Metal Detecting in Massachusetts: A Complete Guide for 2022

Are you wondering where to begin your Massachusetts metal detecting adventure? Well! You’ve arrived at the correct location.

Metal detecting is a pastime in which you use a metal detector to look for objects ranging from jewelry and coins to historical artifacts. This behavior has been seen for some time. It originated as a result of individuals discovering that metal detecting might make them a lot of money. Metal detectorists are always on the lookout for and detect rare metals like gold and silver, which they subsequently sell for a profit. A high-end metal detector costs approximately $250, and if you know where to search, you may be able to return your investment in as little as three metal detecting visits.

Metal detecting is most popular in Massachusetts, one of the few states where it is legal. The weather is great for metal detecting, and the surroundings are ideal for prospecting for gold and silver. Massachusetts has it all if you want to go metal detecting on beaches, rivers, streams, creeks, ghost towns, or state parks. You should, however, do your homework and become acquainted with the Bay State’s local and federal metal detecting regulations.

Metal detecting laws in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts are straightforward. Make careful that you are not metal detecting in any historic locations in Massachusetts. As a result, it is forbidden to use metal detectors or excavate things on any Massachusetts historical monument. As a result, use additional care while excavating native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks.

According to Massachusetts law, metal detectors are likewise prohibited on Trust’s land without authorization. Furthermore, because the Forest Preserves are held by the State of Massachusetts, no historic or prehistoric sites may be demolished without authorization. Metal detecting is illegal in many places unless you have the proper permits.

If you’re metal detecting in Massachusetts on a state or federal land, don’t dig up anything that looks like an object or is more than 100 years old. If you find and gather a historical relic, notify authorities so that it can be appropriately cared for. Metal detecting is likewise prohibited in Massachusetts National Parks unless previous permission has been secured. Metal detecting is also authorized as a recreational pastime in public parks in Massachusetts. Metal detecting is occasionally authorized in historically significant sites.

Overall, it is vital to understand and follow the rules while metal detecting in Massachusetts. Infringements of these limits will result in heavy consequences such as fines or, in the worst-case scenario, prison time. Contact local, county, and state officials to verify you meet all of the standards if you want to open a new metal detecting site in Massachusetts.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Massachusetts: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, metal detecting is fully lawful. Legality, on the other hand, has limitations. As previously indicated, metal detecting without a permit is prohibited in Massachusetts’s historic sites, state parks, and federal areas. As a result, metal detecting on Massachusetts public lands may require a permit. Permits are available over the phone or online. To receive one, please contact your local park and recreation office. It is reasonably priced, with a single unit costing around $10.

If you apply common sense and look for jewelry, coins, and gold nuggets in public areas across Massachusetts, you’ll be OK. Before metal detecting in a historically significant area, check with the local county office.

Can you metal detect on BLM lands in Massachusetts?

Metal detecting is not illegal on BLM land, however, similar restrictions apply as with any other public land in Massachusetts. Metal detecting is permitted on BLM land in Massachusetts, but you must use extreme caution to avoid destroying or exposing objects. According to ARPA, the government has the ability to take any “archaeological valuables” discovered on BLM territory. Archaeological resources are tangible objects from human life or activities that are at least 100 years old and archaeologically significant.

Where can you metal detect in Massachusetts?

Despite the fact that many conventional metal-detecting locations in Massachusetts have been forbidden, there are still a few great metal-detecting locations.

One of the first areas you should go metal detecting in Massachusetts is your hometown. Knowing the history of an area not only saves time but also aids in finding uncommon things. What you find and how valuable it is will be influenced by where you metal detect and the history of the location. Detecting metal in historical regions will produce better results than detecting in random settings.

Some of the best places you can go for metal detecting in Massachusetts 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. Massachusetts Beaches, Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  7. School yards and Old Churches
  8. Civil war sites

Is there any buried treasure in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is a beautiful state with a fascinating history. Many Civil War-era buried treasures are reported to exist in Massachusetts. To evade capture by the Union Army, Confederate gold and silver coins are reported to be buried in the soil of Massachusetts. 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.

The Dungeon Rock Cave Pirate TreasureThe Dungeon Rock Cave, in Lynn at the entrance of the Saugus River, might be home to a pirate treasure. Pirate Thomas Veale is said to have buried many chests of gold and silver money near or within the cave in 1658.
Avery’s Gallop Island TreasureA treasure of jewels and gold money hidden by the pirate Avery might be found on Gallop’s Island. Many coins have been discovered on the island’s beaches throughout the years.
Winthrop Gold CoinsSpanish and British coins dating from the eighteenth century have been discovered on the beach at Winthrop, located on the north side of Boston Harbor, between Short Beach and Grover’s Cliff. The coins are most likely from one of the many ships that have sunk in the port.
Deer Island Buried TreasureMoney Bluff on Deer Island is said to be home to pirate spoils.

Metal detecting on Massachusetts Beaches

The Atlantic Ocean shoreline of Massachusetts is approximately 192 miles long. Because the beaches in Massachusetts are so busy, they’re great for looking for missing jewelry and money. As a result, you’ll see a lot more metal detectorists on Massachusetts beaches late at night looking for treasure.

Metal detecting is lawful on Massachusetts beaches as of the publishing of this article. In contrast, if you find anything older than 100 years, the state of Massachusetts has the power to confiscate it.

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

  1. Wollaston Beach, Quincy
  2. Crane Beach, Ipswich
  3. Duxbury Beach, Duxbury
  4. Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester
  5. Coast Guard Beach, Eastham

Metal detecting in Massachusetts Rivers and Creeks

Massachusetts not only offers a beautiful shoreline but also several rivers and streams. Because there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams, it’s an excellent location for metal detecting. When detecting in rivers and streams, make sure you have enough waterproof metal detectors. Among the top metal detecting rivers and streams in Massachusetts are:

  1. Ashley Hill Brook, Berkshire
  2. Connecticut River, Franklin
  3. Ipswich River, Essex
  4. Mashpee River, Barnstable
  5. Millers River, Worcester

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Massachusetts

Hundreds of abandoned villages and ghost towns dot the landscape of Massachusetts. These are the towns where mining formerly occurred, but people departed as the ore ran out. People moved to different cities and towns for a variety of reasons.

All of Massachusetts’s ghost towns have been abandoned villages and towns. These Massachusetts communities have a long and distinguished history. Metal detecting in Massachusetts’s abandoned towns may also require municipal permission. After verifying whether or not you require a permit and receiving one, Massachusetts’s ghost towns will quickly become one of your favorite metal detecting locations.

Historical items may be found in these ghost towns. In these Massachusetts ghost villages, coins, magnificent jewelry, and other riches abound.

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

  1. Allendale Farm
  2. Davis Mine, Franklin
  3. Enfield, Hampshire
  4. Moody Trails, Worcester
  5. Spider Gates Cemetery, Worcester

Metal detecting clubs in Massachusetts

 Metal detecting is one of my favorite Massachusetts activities since it allows me to reconnect with old friends while also making new ones. If you want to meet new people and go on metal detecting trips, I highly recommend joining a metal detecting organization in Massachusetts.

Metal detecting has grown in popularity in recent years, with clubs springing up all across the country. The club’s members are involved and supportive of one another. These groups get 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 clubs might be a terrific way to learn about new treasure-hunting locations. If you’re a beginner, setting up your metal detector for a specific spot may be tricky. As a result, joining a metal detecting group is an excellent method to address this problem.

In Massachusetts, there are several fantastic metal detecting groups. Metal detecting clubs in Massachusetts may help you improve your abilities, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hunter.

Metal detecting clubs in MA are not required to maintain an up-to-date website. As a result, you may wish to join Facebook groups to network with other metal detectorists in Massachusetts and share your knowledge.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in MA are:

  1. W.C.H.T. – Worcester County Treasure Hunters, Clinton
  2.  M.T.H.A.- Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Association, Newton Highlands
  3. Silver City Treasure Seekers, Taunton
  4. Gateway Treasure Hunter’s Club, Wareham

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

  1. Metal Detecting MA
  2. Mass Metal Detecting
  3. Metal Detecting Finds
  4. Metal Detecting Advice for Beginners

Final Thoughts

Overall, Massachusetts is a great spot to go metal detecting. Nature, history, weather, and the liberal legislation of Massachusetts all add to the enjoyment of this hobby. Before you try metal detecting in public, be sure you’re aware of the laws in Massachusetts. If you intend to visit private land, be sure you obtain permission from the owner first; otherwise, you may be charged with trespassing.