Michigan was a well-populated area during the pre-colonial era. Currently, it’s a hotspot for treasure hunters because of stories like the probable gold sitting at the bottom of Lake Michigan. According to locals, the gold disappeared on a ferry to Wisconsin during a storm.
So, what else does Michigan offer to treasure hunters and metal detectorists? I can help you with that.
Michigan State is a massive stretch of land, and it would be in your best interest if we focused on areas around major cities. We’ll mainly focus on the three major cities:
- Grand Rapids
Regardless, this list will also include spots in other cities, so keep reading. Maybe your city will make the list.
1. Belle Isle – Detroit, Michigan
Belle Isle is an island park located in the middle of the Detroit River. You can find the Belle Isle Conservancy, a park on the island. In the 18th century, French colonialists settled on the island and referred to it as Île aux Cochons (Hog Island). In 1880, the park was open to the public.
Belle Isle Park is a hot spot for metal detectorists with such rich history. Other detectorists have been able to find old coins on the island. You can do prospecting in the park, but there’s also Belle Isle Beach. We highly recommend checking out this park for prospecting.
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2. Rouge Park – Detroit, Michigan
Rouge Park is the largest state park in Detroit, Michigan. In 1918, the park served as a ‘breathing spot’ or relaxing place for many people inhabiting the growing city of Detroit. The city underwent rapid development during the 1900s, and the local authority created the park to provide a welcome respite for their citizens.
Today, the park offers four nature trails, extensive camping grounds, the Brennan Pools, biking trails, and other recreational activities.
The park sits on the outskirts of the leading commercial area of Detroit. Detectorists reported finding old coins, medals, and other treasures from Rouge Park.
Metal Detecting Tip: Seriously, Michigan is a hidden gem for a detectorist. Beaches, Beaches and more Beaches. Start your reconnaissance for Michigan with this article.-> The Best Places to Metal Detect in Michigan
3. Lake Erie Metro Park, Brownstone Charter Township, Michigan
Next on the list is Lake Erie Metro Park, located south of Detroit. You could say that this park is on the complete outskirts of Detroit. This park offers you a view and access to Lake Erie and the Lake Erie Golf Course.
What sets Lake Erie Metro Park apart is that it sits at the mouth of Huron River and Lake Erie. One of the best tips for any metal detectorist is to prospect along a beach, and Lake Erie Metro Park offers several spots for detectorists.
Furthermore, detectorists can also prospect and explore the rest of the park at their pleasure. Like other parks, Lake Erie offers several recreational activities like bike trails, nature trails, etc.
4. Pointe Mouillee State Game Area – South Rockwood, Michigan
Point Mouilee lies between Detroit and Monroe City. In the 17th century, French colonialists discovered the area and used it as a private shooting club for the wealthy.
The state of Michigan purchased the land, and it became a park in 1945. Like Lake Erie Metro Park, it also sits at the mouth of the Huron River and Lake Erie. It’s on this list because of the possibility of prospecting on the water’s edge, which is a prime location for detectorists.
5. Lake Front Park, Michigan
Last on the list of locations in Michigan is Lake Front Park. In 147, residents voted to acquire the land from Edsel and Eleanor Ford. You can find the Ford home pretty close to the park. Lake Front Park is now open to the club, and it’s right on the edge of Lake St. Clair Lake. Like many other parks, this park offers various recreational activities like a miniature golf course, a pool, and trails
6. Hawk Island Park – Lansing, Michigan
Moving onto the best spots in Lansing city, we kick it off with Hawk Island Park. Formerly known as Sablan Gravel Pit in the 1940s, Hawk Island Park was a gravel mine before water filled the pit and became a pond.
Now, the gravel pit is a park close to the heart of Lansing, with numerous recreational activities. The best part about this park for detectorists is its pond and area. You’re bound to find some treasure in Hawk Island Park.
7. Crego Park – Lansing Michigan
Crego Park is the largest park in the city of Lansing. Initially, officials closed the park after finding toxic contamination in the park in 1986. Officials reopened the park after 28 years in 2014 after they deemed it toxic-free.
Crego Park is on this list because of its limitless potential. The public had little access to the park, and even over five years later, there may be some hidden treasure sitting in the park.
It is a hotspot for metal detectorists and treasure hunters today.
8. Lansing Country Club – Lansing, Michigan
Founded in 1908, Lansing Country Club sits close to the Grand River. The club is an old tradition for most Lansing residents and could hold some possible treasures. The one downside to this location is gaining access.
You may need to be a club member to access the grounds. There’s a lot of potential here, and with how old the club is, there’s a high risk for reward. Again, you may need to be a member to access these grounds or require permission from the club officials to go prospecting.
Metal Detecting Tip: My definition of a great day? Sand, Sun and Searching -> Read The Best Beaches in Michigan to Metal Detect (with Maps)
9. Millennium Park – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Millennium Park is the largest park south of Grand Rapids. The park sits on the former location of gypsum mines and gravel pits. Furthermore, it sits on the former location of the Domtar mines. The Domtar mines supplied gypsum and ran from 1983 to 1999.
Because of its location, you’re sure to come across mineral deposits. Not only that, but you also have several water bodies spread across the park for prospecting.
Remember that the best places to hunt for treasure are on the edge of water bodies, akin to beaches.
10. Waterfront/Gilmore Park – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Waterfront Park sits on the shores of Reeds Lake. It’s a relatively small park, but it holds some history that can pave the way to the treasure. Between 1897 and 1955, the Grand Rapids Street Railway Company created and operated the Ramona Amusement Park.
Furthermore, Reeds Lake was and is still home to several resorts that made the area popular in the 20th century. Thanks to this information, you can see how the Waterfront Park could be home to old coins thanks to its previous popularity.
11. Riverside Park – Grand Rapids, Michigan
In 1905, local authorities developed and opened the Riverside Park. It is one of the parks located on the shores of the Grand River. Like every other park, this park offers excellent recreational activities and amenities to the public.
Why is it on this list? It’s thanks to the Grand River. Prospecting along beaches or banks yields incredible results thanks to the ever-flowing stream of water.
Riverside Park is also close to the city’s heart, making it convenient for detectorists in the area.
12. Tecumseh – Lenawee County, Michigan
According to the locals, a wealthy farmer, Godfrey Watson, buried his life savings on his farm in Tecumseh. Again, the location of this farm and the treasure is uncertain. It’s a story told by the locals, and there’s little proof it exists.
However, it makes a great addition to this list because of its elusive nature and intrigue to treasure hunters.
13. Gold Mine Lake Park – Ishpeming, Michigan
You can find Gold Mine Lake Park north of Michigan. It’s on this list because of its proximity to Ropes Gold Mine or the Michigan Gold Mine. The gold mine was functional between 1883 to 1897; currently, the mine is no longer operational and sits abandoned.
The Michigan Gold Mine could be a treasure trove for gold prospectors. If the area around the mine doesn’t yield anything, you can try prospecting around Gold Mine Lake. Gold Mine Lake sits right next to the mine, and it’s open to the public.
14. High Island – St. James Township, Michigan
High Island is an island located on Lake Michigan. High Island is an interesting location because of the local stories about High Island. According to the locals, there’s a story about a treasure hunter that found Spanish silver on High Island.
The story’s authenticity is questionable, but it sits on this list because it’s an odd and different location than the others on this list. Some stories may be true, and maybe High Island holds copious amounts of treasure.
15. Curtis Anderson Nature Preserve – Drummond Island, Michigan
Curtis Anderson Nature Preserve is on this list because of its proximity to Fort Drummond. Fort Drummond is a historical marker, and you can’t go prospecting anywhere near it, but you can use your metal detector a couple of meters away from the site.
It is from here that Curtis Anderson Nature Preserve comes into play. It’s far enough from the historical marker that you won’t break the law and close enough that you can come across some impressive finds, thanks to the St. Mary’s River.
Not only that, but metal detectorists have found artifacts all over Drummond Island thanks to the British colonialists occupying the location in 1815.
Finding treasures in Michigan requires a little bit of skill, historical and geographic knowledge, and some finesse. Treasure hunters in Michigan use these skills to find incredible treasure throughout the state.
You can use those same skills to find your incredible treasure in Michigan. Here’s a little push to help you get started on treasure hunting. – link
Michigan State recognizes metal detecting as a credible recreational activity. There are, however, some laws that all detectorists should follow.
The main gist of it is that metal detectorists should not destroy the natural flora or fauna present in State Parks. Furthermore, detectorists cannot prospect anywhere near a historical landmark.
Should you find any item in a state park, you should showcase the item to park officials, who will then conduct investigations to ascertain its nature and value.
Fortunately, Michigan State provides a list of state parks open to metal detecting and some that aren’t. You can find that list here.
Some states have their laws when it comes to keeping treasure. Michigan follows the ARPA of 1979. What does it state?
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 states that any “archaeological resources” found on the state’s land belong to the government. This law extends to just about anything over 100 years old.
The ARPA law does not apply to anything found on private property. So, if you find something in a state park, it belongs to the government. On the other hand, if you find something on private property, the matter will fall into the rights of the owner’s permission.
Metal Detecting Tip: I’ve got a method of getting permission to search private property that has been really successful. Read about how I ask in this article.-> Getting Permission to Metal Detect on Private Property
Here are some treasure finds from detectorists across Michigan in the news today.
- Metal detectorist James Stottlemyer found a ring from the Civilian Conservation Corps from the 1930s. – link
- Metal detectorist Ace Covey unearthed Civil War artifacts as he was prospecting at the Grand Haven State Park Beach. – link
- A family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, found a turn of the century prohibition bunker in the backyard of their grandmother’s house. – link
Knowing there are treasures and hearing the treasure stories can help motivate any prospective treasure hunter. So, here are some treasure stories from Michigan.
The High Island Spanish Silver Story
Allegedly, a treasure hunter found a treasure hoard of Spanish silver on High Island. You can find High Island on Lake Michigan, but the real question is whether you can find the rest of the Spanish Hoard or an even bigger treasure.
The Wealthy Farmer of Tecumseh
A wealthy farmer in Tecumseh buried his life savings on his farm. The savings and his farm are still unknown to this day. Read more at the Tecumseh Historical Museum.
The Destroyed Fort Drummond
Fort Drummond was a fort on Drummond Island before it fell into ruins. Occasionally, artifacts and ruins from the destroyed fort will wash up on the island shore or even appear on the island itself. With 85 acres to wondering around the Old Fort Drummond ruins might provide a treasure seeks fix.
Here are the top books I recommend for treasure hunters looking to get started in Michigan.
Michigan is a beautiful state of amazing scenic locales. If you are in the state to do some detecting, you should check out this guide to some amazing things to see and do between your treasure hunting adventures in Michigan. You can find this book on Amazon with this shortcut link -> Moon Michigan: Lakeside Getaways, Scenic Drives, Outdoor Recreation
Touring Michigan and searching for treasure hunting locations is one of my favorite pastimes. What I like about this bucket list of over 100 locations in Michigan because these locations are not only great destinations, but they offer us a glimpse of 100 locations where tourists may have lost jewelry, money, or other valuables. Valuables the avid detectorist could find.
100 Offbeat things to do in Michigan read more with this shortcut link to Amazon -> Michigan Bucket List Adventure Guide
Having a guide to all the parks in Michigan is great because the state recognizes detecting as a recreational activity. So, grab this guide to the state parks in Michigan and get your detecting on! A great way to plan a treasure hunting trip.- Find this book on Amazon with this shortcut link -> Michigan State and National Parks