Metal Detecting in North Dakota: An Ultimate Guide for 2022

Are you looking for a spot to begin your metal detecting adventure in North Dakota? You’ve arrived to the correct location.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which you go on an expedition and use a metal detector to seek for everything from jewelry and coins to historical treasures. 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 continuously on the lookout for and discovering rare metals like gold and silver, which they then sell for a profit. A standard metal detector costs around $200, and if you know where to look, you may be able to recoup your investment in as few as three metal detecting sessions.

Metal detecting is at its finest in North Dakota, one of the few states that allows it. 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, North Dakota offers it all. You should, however, do your study and become acquainted with the local and federal metal detecting rules in The Peace Garden State.

Metal detecting laws in North Dakota

Despite the fact that metal detecting is considered a leisure activity, the possibility of uncovering something of historical relevance to the government cannot be ruled out. As a result, metal detecting rules and regulations vary per state.

Metal detecting criteria and restrictions have been developed in North Dakota. Metal detecting on government property is also governed by the Archeological Resources Preservation Act.

Remember that private property is immune from state and federal laws. They are only applicable to metal detecting on public or private property. To metal detect on private property, you just need written permission from the owner or tenant.

Metal detecting rules in North Dakota are straightforward. Check to be sure you are not metal detecting in any historically significant locations of North Dakota. As a result, using metal detectors or digging for relics on any historical monument in North Dakota is prohibited. As a result, while excavating native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks, use extreme caution.

According to North Dakota law, metal detectors are likewise prohibited on Trust’s property without consent. Furthermore, because the State of North Dakota owns all historic and prehistoric sites in the Forest Preserves, they may not be demolished without authorization. Metal detecting is illegal in many places unless you have a proper permit.

Don’t dig up anything that appears like an artifact or is more than 100 years old if you’re metal detecting in North Dakota 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 North Dakota National Parks unless prior permission is obtained. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is authorized as a recreational activity in North Dakota’s public parks. Metal detecting may be permitted in historically significant areas, although this is unusual.

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

Related: Dumpster Diving in North Dakota: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in North Dakota?

Metal detecting is completely legal in North Dakota. Legality, on the other hand, has bounds. Metal detecting without a permission is forbidden in North Dakota’s historic sites, state parks, and federal areas, as previously stated. As a result, metal detecting on public lands in North Dakota may require a permit.

Metal detecting permits are not issued by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department. On rare occasions, the department administration has found it essential to metal detect in our parks. For example, under the direct supervision of park officials, the use of a metal detector to locate a missing item may be permitted. However, in almost all other circumstances, they hire specialists to do the metal detecting. This is never made available to the general public.

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

Can you metal detect on BLM Lands in North Dakota?

Metal detecting is not prohibited on BLM territory per se, as it is on all other public lands in North Dakota. Metal detecting is permitted on BLM land in North Dakota, 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 objects from human life or activities that have archaeological value and are at least 100 years old.

Where can you metal detect in North Dakota?

Despite the fact that many famous metal-detecting areas in North Dakota have been outlawed, there remain a few good metal-detecting locales.

If you live in North Dakota, one of the first places you should go metal detecting is your hometown. Knowing a location’s history not only saves time but also assists in the discovery of unusual objects. What you find and how valuable it is depending on where you metal detect and the region’s history. 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 ND are:

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

Is there any buried treasure in North Dakota?

North Dakota is a beautiful state with a fascinating history. The state of North Dakota is said to have several Civil War-era hidden treasures. To evade capture by the Union Army, Confederate gold and silver coins are reported to have been buried beneath North Dakota soil. 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.

Miners Gold NuggetsMiners buried roughly $90,000 in gold nuggets near the Missouri River in Oliver County, about one mile east of Fort Clark. When the miners were on their way back from Montana, they were ambushed by Indians. When they returned to the area, they were unable to find the stash.
The Missouri River Buried TreasureA treasure hidden by a merchant in the late 1800s is said to be buried in the Missouri River near the mouth of Burnt Creek. $55,000 in gold and silver coins might be hidden roughly a quarter mile north of the railroad bridge between Mandan and Bismark.
Sunset Butte Civil War TreasureSunset Butte may still contain a gold coin treasure. During the Civil War, the coins were taken from an Army paymaster.
Old Bottineau Ghost Town TreasureOld Bottineau is another ghost town on Oak Creek near the Canadian border, about a mile north of Bottineau on State Route 218. Metal detectorists have found gold and silver coins even in recent dates.

Metal detecting in North Dakota Rivers and Creeks

Not only does North Dakota have a a beautiful landscapes, but it also has several 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. The following North Dakota rivers and streams are ideal for metal detecting:

  1. Little Missouri River, McKenzie & Billings
  2. Missouri River, Mercer
  3. Pembina River, Pembina & Cavalier

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of North Dakota

Hundreds of abandoned villages and ghost towns dot the landscape of North Dakota. 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 North Dakota’s ghost towns are abandoned villages and towns. These North Dakota towns have a lengthy and illustrious history. Metal detecting in North Dakota’s ghost towns may also need municipal approval. After determining if you need a permit and obtaining one, North Dakota’s ghost towns will quickly become one of your favorite metal detecting places.

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

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

  1. Charbonneau, McKenzie
  2. Churchs Ferry, Devils Lake
  3. Garfield, Traill
  4. Lincoln Valley, ND
  5. Sims, Morton

Metal detecting clubs in North Dakota

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

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. 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 not many metal detecting clubs in North Dakota as of now. But since the interest in this hobby is growing, We will hopefully get to see more metal detecting clubs emerge in ND. One of the best metal detecting club I could find in ND is as follows:

  1. Minnkota Artifact Recovery Group, Moorhead

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

  1. Metal Detecting ND
  2. Metal Detecting Finds
  3. Advice for Beginners Metal Detectorists

Final Thoughts

Overall, North Dakota is an excellent place for your metal detecting needs. Nature, history, weather, and North Dakota’s lax regulations all add to the enjoyment of this hobby. Make sure you are familiar with North Dakota’s metal detecting regulations before attempting to metal detect in public. Moreover, laws and regulations change regularly, therefore, don’t base your decisions solely on this article. If you want to visit private property, make sure you get permission from the owner first; else, you might face trespassing charges.