Metal Detecting in Tennessee: A Complete Guide for 2022

If you’re looking for a thorough guide to your next metal detecting excursion in Tennessee, 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.

Treasure seekers and metal detectorists go to Tennessee in droves. The weather is perfect for metal detecting, and the location is rich with previously 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 familiarize yourself with the local and federal metal detecting rules in The Volunteer State.

Metal detecting laws in Tennessee

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

In Tennessee, metal detecting standards and limits have been established for state-owned institutions. Metal detecting on federal property is governed by the Archeological Resources Preservation Act or ARPA.

ARPA or state legislation-imposed metal detecting restrictions, on the other hand, are exclusively applicable on public and federal land. Furthermore, metal detecting is only permitted on private land with the express permission of the owner or lessee.

The rules for metal detecting in Tennessee are rather simple. Make sure you’re not metal detecting in any of Tennessee’s historically significant areas. 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 property without permission is illegal in Tennessee. Furthermore, the State of Tennessee owns all historic and prehistoric sites in the Forest Preserves, and they may not be demolished without permission. Without a proper permit, 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 Tennessee on a state or federal land. If you locate and collect a historical relic, notify officials so they can properly care for it. In Tennessee National Parks, metal detecting is also forbidden unless prior permission has been given. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is permitted in Tennessee’s public parks as a leisure pastime. It’s conceivable that you’ll be allowed to metal detect at designated historical sites, although this is rare.

Overall, it’s critical to know and observe the restrictions while metal detecting in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee, check with local, county, and state officials to be sure you satisfy all of the requirements.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Tennessee: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Tennessee?

Metal detecting is permitted in Tennessee. Laws, on the other hand, set limitations. As previously stated, metal detecting without a permit is forbidden on historic sites, state parks, and federal lands in Tennessee. As a result, metal detecting on Tennessee’s public lands may require a permit. 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 jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public land, you’ll be OK. Check with the local county office before metal detecting in a historically significant region.

Can you metal detect on BLM Land in Tennessee?

Metal detecting on BLM land is governed by the same rules that apply to all other Tennessee public lands. On BLM land in Tennessee, metal detecting is permitted, but you must be cautious not to disturb or expose any artifacts. Remember that, according to ARPA, the government has the authority to take any “archaeological riches” uncovered on BLM land. Archaeological resources are tangible objects from human life or activities with archaeological importance and are at least 100 years old.

Where can you metal detect in Tennessee?

Despite the fact that many classic metal-detecting settings are prohibited in Tennessee, the state still has a few great metal-detecting locations.

One of the first areas you should go metal detecting if you reside in Tennessee is your hometown. Knowing the history of a location not only saves time but also aids in the discovery of great jewels. What you find and how valuable it depends on where you metal detect and the history of the area. 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 Tennessee 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. Tennessee Beaches, Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  7. School yards
  8. Civil war sites and ghost towns

Is there any buried treasure in Tennessee?

Tennessee is not only a beautiful state with amazing landscapes but it also has a rich history and chronicles. Tennessee is said to have a great amount of buried treasure that dates back to the civil war. Confederate gold and silver coins are said to be buried under Tennessee’s soil to keep the Union Army from getting them. These are still out there, just waiting to be discovered! Although a lot of these stories lack supporting evidence, treasure hunters and metal detectorists are positive that they’ll find it one day.

The John Winters Buried TreasureJohn Winters hid a big trove of gold coins and silver plates on his property, roughly two miles north of Erin on Route 13.
Buried Civil War ValuablesAfter attacking Atlanta, Union forces buried a considerable number of Civil War goods and money. They concealed the riches, according to legend, in a cave on Monteagle Mountain near Monteagle.
The Log Mountain TreasureCherokee Indian invaders are said to have buried half a million dollars in gold bullion on Log Mountain, about six miles northeast of Luttrell, in an Indian mound.
Joseph Thompson Hare Hidden LootJoseph Thompson Hare was a ruthless bandit who intimidated and plundered Natchez Trace tourists. He is said to have buried a large portion of his stolen goods along the banks of Wolfe Creek, not far from Rossville on Route 57.

Metal detecting in Tennessee Rivers and Creeks

Throughout Tennessee, there are numerous 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 state for metal detecting. When detecting in rivers and streams, make sure you have enough waterproof metal detectors. A couple of Tennessee’s top metal detecting rivers are as follows:

  1. Abrams Creek, Blount
  2. Calfkiller River, White & Putnam
  3. Charles Creek, Warren
  4. Clinch River, Anderson
  5. Cripple Creek, Rutherford

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Tennessee

Hundreds of abandoned settlements litter the Tennessee 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 Tennessee’s ghost towns, all of the villages and towns have been abandoned. These cities in Tennessee have a long and famous history. Metal detecting in Tennessee’s ghost towns may require municipal permission as well. After verifying whether a permit is required and securing one, Tennessee’s ghost towns will rapidly become one of your favorite metal detecting locations.

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

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

  1. Big Greenbrier, Sevier
  2. Tellico Plains, Monroe
  3. Willow Grove, Clay
  4. Newsome’s Station, Davidson
  5. Elkmont, Seier

Metal detecting clubs in Tennessee

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 Tennessee 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 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 number of wonderful metal detecting organizations in Tennessee. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hunter, metal detecting organizations in Tennessee can help you improve your skills.

Metal detecting clubs are not required to have a digital presence. As a consequence, you may join Facebook groups to network and exchange your skills with other metal detectorists in Tennessee.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Tennessee are:

  1. Chattanooga Civil War Round Table, Chattanooga
  2. Internet Metal Detecting Association, Chattanooga
  3. Mid-South Metal Detecting Club, Edendale
  4. East Tennessee Treasure Hunting Club, Etowah

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

  1. Metal Detecting TN
  2. East TN Metal Detecting
  3. Metal detecting finds and advice
  4. Central TN Metal Detecting

Final Thoughts

Overall, Tennessee is an excellent area to satisfy your metal detecting needs. Tennessee’s natural beauty, history, weather, and permissive regulations make this a very delightful activity. Just make sure you’re familiar with Tennessee’s metal detecting regulations before attempting it in public. If you’re going to private property, be sure you get the landowner’s permission first, otherwise, you might be punished with trespassing.