with the history of natives, settlers, and over a hundred years of conservation work, the Beavers Bend State Park truly earns its place on this list as one of the best places to metal detect in the state of Oklahoma.

According to the Beavers Bend State Park office, to metal detect in the park you need only to visit the front office and fill out a daily use permit which can be obtained at no charge. Although the recreation fee and parking fee might set you back a couple of bucks.

MAP:


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

4. Ouachita National Forest

The Ouachita National is the oldest National Forest in the south, and its immense 1,784,457-acres of spread through two states (Arkansas and Oklahoma), mountains, and seemingly unending forest. The land was once home to Native Americans, but also to European explorers from both Spain and France. Today the forest is uninhabited, save its thousands of visitors which come to hike on its hundreds of miles of trails every year.

In addition to metallic treasures that you may happen upon in the Ouachita National Forest, a portion of the Cossatot river several miles wide contain high concentrations of quartz crystals as well as other precious minerals. These loose crystals are free to pick up with the permission of the district ranger.

Due to National Forest Service regulations, metal detecting is permitted although restricted in National Forests and in most cases can be done without a permit. For more information regarding the regulations regarding metal detecting on land managed by the National Forest Service look HERE.

MAP:


5. Lake Murray State Park

Not only is Lake Murray State Park Oklahoma’s first state park, it is also Oklahoma’s largest state park coming in at a whopping 12,500-acres of land. The park consists of forested, rolling, hills surrounding the iconic Lake Murray. However, the park isn’t just undeveloped woodland. Large portions of the park are dedicated to golfing, picnicking, and sports facilities.

Whether you’re looking for beach detecting, field detecting, or a woodland hunt, Lake Murray State Park is the place to go if you’re in Oklahoma. I mean… there’s over 150-miles of shoreline! With shaded pavilions and peaceful trails to bout. Accommodations range from natural campground to an upscale lodge with all of the luxury of a hotel.

Unlike the previous parks on this list, you with have to pay to metal detect in this park. A metal detecting permit for Lake Murray State Park can be obtained at the front office for $25.00. The permit is good up to the end of the year of purchase and needs to be renewed in January.

MAP:


6. Tenkiller State Park

It might not be the 150-miles of shoreline surrounding Lake Murray, but there is still 130-miles of shoreline bordering the famous Lake Tenkiller. The park is known as “heaven in the hills” to Oklahomans all across the state. It, like all of the parks on this list, is a highly popular tourist and recreation destination. The beaches and the trails both offer some interesting metal detecting possibilities.

According to the Tenkiller State Park office, to metal detect in the park you need to go to their main office and obtain a daily-use permit. This permit costs $25.00 and needs to be approved by the park manager. Maps of the park can also be found at this office.


I’ve written about pin pointers in this article – What is a Metal Detecting Pinpointer. I highly recommend the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT (Kellyco Link) Waterproof, LED Light and the Z-Lynk Wireless System.


7. Boiling Springs State Park

As the name suggests, Boiling Springs State Park is home to sandy-bottom springs which appear to be boiling because of an inrush of subsurface currents that produce bubbles on the surface of a spring fed pond. The park is around 820-acres in size and was originally built by the CCC in the early twentieth century. Foot traffic from visitors is what makes Boiling Springs a great place to metal detect.

The Boiling Springs State Park office tells me that to metal detect in their park you need to visit their front office and fill out a daily use permit and get it signed by the park manager. Maps of the park can also be found in this office.


8. Sequoyah State Park

Jutting into the eastern shore of Fort Gibson Lake, the Sequoyah State Park is a peninsular recreation area 2,200-acres in size. A large portion of the park is dedicated to the Sequoyah Park Golf Course, an accompanying Lodge can house over a hundred guests all of which could be dropping things on sandy beaches or open fields. It’s a beautiful park with tons of metal detecting potential. I always love metal detecting near golf courses, people who golf tend to be the kinds of people that drop things you’ll want to find.

Furthermore, according to the Sequoyah State Park office, to metal detect in the park all you need to do is visit the front office and fill out a daily use permit which is approved by the park manager. Maps and further direction regarding where you can metal detect in the park can also be found in this office.


9. Private Land

Public land is a wonderful resource for detectorist across the globe, but some of the best finds can be found on private land. Private land offers a uniquely undisturbed opportunity for treasure hunting. The only problem is that most of the time you need to actually own the land to metal detect on it… right? Well actually, often if you ask politely and promise to not leave a trace then many people with large yards or properties will allow someone to detect on their land. You just have to ask the right people and say the right things. Remember, you only need to get one person to say yes!

Personally, I like to ask older people, people with a lot of land, and people who seem very friendly. It isn’t a crime to ask someone if you can metal detect on their property, but it feels a lot better when you aren’t getting shut down all the time. It takes a keen eye, and ear, but with practice you can often tell who the kind of person might be to let you hunt for treasure in their back yard.


Quick Tip:

Offering to split the profits of anything found can often convince a landowner to let you metal detect on their property.


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)


10. Local Beaches

Local public beaches often don’t have regulations or oversight which would prevent you from metal detecting. As long as you don’t disturb the land too much, or the people, then nobody will bother you either. These beaches aren’t particularly popular, so there isn’t much foot traffic, but that also means that they probably won’t have anyone else detecting on them. Fresh ground is always an exciting opportunity to a detectorist.

Metal Detecting on Oklahoma beaches

Just make sure that it is in fact a public beach as metal detecting on a private beach is trespassing just as much as if you were to walk around someone’s front yard and start digging holes. In general, its always best to make sure you have the full permissions wherever, and whenever, you’re metal detecting.


11. Texola, Oklahoma

Texola has always been a small town, in its heyday in 1910 Texola had around 400 residence. In 2010 Texola had barely 30 residence within its limits. The town is so isolated it’s not even technically served by the Oklahoma highway system, although a single road can bring you to I-40. Many of its buildings have crumbled and been taken over by vegetation, forgotten and unwanted. It’s here where urban explorers and treasure hunters alike can find exciting metal detecting opportunities.

12. Ingalls, Oklahoma

Located in Payne County, Ingalls is essentially an empty field aside from a few wooden buildings. With a population that peaked in 1890 at around 150 people, Ingalls has always been a small town. However, it was the famous shootout between the Doolin-Dalton Gang and a troupe of U.S Marshals which cemented Ingalls as a true ghost town. Metal detectors have already helped uncover relics from the battle, but who knows what still in the ground just waiting to be found?

13. Lenora, Oklahoma

Once known as the “Pearl of the Prairies”, Lenora was once a heart of trade and commerce in Oklahoma. Today it is just another of Oklahoma’s many ghost towns which have huge metal detecting potential. In 1900 it had a population of 400, today its simply an unincorporated community a couple of miles out of Dewey, Oklahoma.


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

14. The Blue River

While there are a number of stories of buried treasure along Oklahoma’s Blue River, one stands out. During the civil war a band of Confederate soldiers robbed a Federal supply wagon in Kansas stealing two large barrels of gold coins that were destined for Texas. However, the soldiers were attacked themselves by outlaws who stole the treasure for themselves. They purportedly buried the treasure in a cave somewhere along the Blue River. 

Just make sure not to trespass on any private land while in search of this legendary treasure.

15. Mill Creek and The Arbuckle Mountains

As they commonly were in the mid seventeenth century, a payroll coach was looted as it passed through Oklahoma. However, instead of being caught, the perpetrators made off with a large amount of stolen gold and silver coins. The loot was split into three piles, two of which were buried in pots along Mill Creek. The last, and largest, of the piles was taken to the Arbuckle Mountains where it was buried in another series of metal pots. No parts of the treasure were ever recovered. It’s like the treasure is just waiting for you to find!


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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 in Oklahoma

Metal Detecting in Oklahoma State Parks:

Many Oklahoma State Parks allow metal detecting, although there is no single list of which parks do, and which parks do not allow it. The only way to find out is to contact the park office and ask. Furthermore, if a park does allow metal detecting, more often than not you will need to get some kind of daily-use permit. These usually have to be approved and signed by the park manager before you can begin metal detecting.


Metal Detecting on National Forest Service Land in Oklahoma:

As is the case in any state, you are allowed to metal detect on land managed by the National Forest service as long as you follow certain rules and regulations regarding what you can and cannot take from the forest. These regulations can be found here

As I mentioned, it is because the National Forest service is ‘National’ that their regulations apply to any National Forest in the country. This is why National Forests are often a great place to find a bunch of land that you can metal detect on no matter where you are.


Metal Detecting on Private Land:

Unless you own the land, or have permission to detect on the land, it is always illegal to trespass on private land. It is especially illegal if you are digging on the property without permission. You always have to get permission to be on a property and you always need permission to treasure hunt on their land. Plus, in a place like Oklahoma if you trespass it might just be last thing you do if you catch my drift.


Oklahoma Metal Detecting Clubs


Favorite Metal Detecting Shop in Oklahoma


Metal Detecting Tips for Oklahoma

  1. Knee Pads are a must! Oklahoma has tons of hard dry ground filled with sharp gravel, without knee pads you’ll quickly have ripped pants at the least and bloody kneecaps at the worst.
  2. Get a sand scooper! Again, Oklahoma has tons of dry hard ground and with a sand scoop you’ll be able to look through the soil with ease. Plus, when you visit the beach, you’ll have one of the best metal detecting experiences of your life.

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

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.

Metal Detecting on the Outer Banks (Maps, Laws and MORE)

Metal Detecting on the Outer Banks (Maps, Laws and MORE)

When we take a family vacation to the Outer Banks, our favorite restaurant is pirate-themed. We converse with pirate mannequins as we wait for our table and eat in pirate hats. Of course pirates and treasure go hand in hand. North Carolina beaches are known for interesting things washing up and exposing themselves. Of course Metal Detecting is a planned activity in our household, a trip to the beach would be incomplete without getting our detectors out and swing for treasure.


I’m always asked what equipment I use. If you’re starting out you’ve got to have somebody to CALL if you have questions. That’s why I buy from KellyCo. These folks KNOW metal detecting and how to setup the equipment for finding treasure!

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to KellyCo for 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 check out amazing reviews). 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 (links to KellyCo)
  • 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 KellyCo 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.

During the heyday of American piracy and rumrunning, the Outer Banks (OBX) was equal parts treacherous and profitable for anyone who braved the hazardous offshore shoals. Naturally, this leads us to a favorite vacation activity: treasure hunting!

Where to Metal Detect on the Outer Banks
Where to Metal Detect on the Outer Banks

While your chances of unearthing the shipwrecked booty of a lost pirate ship are slim, your chances of salvaging coins, watches, jewelry and other more-recently “buried” treasure are fairly good if you go metal detecting at the Outer Banks. So, bring your metal detector, your sunscreen and some useful information about the laws and locations for metal detecting, and you’ll be sure to have a great time.

Can You Metal Detect on the Outer Banks?

In general, metal detecting is allowed at the public beaches on the Outer Banks. However, detectorists will need to plan their scanning excursions around some specific regulations and locations where metal detecting is allowed.

Metal detecting is allowed on the beaches north of Nag’s Head. This includes: Carova, Corolla, Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores and some of Nag’s Head.

Metal detecting is prohibited within Cape Hatteras National Seashore. These prohibited beaches include Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras, Ocracoke, Rodanthe, Salvo and Waves. Additionally, metal detecting is prohibited in all North Carolina State Parks, which include the beach at Jockey Ridge State Park.


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)


Where to Metal Detect on the Outer Banks?

With pale, silky, sand and tranquil sea grasses, dramatic dunes and moody clouds, you can’t go wrong metal detecting anywhere on the Outer Banks. The scenery alone will make any excursion worthwhile, whether or not you unearth any treasure.

Based on the assumption that most of us are unlikely to discover a Spanish galleon or Colonial silverware (neither of which would we be allowed to keep anyway), the treasures we’re detecting for are more mundane and more modern things like coins, keys, jewelry and the like. Given that, the best places for metal detecting at OBX (like any beach) are the high-traffic areas where visitors easily drop objects that they’re either unaware of losing or unable to find in the sand.

One popular spot is Carova Beach Park and Boat Ramp.

Many Regional Public Beach access, like Kitty Hawk’s are also good prospects.


Do You Need a Permit to Metal Detect the Outer Banks?

The good news about metal detecting in North Carolina is that no permit is required as long as you’re at one of the OBX beaches (listed above) where metal detecting is allowed, saving you the time and effort of a permitting process.

The only exception to this is in state parks. You’ll recall, metal detecting is prohibited in State Parks. However, if you lose a personal item in a state park, you can apply for a permit to use your metal detector to search for your lost property. Be advised, you’ll be accompanied by a park employee while you search.

Metal detecting is also allowed on private property in North Carolina without a permit provided you have permission from the property owner.


I’ve written about pin pointers in this article – What is a Metal Detecting Pinpointer. I highly recommend the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT (Kellyco Link) Waterproof, LED Light and the Z-Lynk Wireless System.


Laws and Rules for Metal Detecting the Outer Banks, NC

Even at beaches where metal detecting is permitted, there may be certain guidelines to follow. Most recreation areas prohibit the use of metal detectors during June, July and August when crowding on the beaches is intense. (Both the crowds and the heat make this an unpleasant time for metal detecting, anyway, so you’re not missing out on anything.)

General beach guidelines request that all beach users – whether metal detectorists or families building sand castles – fill in any holes they dig in the sand. So, if your scanner leads you to start digging, fill in the hole once you’re done. Additional rules governing beach usage also apply, such as prohibitions on glass containers and alcohol (except for beer) and driving on the beach.

Should you be lucky enough to find an artifact from a real shipwreck or other item of historical value, there are additional regulations to be aware of. The laws that could affect you during your metal detecting at the Outer Banks are the Archaeological Resources Preservation Act (ARPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act. Essentially, anything you find that appears to be a historical artifact needs to be reported, not pocketed – or risk a $5,000.00 fine. Additionally, if the object you discover appears to be over 100 years old, you’re supposed to leave it where it is and report it. This allows professionals to remove it, avoiding damage to fragile objects with potential historic significance.

For more information about North Carolina metal detecting laws, visit https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/environmental-assistance-customer-service/a-z-topic-index/metal-detectors.


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

Metal Detecting Clubs and Stores in North Carolina

If you’re new to metal detecting, there are many online forums and chat boards where you can ask your own questions and dig for information specific to the Outer Banks. There are also local metal detecting clubs where you can get insider tips from experts. Some clubs in North Carolina include:

If you need to purchase metal detecting equipment, you better bring it with you or stop on the way because there are no metal detector stores at the Outer Banks. The closest stores are:


Go on Your Next Metal Detecting Trip to These Awesome Locations!


David-Humhries-Author-Metal-Detecting-Tips-1


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.