Information Popup

Close Window



Below is information given to me by the Bureau of State Parks Operations and Maintenance Division on metal detecting on state parks land.  If you have further questions please contact Ryan Borcz of Park Operations at 717-783-3317.  Thank you for your interest in Pennsylvania's state park system.


Thank you for your interest in PA State Parks.  This email is in response to your 'Ask DCNR' concerning metal detecting in PA State Parks.


Individuals who want to use a metal detector in a state park must receive prior approval from the appropriate park office and report items which are found and will be removed from the park.  The reasonable use of metal detectors is permitted in many state parks.  Metal detecting is not permitted where this activity would conflict with a facility in use.  Metal detecting is not permitted within fenced areas of swimming pool complexes (state operated or concession operated).


At many parks, metal detecting on beaches and in lake swimming areas will be permitted within a reasonable distance of shore from the Tuesday after Labor Day until the Saturday prior to Memorial Day.  During the summer season, metal detecting in beach and swimming areas will be at the discretion of the park manager based on his knowledge of the use and type of facility.  Metal detecting in other underwater areas will be permitted within a reasonable distance of shore if it does not conflict with other activities or have the potential for causing damage to the facility.


Many state park areas have the potential for the recovery of valuable historical objects.  State park areas with this potential may have part or all of their area closed to metal detecting.  The finding of historical objects in any state park area should be handled by first contacting the park manager of the particular park.  In addition, persons should consult the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission if they are seeking or find historical artifacts. 


Shovels, spades, garden trowels, and other similar tools may not be used to dig into or turn over ground areas that are covered by turf, vegetation, shrubs, or trees.  Permissible digging tools are screwdrivers, ice picks, and other similar narrow pronged devices.


The above guidelines only pertain to state park lands.  Persons should contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and/or the DCNR Bureau of Forestry for guidelines applicable to their lands.