Metal Detecting in Illinois: A Complete Guide for 2022

You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for a thorough guide to your next metal detecting trip in Illinois.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which people hunt for valuable and rare metals such as gold and silver that may be sold for a profit using a metal detector. This hobby has a long history as a recreational activity. On the other hand, going on a treasure hunt while earning money is a relatively new alternative. Thanks to technical developments in metal detectors, detecting these rare metals has become a lot easier, as long as you know where to look.

Treasure seekers and metal detectorists go to Illinois in droves. The weather is perfect for metal detecting, and the location is rich with undiscovered gems and gold. Metal detecting is made more enjoyable by the state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams. On your adventure, you never know what you’ll find: diamonds, money, Civil War artifacts, or even gold nuggets. However, you should do your homework and get familiar with the Prairie State’s local and federal metal detecting rules.

Metal detecting laws in Illinois

Even if we don’t want the government to interfere in our personal lives, historical landmarks on their property must be safeguarded. As a result, metal detecting laws and regulations vary from one state to the next.

For state-owned institutions in Illinois, metal detecting criteria and limits have been set. Metal detecting on federal property is governed by the Archeological Resources Preservation Act or ARPA.

Furthermore, metal detecting restrictions established by ARPA or state legislation apply only to public or federal territory. Additionally, metal detecting is only permitted on private land with the express permission of the owner or lessee.

The regulations for metal detecting in Illinois are rather simple. Make sure you aren’t metal detecting in any historically significant areas in Illinois. On any historical site, metal detecting and earth-digging are banned. As a result, exercise caution when excavating native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks.

Furthermore, using metal detectors on Trust’s land without permission is illegal in Illinois. Additionally, the State of Illinois owns all historic and prehistoric ruins located in the Forest Preserves, and they may not be destroyed without permission. Without a formal authorization, metal detecting is prohibited.

Don’t dig up anything that appears like an artifact or is more than 100 years old if you’re metal detecting in Illinois on state or federal land. If you locate and collect a historical relic, notify officials so they can properly care for it. In Illinois National Parks, metal detecting is also forbidden unless prior permission has been provided. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is permitted in Illinois’s public parks as a leisure pastime. It’s conceivable that you’ll be allowed to metal detect in designated historical sites, although this is unusual.

Overall, while metal detecting in Illinois, it’s critical to know and respect the restrictions. Breaking these regulations will result in harsh consequences, such as fines or, in the worst-case scenario, jail time. If you’re looking for a new site in Illinois, check with local, county, and state officials to be sure you’re fulfilling all of the requirements.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Illinois: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Illinois?

In Illinois, metal detecting is legal. Laws, on the other hand, establish boundaries. Metal detecting without a permit is prohibited on historic sites, state parks, and federal areas in Illinois, as previously indicated. As a result, metal detecting on public lands in Illinois may necessitate a permit. Permits are available over the phone and on the internet. To receive one, please contact your local park and recreation office. It is reasonably priced, with a single unit costing around $10.

You’ll be OK if you exercise common sense and just look for jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public ground. Before metal detecting at a historically significant place, check with the local county office.

Can you metal detect on BLM Land in Illinois?

Metal detecting on BLM land is subject to the same rules as it is on all other Illinois public lands. Metal detecting is allowed on BLM land in Illinois, but you must be careful not to disturb or expose any antiques. Remember that the government has the ability, according to ARPA, to seize any “archaeological riches” discovered on BLM territory. Archaeological resources are tangible artifacts from human life or activities that are at least 100 years old and have archaeological value.

Where can you metal detect in Illinois?

Despite the fact that many classic metal-detecting spots in Illinois have been prohibited, the state still has a few great metal-detecting locations.

If you’re from Illinois, your hometown is one of the first sites you should go metal detecting in the state. Knowing the area’s history will not only save you time, but it will also aid you in finding the wonderful treasures. What you find and how valuable it is depends on where you metal detect and the history of the location. Metal detecting based on historical study will, on average, produce better results than detecting in random locations.

Some of the best places you can go for metal detecting in Illinois are:

  1. Abandoned Buildings and Structures
  2. Abandoned Parks and Ghost Towns
  3. Old wagon train routes
  4. Native American Trails
  5. Natural Disaster Destruction Sites
  6. Illinois Beaches, Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  7. School yards and old gold mines
  8. Civil war sites

Is there any buried treasure in Illinois?

Illinois is a beautiful state with beautiful landscapes and a rich and storied past. Illinois is said to be home to a large number of Civil War-era hidden treasure. Confederate gold and silver coins are said to be buried beneath Illinois soil to prevent the Union Army from recovering them. Some lie in the shadows, waiting to be discovered! Despite the fact that many of these claims are incorrect, treasure seekers and metal detectorists are still hopeful of finding it soon.

The Rock Cave TreasureThe Treasure of the Cave in the Rock is said to be worth $200,000 in gold and silver coins. Stagecoach outlaws dug up the stockpile and buried it. The wealth is said to be concealed in a cave near the town of Cave, on the western bank of the Ohio River. Gold and silver coins have also been recovered along the riverbanks following rainstorms, according to reports.
Vito Giannola Buried TreasureVito Giannola, a well known criminal and Mafia kingpin, had a still on his estate near Horseshoe Lake. He was killed in a gang battle, although it was believed that before he died, he hid twelve waterproof lunch buckets full of money someplace on his land.
Mississippi River Silver CoinsOn the west side of the Mississippi River near Chester, an officer of the George Rogers Clark Expedition buried $3500 in silver coins.
Sam Anatuna’s Metal BoxA metal box holding $400,000 in paper cash was buried near Route 66, a few miles south of Braidwood, by mobster Sam Anatuna.

Metal detecting in Illinois Rivers

Illinois is home to a number of rivers, lakes, and streams, as well as rugged mountains and historic sites. Because there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams, it’s an excellent spot to go metal detecting. When detecting in rivers and streams, make sure you have enough waterproof metal detectors. A couple of Illinois’s top metal detecting rivers are as follows:

  1. Apple River, Carroll, JoDaviess
  2. Big Bureau Creek, Bureau
  3. Indian Creek, LaSalle
  4. Big Creek, Hardin
  5. Big Muddy River, Jackson

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Illinois

Hundreds of abandoned settlements litter the Illinois countryside. These are the towns where mining used to take place, but as the ore ran out, people departed. People have fled to a number of historic cities for varied reasons.

In Illinois’s ghost towns, all of the villages and towns have been abandoned. These villages in Illinois have a long and famous past. Metal detecting in Illinois’s ghost towns may require municipal permission as well. Illinois’s ghost towns will rapidly become one of your favorite metal detecting locations after verifying whether you need a permit and acquiring one.

These abandoned communities may include historical relics. In these Illinois ghost towns, coins, fine jewelry, and other treasures abound.

Some of the popular ghost towns in Illinois for metal detecting are:

  1. Marquette, Bureau
  2. Orchard Place, Cook
  3. Shermanville, Will / Grundy County Line
  4. Challacombe, Macoupin
  5. Santa Fe Park, DuPage

Metal detecting clubs in Illinois

Metal detecting is one of my favorite pastimes since it allows me to reconnect with old friends while also creating new ones. I definitely recommend joining a metal detecting group in Illinois if you want to meet new people and go on a metal detecting trip with them.

Metal detecting has been increasingly popular in recent years, with clubs cropping up all across the United States. Members of the club are involved and supportive of one another. Once a month, these groups meet together to show off their discoveries, plan their next expedition, and discuss how to assess the variety and value of their finds.

Metal detecting clubs might be an excellent method to learn about new treasure-hunting locations. Setting up your metal detector for a specific place might be tough if you’re a beginner. As a result, being a member of a metal detecting group is an excellent approach to address this issue.

In Illinois, there are numerous fantastic metal detecting groups. Metal detecting groups in Illinois can assist you improve your abilities whether you’re a novice or a seasoned hunter.

It is not necessary for metal detecting clubs to have an online presence. As a result, you may join Facebook groups to network and exchange your expertise with other Illinois metal detectorists.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Illinois are:

  1. Sage City Hunters Relic Club, Champaign
  2. Midwest Historical Research Society, Chicago
  3. Illinois Valley Historical Research & Recovery Association, LaSalle
  4. Will County Research & Recovery Association, Joliet

Similarly, some of the most popular Metal Detecting Facebook groups in Illinois are:

  1. IL Treasure Hunters and Metal Detectorists
  2. Today’s Metal Detecting Finds
  3. Western IL Metal Detecting
  4. Metal Detecting Chicago Area

Final Thoughts

Metal detecting in Illinois is a terrific experience in general. Because of the natural beauty, history, weather, and flexible guidelines, this is a terrific pastime. Before going metal detecting in public in Illinois, be sure you’re aware with the state’s rules. Also, if you’re on private property, be sure you get permission from the owner first; otherwise, you might face trespassing charges.