Metal Detecting in Indiana: A Complete Guide for 2022

If you’re looking for a complete guide to your next metal detecting excursion in Indiana, you’ve come to the perfect spot.

Metal detecting is a pastime in which individuals use a metal detector to search for expensive and rare metals such as gold and silver that may be sold for a profit. As a leisure pastime, this hobby has a lengthy history. Going on a treasure search while earning money, on the other hand, is a relatively new option. Detecting these uncommon metals has gotten a lot simpler thanks to technological advancements in metal detectors, as long as you know where to look.

Indiana attracts a large number of treasure hunters and metal detectorists. The weather is ideal for metal detecting, and the area is rich with previously unknown diamonds and gold. The state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams make metal detecting more pleasurable. You never know what you’ll uncover on your journey: gems, money, Civil War artifacts, or even gold nuggets. You should, however, do your study and familiarize yourself with the Hoosier State’s municipal and federal metal detecting regulations.

Metal detecting laws in Indiana

Even if we don’t want the government to meddle in our private life, historical sites on their land must be protected. As a result, metal detecting legislation and regulations differ from state to state.

Metal detecting standards and limitations have been established for state-owned institutions in Indiana. The Archeological Resources Preservation Act, or ARPA, regulates metal detecting on federal land.

Only public or federal land is subject to metal detecting limitations imposed by ARPA or state legislation. On private land, however, metal detecting is only permissible with the owner’s or lessee’s express authorization.

Metal detecting restrictions in Indiana are rather straightforward. Make sure you’re not metal detecting in any of Indiana’s historically significant sites. Metal detecting and earth-digging are prohibited on any historical site. As a result, while digging native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks, use caution.

Furthermore, it is prohibited in Indiana to use metal detectors on Trust’s property without consent. Metal detectors are also prohibited on the Indiana state fairgrounds at all times unless you have acquired special written permission from the right authority.

If you’re metal detecting in Indiana on state or federal land, don’t dig up anything that looks like an artifact or is more than 100 years old. Notify officials if you find and gather a historical artifact so they can properly care for it. Metal detecting is likewise prohibited in Indiana National Parks unless previous authorization has been granted. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is authorized as a recreational activity in Indiana’s public parks. It’s possible that you’ll be granted authorization to metal detect at designated historical sites, but this is uncommon.

Overall, when metal detecting in Indiana, it’s vital to understand and follow the rules. Breaking these rules will result in severe penalties, including fines or, in the worst-case scenario, jail time. If you’re searching for a new location in Indiana, be sure you meet all of the standards by checking with local, county, and state officials.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Indiana: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Indiana?

Metal detecting is permitted in Indiana. Laws, on the other hand, set limitations. As previously stated, metal detecting without a permission is forbidden on historic sites, state parks, and federal lands in Indiana. As a result, metal detecting on Indiana’s public lands can require a permission. Permits can be obtained over the phone or over the internet. Please contact your local park and recreation office to obtain one. It’s inexpensive, with a single unit costing about $10.

If you use common sense and just seek for jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public land, you’ll be OK. Consult the local county office before metal detecting in a historically significant location.

Can you metal detect on BLM Land in Indiana?

The same laws apply to metal detecting on BLM land as they do on all other Indiana public lands. On BLM land in Indiana, metal detecting is permitted, but you must be cautious not to damage or expose any antiquities. Remember that, according to ARPA, the government has the authority to take any “archaeological treasures” uncovered on BLM land. Archaeological resources are tangible objects from human life or activities that have archaeological importance and are at least 100 years old.

Where can you metal detect in Indiana?

Despite the prohibition of many traditional metal-detecting areas in Indiana, the state still boasts a few fantastic metal-detecting spots.

If you’re from Indiana, one of the first places you should go metal detecting in the state is your hometown. Not only can knowing the history of the place save you time, but it will also help you uncover the fantastic gems. Where you metal detect and the history of the region determine what you find and how valuable it is. On average, metal detecting based on historical research will yield better results than detecting in random sites.

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

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

Is there any buried treasure in Indiana?

Indiana is a lovely state with stunning scenery and a long and illustrious history. Indiana is claimed to be home to a significant amount of Civil War-era buried riches. To keep the Union Army from collecting Confederate gold and silver coins, they are claimed to be buried beneath Indiana soil. Some are still lurking in the shadows, waiting to be found! Despite the fact that many of these claims are false, treasure hunters and metal detectorists remain hopeful that they will locate it soon.

Berne and Geneva Buried TreasureIt is believed that a bank employee buried $95,000 in paper money and gold coins in the 1920s on a farm which lies between Berne and Geneva, just outside of Terre Haute. The employee allegedly stole the money and then killed himself.
John Dillinger Buried MoneyOn his father’s property in Mooresville, a well renowned gangster, John Dillinger, is said to have hidden many treasures of stolen money. According to FBI investigations, a total of $600,000 is buried on the ten-acre estate.
Marshfield Robbery LootFour bandits took $80,000 in gold bullion, coins, and paper cash from a passenger train in Marshfield in 1828. A safe from the heist was discovered in Marshfield few days later. The thieves were apprehended and hanged. However, they never divulged the whereabouts of the stolen goods.
The Pirates CacheThere’s a legend that pirates hid in a cave on a cliff overlooking the Ohio River, a few miles south of Mt. Vernon, and concealed multiple treasure chests there.

Metal detecting in Indiana Rivers and Creeks

Several rivers, lakes, and streams, as well as harsh mountains and historic places, may be found in Indiana. It’s a great place to do metal detecting because there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams. Make sure you have adequate waterproof metal detectors while detecting in rivers and streams. Here are a few of Indiana’s best metal detecting rivers:

  1. Big Pine Creek, Warren
  2. Blue River, Crawford, Harrison
  3. Little Blue River, Crawford
  4. Muscatatuck River, Jackson
  5. St. Joseph River, St. Joseph

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Indiana

The Indiana landscape is littered with hundreds of abandoned villages. These are the towns where mining used to be done, but people left as the ore ran out. For various causes, people have fled to a variety of historic cities.

All of the villages and towns in Indiana’s ghost towns have been abandoned. These Indiana towns have a lengthy and illustrious history. Metal detecting in Indiana’s ghost towns may also need municipal approval. After determining if you require a permit and obtaining one, Indiana’s ghost towns will quickly become one of your favorite metal detecting spots.

Historical relics may be found in these abandoned villages. Coins, fine jewelry, and other valuables abound in these Indiana ghost towns.

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

  1. Asphaltum, Jasper
  2. Door Villiage, La Porte
  3. Weddleville, Jackson
  4. Prophet’s Town, Tippecanoe

Metal detecting clubs in Indiana

One of my favorite activities is metal detecting since it allows me to reconnect with old acquaintances while also making new ones. If you want to meet new people and go on a metal detecting trip with them, I highly recommend joining a metal detecting club in Indiana.

Metal detecting has grown in popularity in recent years, with clubs springing up all across the country. The club’s members are active and supportive of one another. These groups come together once a month to show off their treasures, plan their next trip, and talk about how to evaluate the diversity and worth of their finds.

Metal detecting groups might be a great way to find out about new treasure-hunting spots. If you’re a newbie, setting up your metal detector for a specific location might be difficult. As a result, joining a metal detecting club is a fantastic way to deal with this problem.

There are a lot of wonderful metal detecting clubs in Indiana. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hunter, metal detecting organizations in Indiana can help you improve your skills.

Metal detecting clubs are not required to have an internet presence. As a consequence, you may join Facebook groups to network with other Indiana metal detectorists and share your knowledge.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Indiana are:

  1. Hoosiers Metal Detecting Club
  2. Miami Valley Coin Relic Hunters Club, FT Wayne
  3. Northern Indiana Research & Recovery Society, Warsaw (574-325-0148)

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

  1. Metal Detecting IN
  2. Advice Metal Detecting Group
  3. Metal Detecting Federation

Final Thoughts

In general, metal detecting in Indiana is a fantastic experience. This is a fantastic activity because of the natural beauty, history, weather, and flexible guidelines. Make sure you’re familiar with the state’s requirements before going metal detecting in public in Indiana. Also, if you’re on private land, be sure you first acquire permission from the owner; otherwise, you might be charged with trespassing.