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.
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:
- Pond Fishing
- Stream Fishing
Here’s how to find the Black Rock State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/hxnCTGzdoB7ZJ8vE9
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. 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:
You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/pJJYmg6wWPCCiXFa8
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.
Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:
- Boating (personal watercraft only, no boat launch)
- Nature center
You can find Hammonasset Beach State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/ysyicxYYjQat9VRk6
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:
You can find Rocky Neck State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/yXqRrWkpEgDVgZpEA
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Connecticut State Parks: Permission required for digging. Here’s the link to the State Park System – https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Connecticut-State-Parks-and-Forests
- National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
- BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required. I’ve got an article all about metal detecting on BLM here’s a link – Can I Metal Detect on BLM Land?
- Connecticut State Lands: Please visit the State Park Website and when you get to the park, I recommend checking in with the office. Sometimes this can yield some “insider” knowledge about the park. https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Connecticut-State-Parks-and-Forests
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.
Metal Detecting Resources In Connecticut
- MDHTALK forum has a quick reference resource with links for laws in Connecticut for metal detecting. Check out the reference list here. http://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=CT
- Another good reference for Connecticut laws was researched and posted on the Metal Detecting Ghost Towns Of The East website. Here is a link: https://www.metal-detecting-ghost-towns-of-the-east.com/metal-detecting-in-Connecticut.html
Learning How to Use Your Metal Detector Can Be Tough, But I’ve Got You Covered with These Articles
- How does a Metal Detecting Coil Work?– What is that round thing on the end of the metal detector?
- Can you Metal Detect in the Winter – Yes but read this article to learn the tips and tricks.
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools Complete Guide – Digging is part of metal detecting get the tools to do it right.
Metal Detector Stores In Connecticut For Expert Advice
- T.C. Metal Detectors – Granby, CT – http://www.tcmetaldetectors.com/
- Colonial Metal Detectors – Plainfield, CT – https://www.colonialmetaldetectors.com/crm.asp?action=contactus
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.