7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Iowa [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Iowa [Maps, Laws and More]

Iowa is a state with a lot to offer. The state has the world’s curviest road called Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa, with two complete back-to-back ‘S’ curves. The state also plays home to the most prominent Danish settlement in the U.S., in Elk Horn, Iowa. Boasting a rich history and perplexing roads like Snake Alley, I thought I’d look a little deeper into the state’s potential for metal detecting.

Metal Detecting in Iowa
Metal Detecting in Iowa

Iowa has a rich cultural history and many stories of gold, hidden treasure, stolen loot caches, and historical treasures. The combination makes Iowa a potent target for many a metal detectorist.

While traversing the United States on our adventures, I planned out a route to take the family through a series of seven of the state’s parks. Some of these parks allowed us to camp, park the RV, and all of the parks allowed metal detection at the time of writing. Note the laws for metal detecting in Iowa; however, you’ll find them after we talk about my seven favorite state parks in Iowa to metal detect.

1.      Lake of Three Fires State Park – Equestrian Activities & Camping Fun!

We traveled through Bedford, Iowa, and decided we wanted to rent a cabin for a night. Well, as luck would have it, there was one available at Lake of Three Fires State Park. My family knew I’d be off to the beach with my metal detector, but there was plenty of activities in the park for my family to enjoy. My kids love horses, so they were in heaven when they found out about the potential for equestrian activities at the park.

There is much more than just staying in a cabin and doing some equestrian activities at Lake of Three Fires. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Horseshoes
  • Volleyball
  • Fishing
  • Boating (they have two ramps)
  • Camping (2 campgrounds on site)
  • Hiking
  • Playground for the youngsters in your group

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-of-Three-Fires-State-Park

Here’s how to find the Lake of Three Fires State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/NUfpq8ejk95G7giJ7


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

2.      Lake Macbride State Park – Paddlesports And Metal Detecting Adventures!

I haven’t had as much fun as I had at Lake Macbride in some time. The park is stunning, scenic, and family-friendly. Lake Macbride boasts some incredible trails that span quite a distance as they wind their way through the forests surrounding the lake.

Here are some of the park’s highlights:

  • RV Campsites
  • Camping
  • Boat rental
  • Paddlesport rental
  • Swimming beach
  • Boat ramps (7)
  • Fishing
  • Showers
  • Firewood and ice sales on site

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-Macbride-State-Park

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

3.      Lake Keomah State Park – Beach and Camping!

Lake Keomah is another of Iowa’s state parks that I had to include on our travels. The park has a scenic beach, offers a couple of boat ramps and plenty of campsites, so you’ve got somewhere to spend the night. That is, as long as you book the site in advance, these days, it can get booked up fast.

Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • Fishing
  • Swimming (beach)
  • Boating (2 ramps)
  • Hiking trails

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-Keomah-State-Park

You can find the Lake Keomah State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/fLKMp6FhHAHGQDnT9

4.      Lake Anita State Park – Newer Park with New Adventures!

You can find over 5 miles of hiking and biking trails at Lake Anita. The trails are beautiful with plenty of wildlife, not necessarily what you would think I would lead with when talking about a state park with a name like Lake Anita. However, the beautiful trails stood out in my memory when my family and I went for a hike after I finished the morning metal detecting on the beach.

Here are some of the park’s activities and amenities:

  • Fishing
  • Swimming beach
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Volleyball

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-Anita-State-Park

You can find the Lost Dutchman State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/hxbDZjsNt3r6YSUW8


Are you looking for MORE Places to Metal Detect in the Mid-West U.S.A? READ BELOW


5.      Lake Wapello State Park – One of the Best Beaches in Iowa!

Traveling through Drakesville, Iowa, we couldn’t resist but book a night at one of the 13 cabins available at Lake Wapello. After all, they have one of the best beaches in all of Iowa. One of the backup plans we had was to stay at one of the park’s 15 full hook-up sites, but my wife was happy to get a cabin instead. Some days you just want to do a proper room instead of the RV, you know?

Lake Wapello has a variety of things to do and make use of, including:

  • Hiking trails
  • Playground
  • Boat ramp
  • Swimming beach
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Modern restroom and showers

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-Wapello-State-Park

Metal Detecting Tip: Keeping a journal of your equipment isn’t a bad idea. It might seem silly, but what happens that one time you are distracted and either leave a tool behind or forget to bring one with you on your adventures. Digging up coins or other items with your bare hands because your shovel is at home in the garage can be pretty discouraging. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

6.      Lake Manawa State Park – One of Western Iowa’s Premier Parks!

In 2018 the state park Lake Manawa went through a massive facelift. The park had a Dream Playground constructed that my kids had to be pulled out of kicking and screaming. It is a child’s playground dreams come true, and it’s massive. It will keep the kids busy while you’re on the beach metal detecting.

Lake Manawa boasts amenities like a volleyball court, hiking trails, boat and paddlesport rentals, a fishing pier, and jetty, and more. It’s worth visiting if you are near Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-Manawa-State-Park

7.      Lake Darling State Park – A Darling Place to Visit!

Lake Darling is another great park in Iowa that features cabins, full hook-up campsites, and a swimming beach where you can metal detect. The park offers lots of other activities and amenities such as fishing, hiking, a playground, and boat rentals. You can even rent paddlesport equipment if you are so inclined. The park is usually busy, which is great for your chances of finding lost treasures on the beach.

Source: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Places-to-Go/State-Parks/Iowa-State-Parks/Lake-Darling-State-Park

Metal Detecting Laws for Iowa

Iowa State Parks

Iowa State Parks are your best bet for legal metal detecting. However, the parks come with a few regulations that must be adhered to within the state. The use of metal detectors is prohibited within the park except where these regulations alter its allowance. Read more about Iowa laws HERE.

  1. May 22nd to September 7th: Designated beach areas allowed between 4:00 am to 11:00 am each day.
  2. September 8th to May 21st: Designated beach areas allowed between 4:00 am to 10:30 pm, each day.
  3. Drained lakes are allowed but only after a survey is completed for archaeological and historic resources and items. Check with the park to ensure these were complete before you enter the area with a metal detector.

Digging Tools Allowed:

A digging probe no more than 12” long, 1” wide, and ¼” thick dimensions. In other words, a good screwdriver is about as big as you are allowed for digging tools. You can also use a sand scoop or sieve that is less than 10” in diameter.

Digging and metal detecting go hand-in-hand. Read about the different digging implements in this article: Selecting a Digging Tools to Metal Detect

Iowa State National Forests

Only permitted with a special permit from the US Forest Service. Typically only awarded to surveyors for mining, environmental studies, et cetera.

Quick Law Recap:

  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • National Parks in Iowa: Not permitted.
  • Iowa State Parks: Metal detecting is permitted in specific areas with conditions. See the Iowa State Parks PDF for more info here.

Metal Detecting Clubs in Iowa

There do not currently appear to be any active metal detecting clubs in Iowa. However, I was able to find a couple of active groups on Facebook.

Metal Detecting Tip: A part of being a great treasure hunter is respectful of the environment. That means if you find trash, put it in its proper place, ergo dispose of it properly. Don’t be a re-litter bug and simple toss or re-bury found debris. Hold yourself to a higher standard and clean up any junk you see on your treasure hunt. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Iowa

Iowa has a history of historic robberies, loot caches, hidden treasures, and gold. There is no shortage of valuable things being found day in and day out. One such find was in Melvin, Iowa, in a small town filled with serenity and community.

One member of the community, Dan Spengler, was out with his metal detector when he got a pretty decent signal. Dan had done his homework, using old photos of the town from a century before. He pieced together that the townfolk used to hang on at a particular farm, given there were no official parks in the area back in those days. Dan went on an adventure and got permission from the farm’s current owner, and the detector started going off.

Dan had found coins, jewelry, and other items all dating back a century or so. The farm turned into Dan’s cache of the past and it’s been a great destination for him to return and find more and more items as the years slowly churn the soils beneath, revealing new treasures.

Read the full story here – https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/local/man-uses-metal-detector-to-uncover-historical-objects-left-buried-in-the-ground-over-a-centruy-agi-on-family-farm/524-c06e6f9b-f7d7-44fb-905a-9eb6dccfb196

Metal Detecting Resources in Iowa

Metal Detector Stores in Iowa For Expert Advice


David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Maryland [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Maryland [Maps, Laws and More]

Maryland is a beautiful state that boasts 3,190 miles of shoreline. I enjoy metal-detecting beaches, so you can understand my enthusiasm to visit the state. Maryland boasts 15 beaches in 10 different counties in Maryland, so there are plenty of options.

We traveled around Maryland, and on our adventures, I noted seven of my favorite parks to go metal detecting. Let’s take a stroll through these parks together, and I’ll tell you some of the things we learned on our journeys.

1.      Sandy Point State Park – Swimming and Sun at A Point!

In Anne Arundel County, you’ll find Sandy Point State Park. The park is one with a long and beautiful beach that turns ninety degrees at the point, making it feel like you’re on an island when you’re on the point with water on so many sides.

The park boasts some excellent fishing and crabbing (in season), which is one of the things that pulled me out of Annapolis to visit the park. I had heard it can be busy, so I went first thing in the morning on an overcast day with scattered showers – the perfect weather for beach metal detecting!

Some of the other great things at the park, activities, and amenities are:

  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Crabbing
  • Fishing
  • Wildlife viewing

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/sandypoint.aspx

Here’s how to find Sandy Point State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/hTWR3fpGxbsrWKMN7

2.      Assateague State Park – Two Miles of Island Beach Fun!

In Berlin, Maryland, there’s an island called Assateague Island. The island boasts the state’s only oceanfront park. The two miles of beach make for an excellent location for your metal detecting adventures.

Metal detecting on beach for treasures
Metal detecting on beach for treasures

The weekend I stayed at Assateague, we used their campground and even did a little fishing. We also decided to do some good old-fashioned beachcombing when the earphones grew annoying. You don’t have to worry about what time of day either if you’re just doing a little beachcombing, not like metal detecting with its set hours.

Here are some of the park’s highlights:

  • Camping
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Wildlife watching (including wild ponies!)
  • Beachcombing
  • Swimming

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/assateague.aspx

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/Ygte6UtpsdWM4bxU6

3.      Deep Creek Lake State Park – Amazing Activities!

Deep Creek Lake is a human-made lake in Swanton, Maryland. The lake boasts not one but two sandy beaches where people enjoy relaxing, swimming, and water sports. You can enjoy metal detecting at both beaches.

The park is also excellent if you like hiking or biking trails. There are over 20 miles of these trails in the park. The added 112 site campground means you can book a site to camp so you can spend the whole day hiking, fishing, swimming, or metal detecting (during the permitted times, of course).

Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • 20 miles of hiking trails
  • 112 site campground
  • 6,000 square foot discovery center
  • Camping
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Hunting

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/deepcreek.aspx

You can find the Deep Creek State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/TKKdgdAjw2WR4fz57

4.      Greenbrier State Park – Treasure Hunting the Appalachians!

As my title suggests, Greenbrier State Park is located in the Appalachian Mountains. The lake is human-made, 42-acres of watery enjoyment. We took full advantage of the sandy beaches, both for metal detecting and swimming.

The Greenbrier State Park also offers camping, which is great if you’re on a budget or merely enjoy a peaceful night camping in the great outdoors. However, there’s more to do at the park than just swim, metal detect, and camp. Here are some of the park’s other allowed activities and amenities:

  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Boating

You can find the Lost Dutchman State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/uKxX1FAXbuC5hUto8

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/greenbrier.aspx

5.      Janes Island State Park – Seemingly Untouched Beauty

Janes Island State Park is a special place. People have been in the area for thousands of years, but it still feels wild and untouched. When I was there, I enjoyed studying the saltmarsh. It’s not something you see every day if you don’t live nearby, so for me, it was fascinating. The park has many amenities as well.

There are 103 campsites, rental cabins, a boat ramp, and a marina to use and enjoy. The pristine and isolated beaches can be tough to find without watercraft, but seeing these beaches offers the opportunity of beachcombing, swimming, metal detecting, and other adventures. The park also allows fishing, crabbing, boating, and paddling watersports.

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/janesisland.aspx

Metal Detecting Tip: if you don’t have a metal detector yet, or if you need to replace your first one, please, get a decent metal detector. I’m not saying go out and spend thousands, but somewhere around $500 is a great place to start. Trust me; a good metal detector is worth its weight in gold, figuratively speaking, of course. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

6.      Rocky Gap State Park – Surrounded by Rugged Mountains!

Western Maryland has a county called Allegany County that boasts some impressive features. One of these features is the Rocky Gap State Park. This park holds lake Habeeb, 243-acres of the bluest water in all of Maryland. The beach is busy at this park, making it a challenging but rewarding destination for us metal detectorists.

When I visited the park with my family, we stayed at one of the electric-powered sites with our RV. The park has 30 or such sites in their 278-site campground at the park. It means you can play all day and don’t even have to leave the park entirely at night because you can camp right there on site.

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/rockygap.aspx

7.      Herrington Manor State Park – Resort-Style Accommodations!

Camping multiple nights throughout our adventures across Maryland, there were days we were tired of staying in a tent or even the RV. We decided to book a night in one of the cabins at Herrington Manor State Park to satisfy our need for a nice place to spend the night.

Herrington Manor offers 365-acres of park fun in Garret State Forest, near Oakland, Maryland. It offers activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, boating, fishing, and other watersports.

Source: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/herrington.aspx

Metal Detecting at Playground
Metal Detecting at Playground

Metal Detecting Laws for Maryland

Maryland is a state that allows metal detecting in the state parks, but only under certain conditions. First, metal detecting is only allowed in the search for modern coins, jewelry, et cetera. The areas allowed are just the beach, but you’ll have to check with the park because the areas might change.

Permission is required to do metal detecting at the beaches in state parks that allow the hobby without a permit. The use of metal detectors is also only allowed during park hours and from 9 am to dusk from May 30 through Labor Day. Park managers may, at their discretion, limit the use of metal detectors in the park if they feel it affects the everyday use of the beach. In other words, if the beach is busy, don’t expect to get permission. Maryland state park beaches are the best metal detected on cooler or rainy days when swimmers aren’t present.

Quick Law Recap:

  • Maryland State Parks: Metal detecting is allowed on beaches only and requires permission from the park manager. No permit is required. It’s always wise to check in with the local park office. If you’re looking for where to read a bit more go to the state. Maryland Department of Natural Resources Metal Detecting
  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required. No BLM land in Maryland.

Metal Detecting Clubs in Maryland

  • Maryland Free-State Treasure Club – Essex, MD – It’s an active club currently holding monthly meetings via Zoom. They meet on the last Thursday of every month. – http://marylandfreestateclub.com/
  • Maryland Artifact Recovery Society – Glen Burnie, MD – Another active club that holds monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. – http://www.marsdetecting.org/
  • Shore Seekers Artifact and Recovery Club – Salisbury, MD – http://www.shoreseekers.org/

Metal Detecting Tip: If possible, try to get out either early or late in the day. The reason for this is that you’ll wind up spending a lot less time answering people’s questions about what you’re doing and a lot more time listening for that elusive cache. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Maryland

One of the best feelings a metal detectorist can hope for is recognition for a find. A firefighter in the state had lost his treasured fire department medallion when on the beach one day. He was pretty shaken up over losing this symbol of his achievement.

A year passed for the firefighter when Ken Askey, a hobby metal detectorist, found the prized possession nearly 50 miles from where the firefighter had lost it. 

Read the full story here –https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/man-with-metal-detector-reunites-maryland-firefighter-with-treasured-medallion-lost-on-beach/2624392/

Metal Detecting Resources in Maryland

Metal Detector Stores in Maryland For Expert Advice


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


David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Illinois [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Illinois [Maps, Laws and More]

Illinois is an excellent state of firsts, from abolishing slavery on February 1st, 1865, to be one of the first states to accept metal detecting as a legitimate hobby. It was also the first state to have a modern skyscraper. With these facts in mind, we struck out across the state to do some adventuring and our first time in many state parks. It was a time of firsts.

Where to Metal Detect in Illinois
Where to Metal Detect in Illinois

During our adventures traveling Illinois, I noted some of my favorite places we stayed at or visited. These are all places that I used my metal detector and had a great time of it. Let’s take a stroll along with my adventures without further to do as I tell you about the seven best state parks on our adventure.

1.     Mississippi Palisades State Park – Vertical Cliffs of Mystery

Palisades are defined as lofty cliffs, according to the Department of Natural Resources website describing the Mississippi Palisades State Park. It is pretty accurate at this park. We noticed when we were at the park is that the rock formations are pretty vertical. And the park also has sinkholes and caves that descend vertically, so watch where you’re walking, just in case. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Metal Detecting
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Picnicking
  • Rock Climbing

Here’s how to find the Mississippi Palisades State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/imAXKhrevVKZ5xqV8

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Activity/Pages/MississippiPalisades.aspx

2.     Kankakee River State Park – A River Runs Through It

Kankakee River State Park was one of the destinations that I remember well. Not because a friend had mentioned the great fishing in the clean Kankakee River at the park, but because it was one of those family excursions where the family just clicks. We had a camp set up and a campfire, and after a day of hiking and metal detecting, while the kids did a little exploring, we had a great time roasting treats around our campfire.

The only catch to going to Kankakee to do some metal detecting is that you will need to get a permit from the park office. It’s not a big deal; as long as you don’t show up with a backhoe, you’re likely not to run into any significant issues.

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Activity/Pages/KankakeeRiver.aspx

Here are some of the park’s highlights:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Hunting

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/Yef84Zy5nKNK5ssq5


3.     Giant City State Park – Giant Fun!

Another great park, and another that you need a permit – but again, it’s not a big deal, and it’s worth the trouble to stay on the right side of the park staff. The areas for detection are only mildly restrictive. Aside from that, it’s an incredible destination teeming with wildlife and beauty. Several amenities make this park stand out. Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/About/Pages/GiantCity.aspx

You can find the Giant City State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/1ubygswNsRcN2ChZ7


4.     North Point Marina – Boating, Scuba, And Fun!

If you’ve never tried scuba diving, this is a great place to do it. However, there’s more to North Point Marina than just the water. They boast one of the largest freshwater marinas in the entire great lakes. You can take a boat out for the day and get away from it all. Or if fishing is more your game, you can do that too. With the Illinois Beach State Park next door, you can take the family over to the beach if the trails or water activities in North Point don’t quite suffice.

Metal Detecting in Illinois
Metal Detecting in Illinois

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/NorthPointMarina.aspx

Here are some of the park’s activities:

  • Bike Trails
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Swimming

If you’ve thought about metal detecting underwater. I’d recommend reading my article on HOW TO METAL DETCT UNDERWATER

You can find the North Point Marina State Recreation Area here – https://goo.gl/maps/7uEv8jjZ81rghPSGA


Are you looking for MORE Places to Metal Detect in the Mid-West U.S.A? READ BELOW


5.     Illini State Park

Illini State Park has some history with America’s Industrial Age. Not far away was a strip mine that used to deliver coal to industry. Of course, I wasn’t there to find coal, but sometimes there are other precious metals and things where coal resides.

If it’s coins and relics you’re after, the history of the area ought to indicate that you have a decent enough chance of finding something of value that dates back to those early Industrial Age days of old.

The park allows camping, boating, fishing, picnicking, metal detecting, and other activities. Just check in with the park office for current updates or guidelines.

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Activity/Pages/Illini.aspx

Metal Detecting Tip: Abandoned beaches are a great place to go metal detecting. You might think that an abandoned beach area doesn’t have traffic, so it doesn’t have treasure to be found. The area may have once been bustling with traffic, which means you’ve got a quiet and peaceful place to find great things potentially! For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6.     Chain O’ Lakes State Park – Beautiful Nature

The Chain o’ Lakes has a charming atmosphere. I recall taking the kids swimming at the beach and across the lake; all you could see was lush green, from left to right, all green. If you’re used to city life, you’ll understand what I mean when I say it almost takes your breath away how beautiful and pristine this park is. I highly recommend it.

The park has many amenities and allowed activities, from metal detecting, camping, an archery range, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and more.

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Camp/Pages/ChainOLakes.aspx


7.     Moraine Hills State Park

If you’re into history at all, then the Moraine Hills State Park will be of particular interest. The park, which includes a 48-acre lake at its center, has a history dating back to the ice age. A large chunk broke off the Wisconsin glacier and melted, forming the lake at Moraine Hills.

According to the DNR park site, shortly after the glaciers melted, humans were in the vicinity within about 1000 years of the lake formation. People have been in the region for a very long time. That means there is a decent chance you could find something old. Something ancient. Even though you wouldn’t be allowed to keep such a find in most cases, it would be quite the tale to tell!

Moraine Hills offers various activities for you and your family including boating, fishing, hunting, hiking, and more.

Source: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Activity/Pages/MoraineHills.aspx

Metal Detecting Laws for Illinois

Illinois is an excellent state because they recognize that metal detecting is a legitimate hobby and doesn’t hurt anyone or thing if done with respect for nature and property. That said, the state does have a few restrictions. No shovels are allowed; the state prefers the minimal approach using slim picks, screwdrivers, or similar ‘digging’ devices.

One of the benefits of the state recognizing the hobby of metal detecting is that the DNR who manages the state parks, has organized which parks they allow metal detecting in. It makes the process for any eager metal detectorist easy to determine where they can or cannot do metal detecting without a permit.

Quick Law Recap:

  • Illinois State Parks: Permitted in certain parks, some specific regions. Here’s a link the the Illinois State Parks – Here . You can also read over Illinois State Park Permit form HERE.
  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required. Always remember to check the BLM Field Office. Read more about Metal Detecting on BLM land in this article: Can You Metal Detect on BLM Land
  • Illinois State Lands: If not managed by the DNR, land requires permits for prospecting privileges. Environmental areas that are protected are generally restricted.

Metal Detecting Clubs in Illinois

  • Sage City Relic Hunter’s Club – Central Illinois – This club states on their club website that they meet 9 out of twelve months of the year, excluding January, February, and July. – http://www.sagecityhunters.00server.com/
  • WCHRRA – Joliet, IL – Formed in 1983 in Northeastern Illinois, the WCHRRA boasts 100 members and has meetings monthly along with events scheduled annually. –  https://www.wchrra.org/index.php
  • IVHRRA (Illinois Valley Historical Research & Recovery Association) – La Salle, IL – Meeting on the second Monday of every month, the IVHRRA is an active community of metal detectorists. Founded in 2010, the club boasts over 150 members. –  https://ivhrra.com/
  • Midwest Historical Research Society – Villa Park, Chicago, IL – This club was founded back in 1968, holds responsible social distanced meetings and events. – http://www.mhrsusa.com/

Metal Detecting Tip: Watch the weather and take advantage of the rain. One of the great things about rain is how it cleans off things and helps the ground settle. While damp, the earth is often easier to dig up, albeit a bit heavier. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/

Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Illinois

Sometimes when hunting for the elusive treasure, we as metal detectorists push the boundaries a little. We’ve all done it at one time or another. What we need to remember as responsible metal detectorists is that just because many state parks allow the hobby doesn’t mean it’s allowed everywhere.

It is a forgotten lesson recently in an area in north Chicago called Glenview, Illinois. Two metal detectorists found themselves both slapped with trespassing fines. Read the full story here – https://patch.com/illinois/glenview/trespass-warnings-beach-metal-detector-enthusiasts-blotter

Metal Detecting Resources In Illinois

Metal Detector Stores In Illinois For Expert Advice


Plan your Next Metal Detecting Adventure at These Awesome Locations


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.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Connecticut [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Connecticut [Maps, Laws and More]

New England has such a rich history; I really wanted to take my family through the six New England states, so swinging through Connecticut was a given. Connecticut is one of the original 13 colonies and home of Samuel Colt, the revolver’s inventor. With so many things in Connecticut’s history, I wondered how the metal detecting scene was there.

We started our journey through New York through Connecticut, but I’m going to take you on a journey through my favorite State Parks there. We stayed at most parks, which I’ll point out the amenities available for each for your adventures while metal detecting.

Places to Metal Detect in Connecticut
Places to Metal Detect in Connecticut

Concerning permission to do the detecting in the state, we’ll get to that as well. Let’s start with a summary of each of my favorite State Parks worth doing some treasure hunting within.


1.      Black Rock State Park

In the scenic rolling hills of the Western Highlands, you’ll find Black Rock State Park. We drove there and took up a tent on one of the 78 camping sites they have available. It was one of those periods of sleep you remember well. I don’t know if it was the tranquil solitude or the incredibly fresh and crisp air, but I remember I enjoyed it.

While at the park, you can do some hiking and other activities I’ll mention in a moment. You can even do some fishing in the park if you’re so inclined, but I opted to do some treasure hunting as my means of entertainment. Just ensure you call ahead for permission and guidance as to where it’s allowed on site.

Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Pond Fishing
  • Stream Fishing
  • Swimming

Here’s how to find the Black Rock State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/hxnCTGzdoB7ZJ8vE9

Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Black-Rock-State-Park

2.      Hopeville Pond State Park – History And Great Fishing Fun

Hopeville has a history rich in local culture. From the significant fishing ground for the Mohegan Indians on the Pachaug River to the first settlement installation of a sawmill and corn mill back in 1711, the area has seen some interesting centuries. Naturally, when presented with an opportunity to do a bit of metal detecting, I was eager to oblige.

Here are some of Hopeville Pond State Park’s highlights:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Boating
  • Bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/pJJYmg6wWPCCiXFa8

Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Hopeville-Pond-State-Park


3.      Hammonasset Beach State Park – Over 2 Miles Of Beach To Treasure Hunt

Hammonasset is Connecticut’s largest shoreline park. That’s why it has to come in the top three of my favorite state parks in Connecticut to do some metal detecting. I found a few caches of coins on my adventures at Hammonasset, and they have so much you can do there that you can even make a weekend of it, so definitely check out this park.

Finding Money Metal Detecting on a Beach
Finding Money Metal Detecting on a Beach

Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • Bicycling
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Boating (personal watercraft only, no boat launch)
  • Nature center

You can find Hammonasset Beach State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/ysyicxYYjQat9VRk6

Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Hammonasset-Beach-State-Park


4.      Rocky Neck State Park – Crabbing And Salt Marshes

One of the most fascinating state parks on my journey was at the Rocky Neck State Park. Not only can you stop in for a bit of crabbing, but they’ve got camping, a beautiful white sand beach, and more. It’s a real adventure too if you enjoy nature hiking. They have scenic trails with a lookout area overlooking a salt marsh which I found pretty fascinating. But not as glamorous as the cash of coins I found on the white sand beach.

Here are some of the park’s activities:

  • Camping
  • Crabbing
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Swimming

You can find Rocky Neck State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/yXqRrWkpEgDVgZpEA

Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Rocky-Neck-State-Park


5.      Mashamoquet Brook State Park – Wolf Den And Rich History

Mashamoquet is one of those hidden gems that should be more popular, but I’m glad it isn’t. We stopped in for a night, took advantage of the camping and swimming, and had a great time hearing about the local area’s legends and lore.

The park features a nice swimming area and beach, camping, fishing, and picnicking. It was quaint and not overly busy, so I enjoyed it. Just don’t forget to contact them in advance for permission to dig on the beach metal detecting. They are good people there, so it shouldn’t be much issue if you ask first.

Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Mashamoquet-Brook-State-Park

Metal Detecting Tip: Always be respectful and follow the law. Remember that trespassing is just a simple lack of respect. In the wrong place, that could get you in some hot water. Or, if you pull out the metal detector without checking local regulations, you could wind up paying the price. Always respect your surroundings and local laws when out treasure hunting. After all, a respectful treasure hunter is welcome to come back! For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6.      Lake Waramaug State Park – One Of The Most Picturesque Parks In The State

Lake Waramaug State Park is an extremely beautiful place to visit. That’s why I was so happy to find out they offer camping in the park. That meant that I could take my time on the beach with my detector and let the kids play and fish without worrying about leaving.

The best days to do your metal detecting at this park are those that are overcast, raining, or cool. The beach is small, so you may not be permitted to metal detect if it’s busy. So, pick the dreary days and call ahead to confirm.

Source:  https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Lake-Waramaug-State-Park/Getting-Here


7.      Seldon Neck State Park – An Island In The Connecticut River To Explore

This lush and wooded island park is a beautiful place to wrap up our adventures. There are four primitive camping areas you can pitch a tent for the night, there’s lots of hiking, stunning views and being an island there is, of course, fishing as well.

Source: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Parks/Selden-Neck-State-Park/Activities


Metal Detecting Laws For Connecticut 

Connecticut is both strict and yet not when it comes to metal detecting. You see, they don’t have many mentions of metal detector use in any of the laws. You do not require any form of permit to use a metal detector in most places, and they are allowed in state parks.

Where the law clamps down is regarding digging. Most state parks do not permit disturbance of the earth. So you’ll want to stick to beaches for the most part. And definitely call ahead for permission. I found most beaches/state parks weren’t hard to get permission to do my treasure hunting, and there were no fees or permits. They did share a few rules, though, like fill any hole you make, leave no trace, throw away garbage you find, and also have to submit personal items like watches and jewelry to the state park officials.

Quick Law Recap:


Metal Detecting Clubs In Connecticut 

  • Yankee Territory Coinshooters – Hartford, CT – Founded in 1976, the Yankee Territory Coinshooters has monthly meetings and events based out of Hartford, Connecticut. You can find their website here: http://yankeeterritorycoinshooters.com/
  • Nutmeg Treasure Hunters – North Haven, CT – Founded in 1984, NTH has monthly meetings and various experiences to share. You can find their website here: https://www.nutmegtreasurehunters.com/
  • Nor’Easters Metal Detecting Club – Stamford, CT – This club meets every 3rd Thursday but has slowed down meetings due to recent events. You can find their website here: https://www.noreasters.net/

Metal Detecting Tip: When it comes to lions, they are always more plentiful where there are gazelles. Similarly, treasures are often more abundant where there is a more significant potential for them to become lost. It includes but is not limited to high traffic areas. For example, let’s say you’re treasure hunting on the beach. You are more likely to find something in an area that experiences more traffic than in lesser populated areas. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Connecticut 

Treasure hunting in Connecticut is nothing new. For some time, clubs have formed, and people like Doug Bowden, a landscaping company owner, have found their way into the hobby. Connecticut, for its size, has some very popular and growing metal detector clubs, some massing nearly 2000 members on their Facebook pages.

Connecticut is known to metal detectorists for being a great place to find historic coins, gold, and otherwise. The state is old and rich in history, so there’s a massive amount of coins lost over time in the state, making rich finds for treasure hunters.

Read the full story here – https://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20200201/metal-detectorists-search-for-history-riches—and-region-has-plenty-of-both


Metal Detecting Resources In Connecticut 


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


Metal Detector Stores In Connecticut For Expert Advice


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.


7 Best Places to Metal Detect in California [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in California [Maps, Laws and More]

Traveling across California via a road trip is one of the classic west coast adventures that everyone should do. The I5 is a known road trip highway stretching from Mexico to Washington. While taking my family on this journey, we had to stop at some great state parks along the way, even if they were a bit off the beaten path. After all, California has some of the most impressive state parks in the country.

Places to Metal Detect in California
Places to Metal Detect in California

The only drawback to this great state is that you need to call ahead to the state parks if you want to attempt any metal detecting. Once you’ve jumped over that hurdle, the state parks become great places for any adventure, and metal detecting can be one of them.

Let’s take a look at some of the incredible state parks you can visit in California, and if you get in touch with them in advance for permission, and do some excellent metal detecting in them while you’re there.

We’ll take a look at my seven favorite California State Parks or areas I’ve enjoyed, along with some of their amenities and features.

Then we’ll take a look at more details about the laws, clubs, stores, and more surrounding metal detecting in the beautiful sun-bathed state of California.


1.     Fort Ord Dunes State Park – Swimming And Sun On The Beach

California has some of the most incredible beaches in the world. Six of these beachfront parks are located in a 21 mile stretch of coast of the Monterey Bay Area. These beaches allow activities such as swimming, kayaking, and according to the official brochure – beachcombing.

Metal-Detecting-Tips-for-Beach
Metal-Detecting-Tips-for-Beach

Keeping in mind regulations in the state, it’s best to call ahead for permission. However, if no tools are used to disturb the earth, reasonable disturbance in sand merely by walking on it would dictate that essentially if you leave no trace, there should be no issue. Keeping this in mind, call ahead to confirm you don’t need a permit for using a metal detector on one of the six gorgeous beaches of Fort Ord Dunes State Park.

Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Swimming
  • Beachcombing
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking

Here’s how to find the Fort Ord Dunes State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/vweY7j1B5iqP21gx6

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/576/files/FortOrdDunesMonterey_Web2014.pdf


If you want to search for GOLD Northern California is the place to go. I’ve got a list of great spots in this article: Where to Metal Detect in Northern California


2.     El Capitan State Beach – Swimming and Sycamores

El Capitan State Park has a wide variety of options to entertain you and your family on your adventures. The beautiful beaches and park are located just west of Santa Barbara off Hwy 101.

I enjoyed my time at this beach because I was allowed to use my metal detector on the beach when I was there. Ensure you call ahead, though, as times change quickly, along with rules.

The beach has some incredible tide pools, so keep your eyes open for unique shells which you’re there. You might just find shells worth more than potentially lost treasures your detector will pick up.

El Capitan has a variety of amenities to keep you and your family entertained. Here are some of the park’s highlights:

  • Camping
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • RV Access
  • Fishing
  • Guided Tours Surfing

You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/P5JVrHWU7DmLFwX4A

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=601#Brochures-content-pannel


I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.

  • My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
  • I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
  • When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
  • Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.

3.     Folsom Lake State Recreation Area – Camping, Swimming, And More

Not too far east of Sacramento, nestled in the Sierra-Nevada foothills lies Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. This beautiful area has all kinds of fun things you and your family can do while taking the time to enjoy your journey in the state of California.

The state-run recreation area allows many different activities, from swimming to fishing and boating to camping and hiking. There’s even more, to do there though, here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • Biking
  • Windsurfing/Surfing
  • Horseback riding
  • Historical/Cultural site

Give them a call before you go to find out where you’re allowed to use your metal detector, but the state’s primary rules apply regarding disturbing the environment, so leave no trace.

You can find the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area here – https://goo.gl/maps/d4rYiREt8HPh87h18

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/500/files/FolsomLakeFinalWebLayout061016.pdf


4.     Emma Wood State Beach – Sand, Sun, And Dolphins

Besides a fascinating historic war site you can explore, Emma Wood State Beach is another fabulous Californian beach with camping on site. You can even see Dolphins jumping just off-shore sometimes, which I thought was pretty exciting while I strolled along the coast.

One of the great things about this state beach park is the versatility of camping allowed. They have family camping, RV access, even primitive camping, which I haven’t tried yet, but it sounds interesting.

Here are some of the park’s further activities:

  • Bike Trails
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Camping
  • RV Access

You can find Emma Wood State Beach here – https://goo.gl/maps/z5bvqURTsnneMACy6

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=604


5.     San Onofre State Beach

Just three miles south of San Clemente on the I-5 is a great place to get some sun. One of California’s vital watersheds, this state beach is not only crucial for the environment, but it also boasts some of Cali’s legendary surf breaks as well.

When you’re traveling through San Clemente, don’t miss out on San Onofre. There are many things to do, including pitching a tent to do some camping or reserving a spot for your RV.

You can do a variety of activities when not strolling on the beach in search of lost treasures. The park also offers the ability to go swimming, biking, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and of course, surfing.

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=647


Metal Detecting Tip: A fantastic way to ensure you don’t miss anything on your treasure hunt is to walk in a grid-like pattern. Map out the area in your mind and cover it methodically, like a forensic detective might map out a crime scene, or how an archaeological dig might be mapped into a grid. Using this technique ensures you don’t miss out on that elusive treasure waiting to be found. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6.     Auburn State Recreation Area – Gold Panning Allowed

Less than 50 miles outside of Sacramento, you’ll find the Auburn State Recreation Area. This jewel in the heart of the gold country is a great place to take the family for fun and adventure. The park boasts several connected campgrounds, features like kayaking, horseback riding, and mountain biking all permissible, the fun can last the entire day.

Auburn State Recreation Area also allows gold panning for recreational purposes. No tools other than a pan are permitted, but it’s one step closer to being able to do full treasure hunting at the park. Make sure you call the park in advance to find out where you’re allowed to use a metal detector in the park.

Source: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502


7.     Livermore Area Parks – Non-State Park Permit Aquireable

If you can manage to visit Livermore, California, get in touch with the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District office and obtain a metal detecting permit. The parks office has jurisdiction over several places that can allow you to do some excellent treasure hunting for a license that doesn’t cost too much.

Source: https://www.larpd.org/

Metal detecting on beach for treasures
Metal detecting on beach for treasures

Metal Detecting Laws For California

California is a very liberal state, but that doesn’t mean that they allow metal detecting as freely as other states. Many parks, including state parks, do not allow metal detecting. Or at least, they do not allow aspects of typical treasure hunting, namely digging. Many parks have strict policies that maintain that although waving a metal detector around might not be against the rules, digging a hole to find what your metal detector detected might be crossing the line. At the very least, typically, a permit of sorts is required. Always call ahead to any park you want to do metal detecting to ensure you are compliant with local regulations.

Quick Law Recap:

  • California State Parks: Disturbance of natural scenery, plants, and animal life is strictly forbidden. Aside from that, there is zero mention of metal detectors within the state website rules and regulations resource. However, it is against the law to pry or dig up any mineralogical, historical, or archaeological item within the state without appropriate permission. Find more about metal detecting in California Park System HERE.
  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service – I also advise reading this PDF regarding Lake Tahoe National Forest. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3851963.pdf
  • BLM Lands: Permit required. Read this article about Metal Detecting – Can Metal Detect on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land? I also recommend checking at the BLM Website – HERE

California State (General):  Within California’s penal code states that any person who finds a lost item must do their due diligence to find the owner and return the item; otherwise, it is considered theft.


Metal Detecting Clubs In California

  • East Bay Prospectors – Concord, California. This club is an official chapter of the GPAA, founded in 2009. The club has a relatively new website and forum with very little current activity. Contact them directly for more information. Here’s their website link: https://ebprospectors.com/
  • Mount Diablo Metal Detecting Club – Concord, California. This club boasts club meetings held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. The club has events such as mini-hunts and larger planned trips. Membership fees apply. Here’s their website link: http://mdmdc.com/

Metal Detecting Tip: Use a sweeping pattern. When you’re detecting in an area, try sweeping your detector from side to side, each pass slightly overlapping the previous pass. This way, you will have less chance of missing those elusive treasures. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In California

A good treasure hunter never turns down the possibility of a gold nugget. In California, a gold nugget weighing 70 ounces was found by such a treasure hunter. Using a metal detector in the foothills of Butte County, the hunter would later sell the nugget for a whopping $400,000. Not a bad payday for that guy! Read the full story here – https://www.coinworld.com/news/precious-metals/gold-butte-nugget-california-digger-bob-coin-world-precious-metals-kagins-numismatics.html


Metal Detecting Resources In California


Metal Detector Stores In California For Expert Advice


Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.


7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Florida [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Florida [Maps, Laws and More]

Florida, stretching 447 miles from north to south and its natural highest point only 345 feet above sea level, it’s reasonable to assume Florida maintains many beach and coastal areas. Indeed it does, and the beaches are incredible for our treasure hunting adventures. Mention Disney, and you’ll never have a problem convincing the kids to go too, that’s for sure.

Where to Metal Detect in Florida
Where to Metal Detect in Florida

We began our journey in the northwest of the state, having traversed Alabama just before. We went to many different places in Florida, but it was the beaches that really stood out. Treasure hunting can be pretty exciting, and beaches are busy places, so they tend to lose a lot of valuables there. It’s perfect for any treasure hunter, as long as you don’t mind the heat.

Our first stop, Big Lagoon State Park!


1.      Big Lagoon State Park – Beaches, Kayaking, And Adventure!

I dare say that any beach has it all, but Big Lagoon is pretty hard to argue with. We decided that because the park is a natural stopover for over 23 species of wood-warbler and countless other species, that it would be worth becoming a stop on our journey through the state, our first stop, that is.

Big Lagoon State Park is located in Pensacola, Florida, and has various things to do, from birdwatching to kayaking and more. Here’s a list of the most popular activities and amenities the park has to offer:

  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Paddling
  • Bicycling
  • Geocaching

Here’s how you can find the incredible sand beaches of Big Lagoon State Park: https://goo.gl/maps/VS5YcU894KJkDvsj6

Source:  https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/big-lagoon-state-park

2.      Henderson Beach State Park – People, Sun, And Treasures!

Henderson Beach State Park is located in Destin, Florida, and was rated on US News as the #1 beach destination. Henderson has such massive popularity; the sand was sure to be filled with lost trinkets, jewelry, and coins! I just had to bring my family there and see for myself.

There’s a lot to do in the park, despite what one might think. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Camping
  • Bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Geocaching
  • Birdwatching

Here’s how to find the beaches of Henderson Beach State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/5PouFMHQTq7McPyH6

Source: https://www.floridastateparks.org/index.php/parks-and-trails/henderson-beach-state-park


Metal Detecting Tip: Learn about equipment, metal detector technology has exploded in the last 10 years. BUT technique and learning to read the tones are essential to being successful. You’ve got to check out this article (link) that gives 41 Metal Detecting Tips

3.      Grayton Beach State Park – White Sandy Beaches And Hot Sun!

Coastal forests and scrub hiking trails, and pristine beaches drew us to Grayton Beach, located at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Like many other state parks, and luckily for us, as the day was winding down when we arrived, the park has camping sites you can rent for a place to spend your night. It works great if you’re doing a tour like I was. Just ensure you call ahead to book your site; these sites are often filled.

Metal Detecting at Playground
Metal Detecting at Playground

Here are a few of the park’s other amenities and activities for you and your family to enjoy:

  • Camping
  • Bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Geocaching
  • Birdwatching
  • Paddling
  • Boating

You can find Grayton Beach State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/FubABRgqmWE8bQKs8

Source: https://www.floridastateparks.org/graytonbeach


If you love Metal Detecting Beaches especially in Florida, check out my guide to the BEST Beaches in Florida to Metal Detect.

4.      Long Key State Park – Snorkeling And Treasure!

We decided our journey needed to put a few miles on, so we drove down to the Long Key State Park. Located way down the sliver that makes Florida’s southern tip, you need to take the Overseas Highway, which was quite an experience unto itself.

Here are some of the park’s activities:

  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Hiking
  • Fishing

You can find the Long Key State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/dWwPEdBV7iztH6229

Source: https://www.floridastateparks.org/index.php/parks-and-trails/long-key-state-park

Check out this article that’s all about Metal Detecting Underwater <-Link


5.      Sebastian Inlet State Park – A Surfer’s Paradise!

Known amongst surfers worldwide for riding “First Peak” and “Monster Hole,” this surfer’s paradise has a lot more going for it than just some world-renowned surfing locales. You can take your family here as I did, go fishing, swim in the ocean or just walk the beach (with a metal detector in hand, of course).

There are lots to see at Sebastian Inlet, including collecting shells, checking out sea turtle nests, or doing some kayaking. The point is that your family will all have something fun to do here while at night you can camp in a tent or drive in your RV as I did.

Source: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/sebastian-inlet-state-park


Metal Detecting Tip: Carry at least two sets of batteries for your detector. There’s nothing worse than finding some significant detecting areas and running out of power. That’s why I like to keep one set of good batteries in my detector and two spare sets. If you get on a roll, you won’t need to stop and drive off to find a store for batteries. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


6.      CURRY HAMMOCK STATE PARK – Raw Nature Half Way To Key West!

Deep into the keys is Curry Hammock State Park. Another must-see location that you can spend the night (camping). As any typical beach or waterfront park has for activities, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, and all the other usual activities you’d expect to find are permitted.

When we went to Curry Hammock, the thing that stood out to me was that it was surprisingly secluded. For an area under development, I anticipated some pretty big crowds. In truth, it was quite a peaceful visit, and the beaches are perfect for detectorists.

Source: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/curry-hammock-state-park


7.      GAMBLE ROGERS MEMORIAL STATE RECREATION AREA AT FLAGLER BEACH

Gamble Rogers Memorial is a small 145-acre park in Palm Beach, Florida. The park features some great birdwatching and has camping with RV access, which was a nice touch. We spent the night at Gamble Rogers and I spent several hours with the old and faithful detector roaming the beach in search of treasure. Ensure you ask for permission before whipping out your metal detector, some areas may not be entirely permitted.

Garrett AT MAX in Water
Garrett AT MAX in Water

Some of the other activities permitted at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park include Bicycling, Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, Paddling, and Geocaching. Pets are allowed too, so if you’ve got a dog you’re still okay.

Source: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/gamble-rogers-memorial-state-recreation-area-flagler-beach


Metal Detecting Laws For Florida

According to MDHtalk.org, some locations in Florida require a permit for metal detecting. These counties include Orange County and Ocala, Florida. National Parks and recreation areas are strictly off-limits for treasure hunters. There is hope for the state, though, and that comes with the Florida State Parks. In particular, I like the beaches, but the point is that most parks allow metal detectors, as long as you check in with them for permission first.

Almost no places, in terms of state parks, require any kind of fees. However, some parks have specific requirements as to which areas are permissible or not for metal detectorists. The issue isn’t using the metal detectors; typically, it has more to do with disturbing an area via digging.

Quick Law Recap:

National Parks in Florida: Not permitted.

National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service

BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required. Read about what the BLM says about metal detecting HERE.

Florida State Parks: Permitted in certain areas. Always ask permission first. Below are three articles talking about metal detecting in the State of Florida


Metal Detecting Clubs In Florida

  • South Florida Treasure Hunter’s Club – Hollywood, FL – Meetings are held monthly according to their website – https://soflatreasurehunters.tripod.com/
  • Ocala Metal Detecting Club – Ocala, Florida – Typically holds monthly meetings – http://www.ocalametaldetectingclub.com/
  • Coinshooters and Historical Club – Daytona Beach, FL – Founded in 1984, this club meets monthly according to their website. – http://www.digandfind.com/index.html
  • Panhandle Research & Recovery Metal Detecting Club – Panama City, FL – Meets monthly on Saturdays and was established in 1996 according to their website. – https://panhandleresearchrecoverymetaldetecting.weebly.com/index.html
  • Suncoast Research & Recovery Club – Pinellas Park, FL – Monthly meeting dates posted on their website appear to be up to date, ergo an active club. This club prides itself on recovering lost rings and such for people. There are several tales of recovery on their website. – http://www.srarc.com/
  • Central Florida Metal Detecting Club – DeBary, FL – Founded in 1972, this club boasts over 200 members and has meetings on the 2nd Friday of the month. – http://www.thecfmdc.com/
  • Treasure Coast Archeological Society – Sebastian, FL – The club appears to be active but has recently canceled its annual hunt due to the pandemic. You can read about it on their website. – http://www.tcas.us/
  • Western State Archaeological Society – Tampa, FL – Holding monthly meetings, this club has been around since November of 1976. You can read about them on their website here. – https://www.wsas.club/
  • Gold Coast Treasure Club – West Palm Beach, Florida – Founded in 1973, this club has regular meetings and recovery service. See their website for more information. – https://www.apex-ephemera.com/gctc/

Metal Detecting Tip: If it’s one thing Florida has a lot of, it’s beaches. Take advantage of this fact in the state. When in any other states, if you’re hard-pressed to find a good location, try the beach! The great thing about beaches is that coins and items are easily lost in the sand and easily dug up by you! Just make sure the particular park or property allows it first, of course. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/


Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Florida

A couple that was married for 17 years were reunited with their lost wedding band in Florida when a group of metal detectorists put themselves on the case. The touching story aired on ABC Action News back in December of 2020. Watch the full story here -https://youtu.be/1YC2hmtrux4


Metal Detecting Resources In Florida


Metal Detector Stores In Florida For Expert Advice


Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.