Treasure Hunting in Delaware

15 Places to Find Lost Treasure in Delaware (Maps and More)

One of the most famous treasures in Delaware is a rare coin dug on a Delaware beach. According to metal detecting enthusiasts, chances are the uncovered rare coin is a Byzantine Anonymous Follis. Such coins came from Roman times, dating from 498 to 1081 AD.

If you are into treasure finding, we compiled some of the best places to find lost treasure in Delaware.

Among the list of places, you may find the lost treasure in Delaware are:

  • Brandywine Creek State Park
  • Cape Henlopen State Park
  • Woodland Beach
  • Bellevue State Park
  • Trap Pond State Park
  • Dewey Beach
  • Coin Beach
  • Holts Landing State Park
  • South Bethany Beach
  • Fenwick Island State Park
  • Lums Pond State Park
  • Killens Pond State Park
  • Delaware Seashore State Park
  • Auburn Valley State Park
  • Alapocas Run State Park
Finding Treasure with a Metal Detector
Finding Treasure with a Metal Detector

The 15 Best Places to Find Lost Treasure in Delaware

1. Brandywine Creek State Park – Wilmington Delaware

You can find the Brandywine Creek State Park three miles north of Wilmington, Delaware. It is open all year round, allowing you to access it whenever you want to dig for treasures.

Robert Wheelwright maintained the estate until he died in 1965. After Wheelwright’s death, local citizens convinced the estate to preserve the land.

Today, the Brandywine Creek State Park is a popular site for camping, fishing, and birdwatching, among other activities. Being a hotspot for various activities, you’ll be able to find little treasures in the area, such as coins.

You can find Brandywine Creek State Park here.

Metal Detecting Tip: If you call Delaware home, I’ve got something special for you. Read -> Where to Metal Detect in Delaware, it’s a complete guide to where to swing your machine.

2. Cape Henlopen State Park – Sussex County

Cape Henlopen was once a publicly-used area before it became a state park in 1964. Pennsylvania founder and former Delaware leader William Penn proclaimed Cape Henlopen as one of the first public-use lands in the Thirteen Colonies.

The area was also a significant location during the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, and World War I and II. That said, this place holds a lot of history, thus piquing the interest of the public and prompting them to visit the site.

Moreover, Cape Henlopen State Park is now a public area with two beaches that are open to swimming. There is a lot of foot traffic in this state park, so there is a high chance that you will find small relics left behind by those who visit there.

You can find Cape Henlopen State Park here.

Metal Detecting Tip: Water and Treasure is a perfect mix. Folks assume if you drop something in a lake its GONE. Learn how to metal detect in water with this article. Metal Detecting Underwater.

3. Woodland Beach – Kent County

Woodland beach sits along the Delaware Bay at the east of Smyrna. It is an area for various activities, such as swimming, fishing, hunting, and picnics. Additionally, you can find the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area in the Woodland Beach,

Moreover, Woodland Beach was a resort area in the 1880s. It features amenities, including a bar, two-story pavilion, restaurant, and glass observatory. I like treasure hunting on beaches, and Woodland Beach was an excellent place for me and my metal detector.

You can find Woodland Beach here.

4. Bellevue State Park – New Castle County

This 382-acre state park is named after the Bellevue Hall, a mansion once owned by William du Pont Jr. du Pont also built many of the facilities you will find in the Bellevue State Park. One of the reasons why the park is so popular is that it overlooks the Delaware River, allowing visitors to get the perfect view of the sunset.

The state park also has historical places, such as Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church, Personage, and Cauffiel House. 

The Bellevue Estate Park is near the Alapocas Run State Park and Fort Delaware State Park. So, after digging treasures from Bellevue, you can go to and find relics in the other state parks near it.

You can find Bellevue State Park here.

Metal Detecting Tip: Will you ruin your detector if it gets wet? Read this article-> Are Metal Detectors Waterproof?

5. Trap Pond State Park – Laurel, Delaware

Once a part of the extensive wetland of today’s southwestern Sussex County, the Trap Pond State Park is home to vast forests of bald cypress trees. Loggers extensively harvested these trees in the 18th century, altering the wetland’s morphology to produce power for a small sawmill. The creation of this dam made the Trap Pond that people know today.

There’s a chance that the loggers who cut the bald cypress trees left relics in the area, so you will probably find treasures in the Trap Pond State Park.

You can find Trap Pond State Park here.

6. Dewey Beach – Eastern Sussex County

Dewey Beach is the neighboring beach of Rehoboth Beach. It is one of the principal cities in the Cape Region – a rapidly growing region in Delaware. It is famous for its NRDC award as the number 1 beach with the cleanest water.

The beach is a magnet for tourists and partygoers during the summer and is also famous for family vacations. Dewey Beach is a vast sandy coast where you can dig for treasures like coins and jewelry. But make sure that you clean after the spots where you dug to ensure the place’s prime.

You can find Dewey Beach here.

7. Coin Beach – North of The Indian River Inlet

As mentioned, Coin Beach is a place where the Faithful Stewart ship sank. Now, the 18th-century coins from the ship are buried on the beach’s coast, making it one of the best places to find treasures in Delaware. This coastline stretches one mile across the north of Indian River Inlet.

Severe storms carried the coins to the coastline, allowing treasure hunters to find them easily.

Moreover, Coin Beach is famous for its high tides and rough waters. It also holds a fascinating history, like shipwrecks and multiple bridge failures.

You can find Coin Beach here.

Metal Detecting Tip: When I read Coin Beach, the first thing that comes to mind is MONEY. Read about the best places to find old coins in THIS ARTICLE <-Link

8. Holts Landing State Park – Sussex County

This state park is a 203-acre area that sits northwest of Bethany Beach. Before becoming a state park, the Holts Landing State Park was once a family farm owned by the Holt family. It is on the south of the Indian River Bay and is open all year round for different recreations.

The Holts Landing State Park is the only place built on the east coast of Delaware for recreational crabbing. There are also other areas in the state park where you can do picnics, walk, and jog. The shallow waters are also an excellent place for finding treasures.

You can find Holts Landing State Park here.

9. South Bethany Beach – Sussex County

South Bethany Beach is famous as one of “The Quietest Resorts.” The reason is that it is primarily residential homes, so it is not one of the beaches in Delaware with high foot traffic. Still, tourists go to this beach to enjoy its waters and shoreline.

If you have been to Dewey Beach and experienced the crowd there, you may want to go somewhere quiet to look for treasures. South Bethany Beach is a neighboring place to Dewey Beach, so it is ideal for some quiet treasure hunting time.

Despite being a residential area, South Bethany Beach is still open for treasure hunters and metal detectors.

You can find South Bethany Beach here.

Treasure Tip: We’ve all heard, “X marks the spot and start digging” Make the digging part easier with the right equipment. Read about digging gear in this article -> The Best Digging Gear for Metal Detecting

10. Fenwick Island State Park – Sussex County

Fenwick Island State Park was once a part of Delaware Seashore State Park. It became the Fenwick Island State Park in 1981 – a narrow land between Little Assawoman Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The state park’s name came after the man who brought the Thirteen Colonies from Yok, England, Thomas Fenwick.

Compared to its neighboring public parks, Fenwick Island State Park is underdeveloped, yet it gets many visitors. The underdeveloped environment of Fenwick Island also makes it an exciting place for treasure hunting.

You can find Fenwick Island State Park here.

11. Lums Pond State Park – New Castle County

Lums Pond State Park is a 1,790-acre land that surrounds the Lums Pond, hence the name. The pond serves as a water source, filling the locks of the canal connecting the Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay. Today, the Lums Pond covers 200 acres of area in the state park, making it the largest freshwater pond in Delaware.

This pond also serves as the main attraction of the state park. Although visitors cannot swim on the pond, they can go fishing, boating, kayaking, and other similar water activities. There are also campsites in the area.

You can find Lums Pond State Park here.

12. Killens Pond State Park – Kent County

This state park is famous for fishing, boating, and hiking. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds that are open year-round to accommodate visitors. Within the park is the Killens Pond, a 66-acre pond along the Murderkill River.

Killens Pond State Park has miles of trails where people can go biking, hiking, cross-country running, and skiing.

You can find Killens Pond State Park here.

I made a little discovery, Wouldn’t you like to read about the laws and practice regarding coin finds? Check out this article: Treasure Trove Law in the United States

13. Delaware Seashore State Park – Delaware, United States

Delaware Seashore State Park sits east of the Atlantic Ocean and west of the Rehoboth Bay. It features an ocean that measures six miles with a 20-mile bay shoreline that plays a significant part in the Delaware coastline. The Indian River Inlet serves as the park’s main attraction, with a beach on the side. This beach serves as a spot for cottages and water-facing campgrounds.

Hunters can look for treasures within the state park as long as they clean the holes they dig after. I had a great time looking for relics in the Delaware Shore State Park, so I come back from time to time with my trusty metal detector.

You can find Delaware Seashore State Park here.

14. Auburn Valley State Park – Yorklyn Delaware

Delaware’s Auburn Valley State Park nestles the Queen Anne Mansion and the historic Marshall Brothers Paper Mill. The park is a sight for tourists who like to visit historic places, such as the 19th-century bridges from various parts of the country. The government restored and brought these rare bridges to Auburn Valley, allowing the state park to tell the story and history of the industrial revolution.

The state park is home to hiking and biking trails and allows you to tour the historic martial mansion.

You can find Auburn Valley State Park here.

15. Alapocas Run State Park – Wilmington, Delaware

Alapocas Run State Park boasts a leisure .07-mile hiking trail in the middle of woodlands. The entire state park measures 415 acres. It is where you can find the du Pont-owned dairy barn called Blue Ball Barn. Alapocas Run State Park holds a lot of history from centuries ago.

Apart from a hiking trail, the state park has athletic fields, playgrounds, and hidden paths. The history holds guarantees that you can find relics in the state park.

You can find Alapocas Run State Park here.

Metal Detecting Tip: Is unclaimed property treasure? Thousands of pieces of unclaimed property gets claimed in Delaware with a State Government system. Check out -> Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Homepage

Treasure In Delaware     

The 18th-century merchant ship Faithful Steward sank off Delaware’s coast in 1785, leading to the now-famous Delaware Coin Beach. The coins from the said ship now lie on the beach’s coast, located north of the Indian River inlet. There you can find 18th-century coins dating from 1766 to 1782 and King George’s image. (source)

Is It Legal to Metal Detect in Delaware?

Delaware does not have many laws about metal detecting in the state. For this reason, it is an ideal place for hunters to look for treasures.

Metal detecting is legal in public areas in Delaware, such as state parks and beaches. Hunters who found treasures like modern-day coins and pieces of jewelry may keep these items. However, they must surrender coins and relics dating back more than 100 years to the authorities. (source)

The authorities also allow the use of metal detectors in developed picnic areas and campgrounds. Still, it is better to ask permission before you start looking for treasures, as some developed regions prohibit the use of metal detectors within their vicinity. (source)

Can I Keep Treasure Found in Delaware?

The Archeological Resources Protection Act prohibits the excavation and removal of objects that are more than 100 years old from the public ground. It means that the government owns objects like relics and coins that have been in the ground for more than a century. This law aims to protect historical and cultural items in Delaware.

Moreover, this law does not apply to privately-owned lands. For this reason, metal detectors can use their device within private properties, given that they have written permission from the rightful owner before metal detecting. (source)

Read more about the Archeological Resources Protection Act here – link.

Delaware Treasure in the News

 There are several stories about treasures in Delaware, and below are three of the most interesting ones:

  • The raising of the sunken 18th-century HMS de Braak from the waters of Delaware Bay in May 1798 resulted in the discovery of 500 gold and silver coins and artifacts, including glass, ceramic, cannons, shoes, and clothing. (source)
  • The excavation of a stone carved with “K” near Cape Henlopen strengthened the belief in Pirate Kidd’s buried treasure. (source)
  • Centuries-old valuable relics were found in the Delaware River. (source)

Stories of Treasure in Delaware

  • Some 300 years ago, Edward Teach, more popular as the Blackbeard, sailed on the Delaware Bay, burying his treasures in the dunes. (source
  • Legend says Captain Kidd, who sailed in the waters of Delaware in the late 1600s, buried his treasure near the Rehoboth. (source)
  • The legend of the buried Cherokee Gold in Delaware County states that a wealthy farmer named Lacey Mouse arrived in Delaware and buried his fortune somewhere in the county. (source)

Books About Treasure in Delaware

Fantastic books discuss the treasures in Delaware, and they are all worth reading.

Shipwrecks O The Delaware Coast: Tales of Pirates, Squalls & Treasure (Disaster) – Pam George

This book discusses the ships that sunk in the waters of Delaware centuries ago and the treasures buried along the Delaware Bay. It is an excellent book for treasure hunters who like to know the history of the most famous lost treasures and how they got to Delaware. (source)

Lost Mines and Treasure Tales of the Middle Atlantic States: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia & Washington, DC – Ivan Herring

This book contains 90 stories about lost treasures in different states, including Delaware. It makes a perfect book for metal detectorists in Delaware and other states who want to visit the sites where the lost treasures of Delaware are buried. (source)

The Metal Detecting Handbook: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Uncovering History, Adventure, and Treasure – Mark Smith

Best Metal Detecting Books
Best Metal Detecting Books

Metal detectorists will find this book helpful as it tackles what they need to know about uncovering buried treasures under their feet. It also discusses the possible locations where you can find treasures like silver, gold coins, and jewelry.

This book is ideal for beginner metal detectorists as it cuts right through the technicalities, thus making things easier to understand. (source)


Wondering What Metal Detecting Equipment I Use? Check Out My Favorites Below

Nokta Makro Simplex+ an awesome machine
Nokta Makro Simplex+ an awesome machine

I’m frequently asked what machines I use and recommend. No doubt about it, for the beginner get the Nokta Makro Simplex + Kit it’s the best. 100% waterproof, wireless headphones and pinpointer. Check prices and reviews with quick links below.


Lesche T Handle Shovel
Lesche T Handle Shovel

The next thing you need is a great shovel, believe me when I say you’ll dig more knowing you can dig FASTER. Links below to the nearly bullet proof Lesche T- Handle Shovel


CKG Metal Detecting Beach Sand Scoop
CKG Metal Detecting Beach Sand Scoop

Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. Easy digging and lots of people dropping coins and jewelry. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.


Minelab Equinox 800 amazing Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800 amazing metal detector

If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME and get the industry standard metal detector. The Minelab Equinox 800 IS THE BEST. Okay it’s not cheap, but your finds are going to increase with this machine. Shortcut links for reviews and current prices.


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.

Sources

  1. Scouting For History. “A Visit To Coin Beach.” Youtube Video. 1:10. Posted By Scouting For History. June 24, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYymgaVXOSE.
  2. Beaureu Of Reclamation, Interior. Authenticated US Government Information. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2008-title43-vol1/pdf/CFR-2008-title43-vol1-sec423-27.pdf.
  3. Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR 261.9 (1981)
  4. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979
  5. “Delaware’s Sunken Treasure.” Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1987/07/14/delawares-sunken-treasure/8642095a-04fa-4900-99a2-6d1170e94678/.\
  6. Michael Morgan. “An Excavated Stone Fuels Rumors Of Pirate Kidd’s Buried Treasure Near Cape Henlopen.” Delmarva Now. https://www.delmarvanow.com/news/.
  7. David Healey. Delmarva Legends & Lore. Arcadia Publishing, 2010. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=A7AjCgAAQbaj&Pg=Pt96&Dq=Legends+About+Treasures+In+Delaware&Hl=En&Sa=X&Ved=2ahukewj07bq7kbH4AhUZfN4KHY9NAxgQ6AF6BAgLEAI#v=onepage&q=legends%20about%20treasures%20in%20delaware&f=false.
  8. Carol E. Hoffecker. Delaware: The First State. USA: B B& A Publishers, 2005. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=9uQXsK3dN24C&pg=PA48&dq=legends+about+treasures+in+delaware&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj07bq7kbH4AhUZfN4KHY9NAxgQ6AF6BAgDEAI#v=onepage&q=legends%20about%20treasures%20in%20delaware&f=false.
  9. W. C. Jameson. Buried Treasures of the Ozarks: Legends of Lost Gold, Hidden Silver, and Forgotten Caches. USA: August House, 1990. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=PuNnUEayotsC&pg=PA147&dq=legends+about+treasures+in+delaware&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj07bq7kbH4AhUZfN4KHY9NAxgQ6AF6BAgGEAI#v=onepage&q=legends%20about%20treasures%20in%20delaware&f=false.
  10. Shipwrecks of the Delaware Coast: Tales of Pirates, Squalls & Treasure (Disaster). Amazon. Accessed June 14, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Shipwrecks-Delaware-Coast-Treasure-Disaster/dp/1596298669.
  11. Lost Mines and Treasure Tales of the Middle Atlantic States: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia & Washington, D.C. Amazon. Accessed June 14, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Mines-Treasure-Middle-Atlantic-States/dp/1983046671.
  12. The Metal Detecting Handbook: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Uncovering History, Adventure, and Treasure. Amazon. Accessed June 14, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Metal-Detecting-Beginner%C2%92s-Uncovering-Adventure/dp/1510711740/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3UZ18I9BP8T1B&keywords=The+Metal+Detecting+Handbook%3A+The+Ultimate+Beginner%27s+Guide+to+Uncovering+History%2C+Adventure%2C+and+Treasure&qid=1655360703&s=books&sprefix=the+metal+detecting+handbook+the+ultimate+beginner%27s+guide+to+uncovering+history%2C+adventure%2C+and+treasure+%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C258&sr=1-1
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