Metal Detecting in Maryland: A Complete Guide for 2022

Wondering how to start your metal detecting quest in the state of Maryland? Well! you’ve come to the perfect place.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which you use a metal detector to search for anything from jewelry and coins to historical items. This behavior has been around for a while. It arose when people discovered that metal detecting might make them a lot of money. Metal detectorists are constantly looking for and discovering rare metals such as gold and silver, which they then sell for a profit. A standard metal detector costs around $250, and if you know where to look, you may recoup your investment in as few as three metal detecting trips.

Metal detecting is at its best in Maryland, one of the few states where it is permitted. The weather is ideal for metal detecting, and the surroundings are ideal for gold and silver prospecting. If you want to go metal detecting on beaches, rivers, streams, creeks, ghost towns, or state parks, Maryland offers it all. You should, however, conduct your research and get familiar with the local and federal metal detecting rules in the Old Line State.

Metal detecting laws in Maryland

Despite the fact that metal detecting is seen as a recreational pastime, the prospect of discovering anything of historical significance to the government cannot be discounted. As a result, metal detecting legislation and regulations differ from state to state.

In Maryland, metal detecting standards and regulations have been created. The Archeological Resources Preservation Act also governs metal detecting on government property.

Keep in mind that private property is exempt from state and federal legislation. They can only be used for metal detecting on public or private land. You just need written authorization from the owner or tenant to metal detect on private property.

Metal detecting guidelines in Maryland are simple. Make certain that you are not metal detecting in any Maryland historic sites. As a result, using metal detectors or excavating for objects on any Maryland historical monument is illegal. As a result, employ extra caution while digging native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks.

Metal detectors are also forbidden on Trust’s property without consent, according to Maryland law. Furthermore, because all historic and prehistoric sites in the Forest Preserves are owned by the State of Maryland, they may not be demolished without permission. Unless you have the appropriate authorization, metal detecting is unlawful in many areas.

Don’t dig up anything that appears like an item or is more than 100 years old if you’re metal detecting in Maryland on state or federal territory. Notify authorities if you locate and collect a historical relic so that it can be properly cared for. Metal detecting is also forbidden in Maryland National Parks unless prior authorization is obtained. Metal detecting is also permitted as a recreational activity in Maryland’s public parks. Metal detecting may be permitted in historically significant areas, although this is unusual.

Overall, while metal detecting in Maryland, it is critical to understand and observe the restrictions. Violations of these restrictions will result in harsh penalties such as fines or, in the worst-case scenario, prison time. If you wish to start a new metal detecting site in Maryland, contact local, county, and state officials to ensure you satisfy all of the requirements.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Maryland: A Comprehensive Guide for 2022

Is it legal to metal detect in Maryland?

Metal detecting is completely legal in Maryland. Legality, on the other hand, has bounds. Metal detecting without a permit is forbidden in Maryland’s historic sites, state parks, and federal areas, as previously stated. As a result, metal detecting on public lands in Maryland may necessitate a permit. Permits can be obtained over the phone or online. Please contact your local park and recreation office to obtain one. It is inexpensive, with a single unit costing roughly $10.

You’ll be OK if you use common sense and look for jewelry, coins, and gold nuggets in public places across Maryland. Check with the local county office before metal detecting in a historically significant region.

Can you metal detect on BLM lands in Maryland?

Metal detecting is not prohibited on BLM territory, however, similar restrictions apply as with any other public land in Maryland. Metal detecting is permitted on BLM land in Maryland, but you must use extreme caution so that no artifacts are destroyed or exposed. Remember that the government has the authority to seize any “archaeological treasures” uncovered on BLM land, according to ARPA. Archaeological resources are tangible artifacts from human life or activities that are at least 100 years old and of archaeological importance.

Where can you metal detect in Maryland?

Although many traditional metal-detecting spots in Maryland have been prohibited, there remain a few outstanding metal-detecting locales.

Your hometown is one of the first places you should go metal detecting in Maryland. Knowing a location’s history not only saves time but also assists in the discovery of unusual objects. Where you metal detect and the history of the place will impact what you find and how valuable it is. Metal detecting in historical areas will yield better results than detecting in random locations.

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

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

Is there any buried treasure in Maryland?

Maryland is a beautiful state with a fascinating history. Many Civil War-era buried treasures are reported to exist in Maryland. To evade capture by the Union Army, Confederate gold and silver coins are reported to be buried in the soil of Maryland. Some wait in the shadows to be discovered! Despite the fact that many of these claims have yet to be confirmed, treasure hunters and metal detectorists are optimistic that they will be discovered soon.

Bloodsworth Island Beach TreasureSince the mid-1700s, Bloodsworth Island in the Chesapeake has produced a substantial number of French and Dutch coins. The coins were discovered on the beaches of the island’s northwest portion.
Patty Cannon’s Harold Smith Farm Buried TreasureThe Harold Smith property may contain a gold coin treasure worth $100,000. Patty Cannon, a vicious slave dealer, is said to have buried multiple caches on the land. Patty admitted in her will that she had hidden the valuables before her suicide.
The ghost town of PlaindealingA Treasure, made up of gold coins worth $30,000, was buried at the Plaindealing ghost town, which was about 2 miles east of Hurlock.
Patty Cannon Tavern Buried TreasurePatty Cannon also ran a bar at Riverton on the Nanticoke River. Patty is said to have hidden valuables near the bar as well.

Metal detecting on Maryland Beaches

Maryland’s Atlantic Ocean beachfront is around 31 miles long. Because Maryland beaches are so crowded, they’re ideal for searching for lost jewelry and money. As a result, you’ll notice a lot more metal detectorists searching for treasure on Maryland beaches late at night.

As of the publication of this article, metal detecting is legal on Maryland beaches. Maryland, on the other hand, has the authority to remove anything older than 100 years.

Some of the most famous beaches to go for metal detecting in Maryland are:

  1. Ocean City Beach, Ocean City
  2. Calvert Cliffs State Park Beach, Lusby
  3. Sandy Point State Park Beach, Annapolis
  4. Deep Creek Lake Beach, Swanton
  5. Matapeake State Park Beach, Stevensville

Metal detecting in Maryland Rivers and Creeks

Not only does Maryland have a lovely coastline, but it also has various rivers and streams. It’s a wonderful place for metal detecting since there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams. Make sure you have adequate waterproof metal detectors while detecting in rivers and streams. Among Maryland’s best metal detecting rivers and streams are:

  1. Antietam Creek, Washington
  2. Battle Creek, Calvert
  3. Big Annemessex River, Somerset
  4. Blackwater River, Dorchester
  5. Bohemia River, Cecil

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Maryland

Hundreds of abandoned villages and ghost towns dot Maryland’s countryside. These are the towns where mining used to take place, but people left when the ore ran out. People relocated to various cities and towns for a number of reasons.

All of Maryland’s ghost towns are former villages and towns. These Maryland towns have a lengthy and illustrious history. Metal detecting in Maryland’s abandoned towns may also need a permit from the local government. After determining whether you need a permit and obtaining one, Maryland’s ghost towns will quickly become one of your favorite metal detecting spots.

These ghost towns may include historical artifacts. Coins, exquisite jewelry, and other treasures abound in these Maryland ghost towns.

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

  1. Bainbridge Naval Base, Cecil County
  2. Fort Ritchie, Washington
  3. Glendale Hospital, Prince Georges
  4. Riverdale Town Square, Prince Georges
  5. Harmony Grove

Metal detecting clubs in Maryland

 One of my favorite Maryland pastimes is metal detecting since it allows me to reconnect with old acquaintances while also establishing new ones. I definitely recommend joining a metal detecting group in Maryland if you want to meet new people and go on metal detecting excursions.

Metal detecting has been increasingly popular in recent years, with clubs cropping up all across the country. Members of the club are involved and supportive of one another. These groups meet once a month to show off their discoveries, plan their next trip, and discuss how to assess the diversity and value of their finds.

Metal detecting groups might be a great method to find out about new treasure-hunting places. Setting up your metal detector for a specific location might be difficult if you’re a newbie. As a result, joining a metal detecting club is a great way to deal with this issue.

There are various wonderful metal detecting organizations in Maryland. Metal detecting groups in Maryland may help you improve your skills whether you’re a novice or a seasoned hunter.

Metal detecting clubs in Maryland are not required to keep a webpage up to date. As a result, you may want to join Facebook groups to network with other Maryland metal detectorists and share your knowledge.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in MD are:

  1. Maryland Free-State Treasure Club, Middle River
  2. Shore Seekers Artifact & Recovery Club, Salisbury
  3. South Mountain Relic & Coin Club, Williamsport
  4. Eastern Shore Treasure Club, Stevensville

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

  1. Metal Detecting MD
  2. MD Metal Detecting Group
  3. Metal Detecting Finds and Advice

Final Thoughts

Overall, Maryland is an excellent location for metal detecting. Nature, history, weather, and Maryland’s permissive legislation all contribute to the enjoyment of this sport. Before you go metal detecting in public, be sure you understand the regulations in Maryland. If you want to visit a private property, make sure you get permission from the owner first; else, you might face trespassing charges.