Having kids, I wanted to take them to Massachusetts to see Harvard. It’s every parent’s dream to have their kids attend a school of higher learning, isn’t it? We started our journey with a campus tour but soon decided to turn our trip into more of a vacation and started for some state parks.
I enjoy doing some metal detecting when my family goes camping. I can often sneak off in the morning for a few hours, and my sleepy family is none the wiser while I seek out treasure and lost items.
The state of Massachusetts is more stringent on its rules for metal detecting, so I made sure to call ahead to each park and speak with the park manager for permission to metal detect. See the section later in the article for the details of metal detecting laws in the state. First, let’s start with my favorite seven parks in the state where I was able to get permission to metal detect.
1. Salisbury Beach State Reservation – Where River Meets Ocean
Salisbury was our first stop at one of the beaches of Massachusetts. Located at the mouth of the Merrimack River, where it feeds into the Atlantic, the park offers some fantastic fishing, swimming, and boating.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset and offers camping, so you can technically stay all day and night if you are in the campground. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:
- Horseback riding
Here’s how to find the Salisbury Beach State Reservation – https://goo.gl/maps/hmu2HWJiJDcKzW5Y6
2. Constitution Beach Park – Metal Detectors Secret
When you’re in Boston, don’t miss out on one of Boston’s secret beach paradise locations. Tucked away in Orient Heights is Constitution Beach Park. The park sports some rather nice athletic fields and a good and wide, sandy beach for beach sports or swimming. Naturally, one might include metal detecting on such a beach if one were so inclined. Here are some of the park’s highlights:
- Basketball courts
- Tennis courts
You can find this incredible park here – https://goo.gl/maps/DwQARnG2zUHTH52o8
3. Nantasket Beach Reservation – Busy Beaches And Lost Treasures
Nantasket Beach is a bustling beach in Hull, Massachusetts. Forget trying to do any kind of metal detecting here on a hot summer day. On rainy days, however, this beach can be an incredible place to prospect for lost treasures. It is not unusual to find a decent amount of coins and jewelry along this beach, given the crowds that can swarm the beach on a hot summer day.
Here are some of the park’s activities:
You can find the Nantasket Beach Reservation here – https://goo.gl/maps/GHyw7ssdZLSXYua6A
4. Revere Beach Reservation – The First Public Beach In The US
As my title suggests, Revere Beach was the first public beach in the United States. This achievement means one thing for metal detectorists: The beach has the most potential to find lost treasures.
Beach detecting potential aside, the park is rather lovely with a decent width beach. Since the beach is on the Atlantic, there is excellent potential also to do some fishing. Ensure you’re carrying a valid fishing license, and you’ll have miles of coast to wander and fish.
One of the best times I had with my family was taking them to Revere Beach in July. We were able to see the International Sand Sculpting Festival held from July 17 to July 19. What an incredible display of sand-sculpting talent! You haven’t seen a sandcastle until you’ve seen the sand sculptors go to work at this internationally acclaimed event. Okay, it’s a far cry from metal detecting, but it stood out in my memory as something even a hardened and staunch treasure hunter can appreciate.
The other facilities at Revere Beach include:
- Athletic fields
- Historic sites
- Info booth
- First aid station
You can find the Revere Beach Reservation here – https://goo.gl/maps/qGj4q8TQrkiCuyjz6
Metal Detecting Tip: Picking up a lot of garbage signals from garbage? Try using a smaller coil. Smaller coils have a smaller search area. It lets you hone in on your search without getting a lot of clatter from a larger debris field. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/
5. South Cape Beach State Park
South Cape Beach is a beautiful mile of white sandy beach to enjoy. The cool Atlantic Ocean is a perfect place to take a dip on a hot summer day with the family. When the weather isn’t hot and sunny, it’s an ideal beach to do some treasure hunting.
There are several amenities at South Cape Beach State Park that allow you and your family some extra fun and luxuries while visiting. The park offers boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, hunting, swimming, and even have grills and picnic areas that are generally available. Some of the amenities may be closed due to local health situations, but you’ll need to call ahead for permission to use a metal detector anyway so you can double-check before you go to the park.
6. Demarest Lloyd State Park
Demarest Lloyd is a fantastic small park in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, that exhibits an 1800-foot saltwater beach. The background of the beach is some scenic wandering hills sporting some fantastic spots to sit in the grass and enjoy a picnic with the family.
The park has some of the best birdwatching around if that’s an interest to you. I enjoyed combing the beach, and when it wasn’t so busy, I got permission to get the detector out and see what I could find. The staff at the park were friendly when I was there, and it had a feel of a best kept secret sort of place. Like something that people forgot about but then on rediscovery, you wonder why everyone doesn’t go there.
7. Horseneck Beach State Reservation – Sandy Dunes And Ocean Spray
One of Massachusetts’s most popular beaches, I enjoyed my stay at Horseneck because they have camping sites on location. The two-mile-long beach offers plenty of opportunity for swimming on the warmer days and metal detecting on the other ones.
As mentioned, we stayed at the campground, and I was surprised to see how many boaters enjoy the area as well. I had not seen a lot of sailboats out until we stayed at Horseneck Beach. It led me to believe that the site is great for sailors, boaters, and those that enjoy watersports and activities. Although I spent my time on the beach, beachcombing during busy hours and metal detecting in the off hours, I would think that if I had a boat, I’d take advantage of the boat ramp they have at Horseneck Beach. There’s also a decent little playground for the kids if you intend to stay landbound as I did.
Metal Detecting Laws For Massachusetts
According to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, metal detectors are not allowed on DCR property. However, it is also noted that metal detecting may be permitted on select beaches and camping areas under the sole discretion of the park manager or area supervisor, depending on where you read the information.
Like most other states, the National Forests in Massachusetts are off-limits to metal detectorists without special permits. These permits are typically only awarded for scientifically backed ventures, so they can be challenging for a hobby detectorist to obtain. The same is the case for BLM lands.
Quick Law Recap:
- National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
- BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required Read about BLM Here
- Massachusetts State Parks: Certain parks allow metal detecting on select beaches and camping areas, but only with written permission from the park manager. Read more about Massachusetts State Parks HERE
Metal Detecting Clubs In Massachusetts
Despite the strict conditions legislation has placed on the hobby within Massachusetts, there are a surprising number of clubs to support our hobby within the state.
- Central Massachusetts Metal Detectors Club – Central Massachusetts, the Facebook page is all I could find on this group. Founded in March of 2020. – https://www.facebook.com/Central-Massachusetts-Metal-Detectors-Club-109540187325412/
- Western Mass Metal Detecting Club – Western Massachusetts – Another club found on Facebook boasts 427 members. It appears to be a relatively active club. – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1412273519099957/
- Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Association – Newton Highlands, MA – The club meets regularly (current COVID situation may alter the meetings). – https://masstreasure.com/
- Silver City Treasure Seekers – Taunton, MA – An active group that appears to have started back in 2012. – http://www.silvercitytreasureseekers.net/index.html
Metal Detecting Tip: Belt pouches are one of the handiest tools for a metal detectorist. Use one to keep those dirty finds secure while keeping dirt out of your pockets. A belt pouch is convenient, lightweight, out of the way, and most importantly, it is an efficient tool in your treasure hunting arsenal. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/
Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Massachusetts
Pirate booty and coins abound with tales and legends of times long gone. And some ancient coins found not only tie together the past of certain states but also help unlock answers about a pirate mystery.
One such event occurred recently in New England. It ties together several states, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, in a pirate treasure mystery of the past.
With metal detecting, you never know what mystery awaits just under the surface! Read the full story here – https://www.abc6.com/ancient-coins-found-in-new-england-could-unlock-answers-to-pirate-mystery/
Metal Detecting Resources In Massachusetts
- Massachusetts DCR State Parks site – https://www.mass.gov/visit-massachusetts-state-parks
- Massachusetts DCR What To Do When You See A Metal Detectorist – https://www.mass.gov/service-details/archaeology
Metal Detector Stores In Massachusetts For Expert Advice
Usually, one sees a correlation between a good number of local clubs and metal detector stores within a state. In the case of Massachusetts, there appears to be a 2:1 ratio. I was only able to find two decent metal detector sales companies within the state.
- Cape Cod Metal Detectors – Yarmouth, MA – http://capecodmetaldetectors.com/
- Metaldetector.com – Southborough, MA – https://www.metaldetector.com/
The East Coast Has Some Amazing Places to Metal Detect
- Vermont isn’t just about Maple Syrup, it’s an inviting place to metal detect. Find where to go in this article 15 Best Places to Metal Detect in Vermont
- Maine, heck I think the whole state is a shoreline! I’ve got an article with a “where to” list: Where to Metal Detect in Maine (Laws and Maps)
- Delaware for treasure hunting. With lots of State Parks open to Metal Detecting Delaware is a great destination. Read where to go in this article: 15 Places to Metal Detect in Delaware
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.