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(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to use any metal detection device in any State Park for the purpose of finding and removing, from said park, any items that are not his/her personal possessions without permission from the Park Manager.






In response to your question concerning the use of metal detectors within Arizona State Parks, the following information hopefully will satisfy your request. 

Arizona State Parks does allow "Recreational Metal Detecting" in areas that are not ecologically, geologically or culturally sensitive.  By "Recreational" I mean that if the activity is only for recreation, or a hobby, and the area is not disturbed to any great degree it is acceptable.  If you wish to walk along a developed beach front and dig down a few inches with say a spoon, in order to recover an item, its ok. If you bring along a large shovel and plan to excavate a large hole then it is not ok.  It would be best to contact a staff ranger at the specific park you wish to visit and discuss the activity with the ranger to determine areas where it would be appropriate.  Of course if at any time the activity crosses over into a commercial venture then it is not allowed.


We do have a rule found in Title 12: Natural Resources; "R12-8-103 -Vandalism" that states:

"It is unlawful to deface, injure, destroy, remove or use without authority any public facility or public property including all wildlife, plants, animals, archaeological, geological or historic objects found within a state park".


We realize that this activity is fun for many people, and we try to accommodate them as best we can and at the same time continue to protect and preserve our resources.




In a meeting on Thursday, September 21, 2006 with the SPRTC Arkansas State Parks, Recreation & Tourism Committee it was  voted unanimously to end thetwo year pilot program which allowed recreational metal detecting at nine of the parks under the control of the Arkansas State Parks System.


In return, it was also decided by the SPRTC that the parks  system and the recreational metal community could in fact co-exist in a manner consistent with other activities controlled by the park officials.  Therefore, the SPRTC voted to make it policy to allow metal detecting in nine of the state parks that were listed in the pilot program.  The new policy is consistent  with the rules and guidelines that governed the pilot program.


The Arkansas State Parks that now allow recreational metal detecting are Crowley's Ridge, Daisy, DeGray, Lake Catherine, Lake Charles, Lake Dardanelle, Lake Ouachita, Village Creek and Woolly Hollow.  Metal detecting is to be confined to swimming areas that have beaches.


As with the pilot program, metal detecting will be permitted from the day after Labor Day until the weekend preceding Memorial Day between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Saturday.  Detectorists will continue to be required to register at the park visitor center, complete a registration form and follow the same rules and procedures as have been in place during the pilot program.


The Arkoma Coin & Relic Club of Siloam Springs began working to get metal detecting allowed in the Arkansas State Parks back In 1998 and with the assistance of Mr. Greg Butts (Director of the  State Parks system), we have finally reached this milestone for our hobby.


Our hobbyists can consider this a big step in overturning a state parks directive dated July 1975 which prohibited the use of metal detectors on any portion of state park property.


Jim Beyers, Secretary
Arkoma Coin & Relic Club of Siloam Springs
iloam Springs, AR.




Thank you for your e-mail. We received this information from the department's Public Safety Office:


In answer to your request concerning the regulations that govern metal detecting in State Parks, the following information is provided:


The California Code of Regulations, Title XIV, Division 3, Section 1 contains four sections applicable to the use of metal detectors in State Parks.  Section 4305 prohibits the disturbance of any animal, Section 4306 prohibits the disturbance of any plant, Section 4307 prohibits the disturbance of any geological feature, and Section 4308 prohibits the disturbance of any archaeological feature. These regulations define, plant life as including; leaf mold, grass, turf, and humus; and geological features include earth, sand, gravel, and rocks.


The act of passing a metal detector over the ground in a State Park is not against the law.  The prying up or digging out of an object however may be, as this may not be done if it disturbs the animals, plants, geological or archaeological features. Section 4309 gives the Department the authority to grant permits to disturb resources if it is in the best interest of the Department to do so.


Since the units of the Department are extremely varied, we have delegated the authority to regulate activity related to metal detectors to our District Superintendents. Therefore, you will need to contact personnel in the park in which you wish to perform metal detecting and follow their instructions as to where and how you may metal detect.


The recovery of lost items or property is subject to the conditions of Civil Code Sections 2080.1 through 2080.6.  All items with a value of $100.00 or more must be turned in to State Park officials.  If no one claims the item within 90 days, it may then be transferred to the finder.


§ 4305.  Animals.

(a) Protection.  No person shall molest, hunt, disturb, harm, feed, touch, tease, or spotlight any kind of animal or fish or so attempt.

(b) No person shall injure, trap, take, net, poison, or kill, any kind of animal or fish, or so attempt, except that fish and bait may be taken, other than for commercial purposes in accordance with state laws and regulations.

(c) Where hunting in a state recreation area or within the State Vehicular Recreation Area and Trail System or portion thereof is permitted by regulations herein, so much of this section as is inconsistent therewith shall be deemed inapplicable, provided hunting is conducted in the manner specified.

(d) This section does not apply to activities undertaken by the Department in conjunction with its resource management activities.

(e) Feeding.  In units or portions thereof where posted in accordance with Section 4301(i), no person shall feed any wildlife or feral animal listed on such posting.


§ 4306.  Plants and Driftwood.

(a) No person shall willfully or negligently pick, dig up, cut, mutilate, destroy, injure, disturb, move, molest, burn, or carry away any tree or plant or portion thereof, including but not limited to leaf mold, flowers, foliage, berries, fruit, grass, turf, humus, shrubs, cones, and dead wood, except in specific units when authorization by the Department to take berries, or gather mushrooms, or gather pine cones, or collect driftwood is posted at the headquarters of the unit to which the authorization applies.  Any collecting allowed by authority of this section may be done for personal use only and not for commercial purposes.

(b) No person may gather more than five pounds of such material except driftwood each day in the State Park System or State Vehicular Recreation Area and Trail System.

(c) No person may gather more than 50 pounds or one piece of driftwood each day in the State Park System or State Vehicular Recreation and Trails System.

(d) Use of tools, vehicles, and equipment for the collecting of driftwood is prohibited.

(e) Upon a finding that it will be in the best interest of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the District Superintendent may, by posting, authorize the collection of driftwood from specified units on a temporary basis, either by the general public or by commercial operators, if necessary, in quantities, for purposes, and by means other than as specified by this section.

(f) This section does not apply to activities undertaken by the Department in conjunction with its resource management activities.


§ 4307.  Geological Features.

(a) No person shall destroy, disturb, mutilate, or remove earth, sand, gravel, oil, minerals, rocks, paleontological features, or features of caves.

(b) Rockhounding may be permitted as defined in Section 4301(v).


§ 4308.  Archaeological Features.

No person shall remove, injure, disfigure, deface, or destroy any object of archaeological, or historical interest or value.


§ 4309.  Special Permits.

The Department may grant a permit to remove, treat, disturb, or destroy plants or animals or geological, historical, archaeological or paleontological materials; and any person who has been properly granted such a permit shall to that extent not be liable for prosecution for violation of the foregoing.




Yes With permission from the park manager.

This information was compiled by a Colorado State Park Ranger and fellow detectorist.

Metal detecting is allowed at the discretion of the park manager. Check with each park manager before hunting to obtain permission and the individual park rules.
Metal detecting is not specifically addressed by Colorado State Park Regulations

Individual park managers do have the authority to restrict use in certain areas if there is a threat to the resource but these restrictions are rare and will be clearly posted at all entrances to the area.

Otherwise the only limiting Park Regulation is:

Reg.#100(b)(2) "It shall be prohibited to remove, destroy, mutilate, modify or deface any structure, water control device, poster, notice, sign or marker, tree, shrub, or other plant or vegetation, including dead timber and forest litter, or any object of archaeological, geological, historical, zoological or natural / environmental value or interest on Parks and Outdoor Recreation Lands. (This regulation does not include removal of firewood from designated firewood areas, noxious weeds as defined by statute, or recreational gold mining within the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, except where prohibited as indicated by posted signs."

Of course other related rules like park pass requirements, hours of use, registered historical site restrictions, etc. always apply, but otherwise recreational metal detecting in Colorado State Parks is fine.







POLICY/PROCEDURE #312                               October 31, 2002






The use of metal detection devices is permitted on land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection under the following conditions:


1. The activity shall be limited to surface collection except at beach areas where digging is permitted in sand areas devoid of vegetation.  However no collecting or digging will be allowed in areas of sand dunes adjoining the beach area proper.  Digging must be done by hand with all motorized devices prohibited. All holes dug must be refilled immediately before the collector leaves the site.


2.  The use of metal detection devices will only be permitted when the beach is not being used by the public for other purposes.


3.  Persons using a metal detector are required to use a trash apron to store all materials found.  The collector may retain articles found, except items of a personal nature such as jewelry and watches, which must be turned into the manager in charge.  Any material the collector does not wish to retain shall be placed in a waste receptacle.


4.  No specific permit is required at this time.


5.  Staff may close any area to this activity for purposes of maintaining visitor safety and/or preserving significant artifactual remains.


The use of metal detectors is prohibited at the following state park areas:


·        Continental Army Hospital Memorial - West Hartford

·        Dinosaur - Rocky Hill                               

·        Ft. Griswold Battlefield - Groton               

·        Ft. Trumbull – New London                     

·        Gay City – Hebron

·        Gillette Castle – East Haddam  (prohibition includes all of the park property adjacent to the CT River.)

·        Industrial Monument – North Canaan

·        Macedonia Brook – Kent

·        Mashamoquet Brook – Pomfret

·        Putnam Memorial - Redding                     


                                            Pamela Aey Adams, Director




3.1.6  Use of metal detectors on lands under the jurisdiction of the Division shall be prohibited except during normal park hours in the following areas:  Lums Pond State Park swimming area beach;  Ocean beaches east of the dune line.


3.1.7  No person shall collect, excavate, injure, destroy or appropriate prehistoric or historic artifacts or human skeletal remains from lands under the jurisdiction of the Division except with written permission from the Director. Violations under this paragraph may be charged under the provisions of 7 Del.C. §5306 or 7 Del.C.


§5411.  Possession or use of tools or devices specifically designed for the excavation and removal of artifacts or human skeletal remains shall be deemed prima facie evidence of a violation of this Regulation and will be confiscated, held as evidence and be subject to forfeiture upon conviction.




Metal detectors are prohibited in the Florida State Parks, with the exception of the coastal (Atlantic and Gulf) State Parks. The reasons for this are to ensure any archaeological preservation and resource protection.


Under the Park Manager discretion, metal detecting is permitted ONLY in the coastal state parks on the sandy beach in the zone between the water line up until the toe of the dune. 


Your best bet is to contact the coastal park of interest prior to arrival to determine if they have an area appropriate for metal detecting.


Thank you for your interest.


Colin M. Dooley

Information Specialist

Florida Division of Recreation & Parks

Department of Environmental Protection

3900 Commonwealth Blvd. MS535

Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000

Phone (850) 245-2157




Collecting: All wildlife, plant life, driftwood, artifacts, and any other natural or man-made features are protected and may not be disturbed or removed. Please leave wildflowers for other visitors to enjoy. Use of electronic devices for “treasure hunting” is prohibited.




METAL DETECTING DEVICES are allowed on sand beaches only.




Idaho's State Parks do allow metal detecting to take place within the park as sport. However, you are asked to make arrangements with park staff prior and, as the statute declares, you are not to disturb park property and articles found are not to be removed from the park.


Jennifer Wernex

Communications Manager,

Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation

P.O. Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0065

Ph: 208.334.4199

Fx: 208. 334.5232




Q. Where can I use my metal detector on public lands?

A. Not all sites allow metal detecting to protect significant cultural or natural resources. Those that do, require permits that can be obtained at the park office. If there is a specific park that you want to metal detect at, please call the site first.




Metal detectors: Except as authorized by a license, a person must not do any of the following within a DNR property. Use a metal detector, except on a sand swimming beach as approved by an authorized representative (Property Manager).




Metal Detectors

Metal detector use is prohibited in state parks and recreation areas except in the following areas:


1. Designated beach areas. From May 22 to September 7 inclusive each year, metal detectors may be used on designated beach areas from 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each day. From September 8 to May 21 inclusive each year, metal detectors may be used on designated beach areas from 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. each day.


2. Drained lakes. When an artificial lake has been drained or the water level lowered for any reason, metal detector use may be allowed from 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. only after the lakebed has been thoroughly surveyed for archaeological resources and a survey report has been completed and approved by the State Historic Preservation Office. Please check with local park staff to ensure this has been done.


Tools used for digging are limited to the following:

1. Probes not over 12 inches long, one inch wide and one-quarter-inch thick.

2. A sand scoop or sieve not over 10 inches in diameter.


When digging is done to locate an item, the excavation shall be limited to three inches square when using probes and 10 inches in diameter when using sand scoops or sieves. The disturbed area is to be restored as nearly as possible to its original condition.


A litter apron or bag is to be worn or carried during metal detector use and litter dug up is to be disposed of in approved trash containers.


All items found are subject to the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 644.


Owners of lost items may use a metal detector in areas where their use is normally prohibited only upon special arrangement with the park ranger or with the park manager in charge of the area. A written approval must be granted before metal detector use may begin.




Metal Detectors 304 KAR 1:050

Section 1. Except as provided in Section 2 of this administrative regulation, the use of metal detectors shall be prohibited in all Kentucky State Parks.
Section 2. Park personnel, law enforcement personnel, and utilities may use metal detectors.




Metal detecting is allowed in our Kansas state parks, but you may not dig to retrieve items. Persons participating in metal detecting must follow all access rules the same as anyone else with regard to restricted areas, no vehicles off road, etc. It might be helpful for those wanting to metal detect in the park to contact the park office upon arrival, as park staff might be helpful on particularly good places to hunt.


KS does not have a specific regulation allowing or prohibiting the use of metal detectors on lands controlled by KDWP.  KAR 115-8-20 specifically prohibits digging holes or pits; and destroying, defacing, degrading or removing any real or personal property (other than property owned by that person) or geological formations; historical sites; archeological relics or ruins, or vegetation.  Park managers may allow an individual to dig small areas when an individual is using a metal detector by special permit in certain areas and for specific purposes.  Some areas, people are not allowed to dig or remove anything.  Always make an appointment with the park manager, explain what, where, when you want to use a metal detector before you dig or remove anything from department controlled lands and waters.   




The information regarding metal detecting equipment can be found in Louisiana Administrative Code Title 25:IX. Chapter 3, §303. Park Property and Environment, Part H - "The display, possession, and/or use of metal detectors or similar devices is prohibited. It is strictly forbidden to dig for or otherwise remove any historical feature, relic or artifact.  Persons wishing to excavate and remove historical features by professional archaeological means for research purposes must request a permit from the Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission.  Applications for such permits must be made through the assistant secretary, Office of State Parks."




4. Use of metal detectors at historic sites is prohibited. Metal detectors are allowed in other areas only by written permit obtained at the park.




.18 Relics, Treasures, and Metal Detectors.


A. The policy of the Service is to safeguard the archeological resources under its care. The guidelines in B and C of this regulation shall be followed.


B. Without a permit from the Office of Archeology, Maryland Historical Trust, Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Department, an individual may not dig in search of buried relics or treasures, remove prehistoric or historic artifacts, or use metal detectors, except as provided in §D of this regulation, within the boundaries of lands, beaches, or under waters controlled by the Service.


C. Permits are issued to archeologists and other qualified individuals who present a plan for scientific investigation to be carried out under provisions of the Maryland Archeological Historic Properties Act, Article 83B, 5-623-----5-628, Annotated Code of Maryland. Copies of the law and application for permit can be obtained from the Chief, Office of Archeology, Maryland Historical Trust, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032.


D. Metal Detector Exception.

(1) An exception to the permit requirements of this regulation is for the use of a metal detector in the search for    modern coins, jewelry, and other items on designated swimming beaches operated by the Service, with the exceptions of Point Lookout and Calvert Cliffs.

(2) An individual shall obtain permission to use a metal detector as set forth in this regulation from the Service.

(3) A metal detector may be used during normal park hours with the following exceptions:

     (a) 9 a.m. through dusk from May 30 through Labor Day; and
(b) Other times at the discretion of the park manager.




Regulations governing the use of metal detectors on Massachusetts State Forests and Parks property:


CMR 304  12.11

No Person shall use or offer to use metal detectors on Department property except at the discretion of the area Supervisor on designated swimming beaches and designated campsites. The Director may issue a special use permit authorizing archaeologically-related or geologically related activities




Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statues. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.

Entire park open:

Metal Detecting Areas   Metal Detecting Areas. This symbol will be displayed and usually with a link to a map indicating where metal detecting is allowed.


Brimley State Park

Parks with designated areas (maps are provided on the linking pages):

Parks closed to metal detecting:




Metal detectors: Use of metal detectors is prohibited.




17. No one shall use metal detectors without the written approval of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.(§39-7-4 Mississippi Code 1972)




Metal detecting is allowed only on specific sand beaches in the facilities listed below. A permit is required and may be obtained free of charge by writing to Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Facility and Visitor Services Program, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102, or by e-mail.


o Crowder State Park
o Cuivre River State Park
o Finger Lakes State Park
o Lake of the Ozarks State Park
o Lake Wappapello State Park
o Lewis and Clark State Park
o Long Branch State Park
o Pershing State Park

o Pomme de Terre State Park
o St. Joe State Park
o Stockton State Park
o Trail of Tears State Park
o Harry S Truman State Park
o Wakonda State Park
o Wallace State Park
o Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and State Historic Site




Montana State Parks does not have a rule stating that one cannot use a metal detector, but if someone finds something, they cannot take it.  


The Administrative Rule of Montana reads:


Property Disturbance

No persons may destroy, deface, injure, remove, or otherwise damage any natural or improved property or willfully or negligently cut, destroy, or mutilate any tree, shrub, or plant, or any geological, historical, or archaeological feature, not including flowers, berries, cones, or fallen dead wood.


Disturbance of the topsoil cover is prohibited.  No person may buy garbage, dig for worms, or allow pets to dig hole.


If you have any other question, please let us know.

Chine Strobel

Montana State Parks




001.14C The possession and use of metal detectors is prohibited; Provided, possession of such a device is permitted subject to the following provisions:


001.14C1 Metal detectors may be used year around at designated state recreation area swimming beaches posted as open to such activity. During the period May 22 through September 7, usage is restricted to the

hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., daily. Metal detectors must remain below the vegetation line above the beach.


001.14C2 Metal detectors are limited to portable, hand-held devices only and digging equipment is limited tohand tools not exceeding twelve inches in length by four inches in width and sand scoops and sieves not over ten inches in diameter.


001.14C3 Operators of a metal detector shall wear or carry a litter apron or bag, and all litter found is to be deposited in an approved trash receptacle.


001.14C4 Operators may keep any nonidentifiable items with a nominal value of less than $25.00. Identifiable items, such as rings, watches, etc., and all other items of value exceeding $25.00 are to be deposited with the park superintendent. These provisions apply to all lost and found articles including those found without the aid of a metal detector.


001.14C5 All historical, archeological or paleontological items found are to be left undisturbed and their location reported to the park superintendent.


001.14C6 Use of metal detectors in State Parks and State Historical Parks is expressly prohibited except as herein provided.


001.14C7 Owners of lost items may use a metal detector in areas where their use is otherwise prohibited, only upon prior arrangement with the park superintendent.




NAC 407.103  Metal detector. (NRS 407.0475, 407.065)  Except as authorized by the supervisor of the park, no person may use a metal detector in the park.

 (Added to NAC by Div. of St. Parks, eff. 11‑12‑93)


Thank you for your email inquiry.  There is one rule for using a metal detector in Nevada State Parks.  Our Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) states at 407.103 that you must receive prior authorization directly from the park before using your metal detector.  This is because some of the parks are historical sites and removing any rock, plant life, etc. is not permitted (i.e. Berlin-Ichthyosaur, Ft. Churchill), although it may be permitted at our recreational parks (i.e. Lahontan, South Fork).  A reference to our web site will provide your viewers the necessary information to contact the various parks they wish to visit and ask if metal detectors can be used there.


 I hope this will help you and those in your club to enjoy and visit many of our State Parks soon.  Happy hunting.


Joy Elwood

Administrative Assistant


New Hampshire


Res 7301.19  Metal Detectors.

(a)  Metal detectors shall be permitted along the shoreline of state park beaches and at athletic fields, playgrounds, and 25 feet from picnic tables and pavilions, unless otherwise posted.


(b)  No person shall use metal detectors at state historic sites, including Odiorne Point state park.

(c)     Money or items found whose value is in excess of $5.00 shall be reported to the park manager or regional supervisor.


New Jersey


The rules and regulations for metal detecting can be found within our Administrative Code 7:2-2.16 Metal detectors - A person shall not use metal detectors or similar devices without a permit issued by the Officer-in-Charge.  The permit may limit the location, hours, and days of use.  Permits will not be issued for use in areas of significant historical or other value, or where such use would be incompatible with protection of hte resource and/or interfere with public use of the facilty.


If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Michele Buckley
Senior Public Information Assistant
Division of Parks and Forestry


New Mexico


Good morning. After reading your request I would like to inform you that  New Mexico State Parks dose not allow Metal Detecting with in the parks. Thank you for your interest and have a wonderful day!


You can contact the Department of Tourism and for information on where Metal Detecting is allowed through out New Mexico 1-800-545-2040.


Ashley M. Archuleta

Office Administrator

New Mexico State Parks

Office:1(505) 476-3360

Fax:1(505) 476-3361

1220 South St. Francis Drive

Santa Fe, NM 87505


New York


Metal detecting is allowed on a park by park basis. Must check with each individual park manager. Permits are necessary and in some areas there is a fee. Most allow detecting only on the beach.


North Carolina


Thanks for your interest in NC State Parks.  Metal Detectors are not allowed in North Carolina State Parks because things found at our parks belong to the citizens of North Carolina.  If when visiting the park, and an item gets lost, please notify the ranger on duty, and he/she will help you find it.  If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.
Rachel R. Gooding


North Dakota


58-02-08-16. Metal detectors. No person may use any device for the purpose of locating or removing any metallic object or any other objects of value from a state park. Exceptions may be made by the director for approved archaeological surveys or law enforcement personnel. Use of a metal detector to find a lost item may be allowed under the direct supervision of park staff.




Can I use a metal detector?
Use of metal detectors is allowed on the sandy portion of the beach area at any of our state park beaches. Written permission must be obtained from the
park manager at the park of your choice to use a metal detector in any other park area.




Can I bring a metal detector to the park?
Visitors who wish to use a metal detector in an Oklahoma State Park must obtain a use permit from the park office.




Can I use my metal detector in a park? Metal detecting may or may not be allowed, depending on the park. It's always best to call the park to check whether you can use your metal detector. If metal detecting is allowed, you'll need a permit, which is available directly from the park where you wish to use your metal detector. Some parks are unstaffed, so to locate the closest park office to the park you're interested in, call 1-800-551-6949, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.




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.


Rhode Island


4.3    Metal detectors and other location devices are restricted to designated areas during specified time periods.



South Carolina


Metal Detection Policy for South Carolina State Parks


State Historic Sites and Other Known Archaeological Sites


State Historic Sites and Other Known Archaeological Sites Metal detection is prohibited at State Historic Site properties. The primary emphasis of management at State Historic Sites is to preserve cultural resources. Additionally, other State Parks encompass historical areas that are significant known archeological sites, including sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The State Park Service afford such sites the same protections as are allocated for State Historic Sites.


Cultural artifacts provide the foundation for public interpretation and education at State Historic Sites. These artifacts, whether recovered from the surface or below ground, are almost always fragile and are certainly irreplaceable. From an interpretive and educational perspective, removal or movement of these artifacts can deplete their value. When the original location and context go undocumented, they are essentially destroyed.

Accordingly, use of metal detectors is prohibited at the following locations:

·        Blackstock Battlefield Site

·        Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

·        Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site

·        Edisto Beach Spanish Mount Shell Mound

·        Francis Marion Burial Site

·        Hampton Plantation State Historic Site

·        Hanging Rock

·        Hunting Island State Park Lighthouse Complex

·        Isaac Hayne Burial Site

·        Landsford Canal State Park

·        Long Bluff

·        Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

·        Oconee Station State Historic Site

·        Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site

·        Rivers Bridge State Historic Site

·        Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site

·        Thomas Sumter Burial Site



Other State Park Properties


Other state park properties whose primary resources are not historic or where archaeological sites have not yet been identified nonetheless have the potential for the presence of archaeological and historic sites. Consideration must be given to the protection of these properties as potential archaeological sites, as well as natural resources, infrastructure, general aesthetics, quality of the visitors' experience and safety.


While metal detecting may be allowed in certain areas at some parks, it is to be assumed that State Parks have an absolute prohibition against metal detecting. Any metal detecting should be guided by the respective park's mission and core resources, while giving consideration to this activity's potential impacts. All metal detecting activities on State Parks require prior approval of the Park Manager or the Park Manager's designee. In general, all metal detecting activities will be dictated by these general guidelines:


A.      A. Metal detecting should be conducted only in non-sensitive areas where responsible recreational metal detecting is to be allowed. Areas such as those containing delicate or exemplary structures (such as historic buildings), land formations (such as sand dunes), and other sensitive resources (such as rare endangered or fragile vegetations or habitats) will be absolutely restricted from metal detecting.


B.        B.Digging is restricted to areas where damage will not occur. Areas susceptible to damage such as forested areas, erosion prone areas (such as slopes), lawns and landscaped areas will not be disturbed. Metal detector use will be prohibited in areas where power lines, water lines, sewer lines, phone lines/cables. etc. are known to be buried.


C.     C. Prior to each use of a metal detector, visitors must secure the approval of the Park Manager. A signed permit shall be issued and must be in the possession of the permittee when on the park. Such permit shall specify the area(s), date(s) and times approved for metal detecting, as well as other special conditions.


    D. Historic or prehistoric artifacts will not be removed from the park. If a visitor discovers historic or prehistoric artifacts while using a metal detector, he / she is to leave the artifacts in place and notify a member of the park staff.


E.       E. Modem, personal items such as jewelry, class rings, etc. will be turned over to the park manager.


Regulatory and Legal Authority


Section 51-3-70 (Rules and Regulations for State Parks) of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina authorizes the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism to make such rules and regulations as it deems advisable for the protection, preservation, operation, use, and maintenance and for the most beneficial service to the general public of the State Parks in this state. In addition. removal of cultural artifacts from state parks may be considered a violation of Title 16 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Code.


South Dakota


Application for Metal Detector Permit in SD State Parks

Please contact the park you are interested in and send the completed form below directly to them.
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Department Area:________________________________________________________

Permit issued to: Name:__________________________________________________


City: ________________ State: ________ Zip Code: __________

Phone #: Daytime: _________________ Evening: _________________

Date Issued: _____________________

Permit Is Valid From: ______________________ Through: ______________________


41:03:01:29. Restrictions on use of metal detectors – Written authorization required. No person may use a metal detector on lands owned, leased, managed, or controlled by the department without written authorization from the site manager or other department representative. Written authorization may include conditions for permitted use specific to the applicable area.


41:03:01:05.  Destruction or removal of natural features prohibited -- Exception. A person may not destroy, damage, or remove a living or dead tree, shrub, or vegetation; disturb any earth, rocks, minerals, natural formations, or historic relics; or destroy, damage, or remove any antlers, skulls, or other parts of animal carcass located on lands owned or leased by the department without written permission from the secretary or a designated agent. However, a person participating in religious activities in Bear Butte State Park or recreation areas and lakeside use areas adjacent to the Missouri River may use grasses and forbs taken from the park.



This permit applies only to the following area _____________________________ and may be used ONLY during the hours of.


Permits must be carried by the permittee or be available in the vehicle. Permittee must inform department staff in advance before using detectors by either stopping at the office prior to detecting or calling a day in advance to ____________________. Tools used for digging are limited to probes not over 6 inches long, one inch wide and one-quarter inch thick. Sand scoop or sieve not over 10 inches in diameter. All excavations shall be returned to their original condition prior to the beginning of new excavations or leaving the area. Holes may only be a maximum of 6" in depth. A litter apron or bag is to be worn or carried during metal detector use and all litter disposed of in an approved trash container. All found items will be brought to the office for inspection by department staff. The department retains the right to keep anything of historical, archeological or culturally significant value. Department staff must approve any exceptions or changes to these restrictions.


Permittee Signature:_____________________________________Date: _____________

Department Representative:_______________________________Date: _____________





Can I use a metal detector?
Use of metal detectors is allowed by an individual engaged in a limited search for a lost item under supervision of the Park Manager. No other usage is allowed without written permission from the State Archaeologist and the Director of State Parks.




(l) Metal detector.
It is an offense to operate or use a metal detector.




Metal detecting is allowed in Utah State Parks.  However, it is illegal to remove anything from a state park, so any items found must be turned into the park manager.


After further research, metal detecting is allowed in state parks only with a special use permit issued by the park manager.   Anything found in a park must be turned in and cannot be kept under any circumstance.




The use of metal detectors is permitted only in areas designated by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation and when their use does not conflict with other visitors to Department lands, or disturb lawn areas, rare or fragile plant or animal habitats or archeologically sensitive areas. Users must report to authorized personnel before using a metal detector. Probing in permitted areas may be done only with a small hand tool to a maximum depth of three (3) inches. Any artifacts which may have historical or archeological significance are the property of the State of Vermont and shall be surrendered immediately to authorized personnel. All disturbed areas must be restored to their original state. Use of metal detectors is prohibited in areas of obvious historic significance, e.g., cellar holes, stonewalls, etc.




§1.13 Metal Detectors

No person shall use a metal detector or similar device within a park without the express written permission of the Park Authority.




Metal Detecting
Metal detecting is permitted at more than 67 state parks throughout Washington. Users of metal detectors must register first with Washington State Parks and comply with posted regulations. Rules are summarized in "Your Guide to Metal Detecting in Washington State Parks," available from park rangers or by calling (360) 902-8500; Telephone Device for the Deaf (360) 664-3133.


Washington State Metal Detecting Directive: Detecting Directive (10-05).doc


West Virginia


No person shall remove any man-made or natural object, material, substance, plant, animal or historical or archeological relic or artifact from a state park, state forest, or state wildlife management area, except those legally acquired through hunting and fishing in accordance with W. Va. Code §20-2-1 et seq. or upon proper authorization in writing by the Chief of Parks and Recreation, Division of Natural Resources.





Using Metal Detectors on DNR Land

Anyone using a metal detector on Department of Natural Resources land must first get a permit from the property manager.

Conditions of Permit

In state parks, state recreation areas and developed recreation areas in state forests, metal detectors may be used only under conditions that:

  • don't interfere with the enjoyment of recreational facilities by the public

  • protect the natural resources and maintained turf areas

  • preserve historical and archaeologically significant items.

Permits are issued from May 1 to October 15; no metal detector use is permitted during the rest of the year. Permits usually are limited to the hours of 6-10 a.m. and 6-10 p.m., but the property manager or representative may extend or reduce the time to not interfere with other users.

Metal detector use is permitted only:

  • on unturfed areas or

  • on beaches or

  • on unturfed shoreline below the ordinary high water level or

  • when locating a specific item lost by a property user or

  • when specifically authorized by the State Archaeologist on a planned project

All excavations must be returned to their original condition before beginning new excavations or leaving the area.


Found Items

Found items must be turned in to the property office before the permit holder leaves the property or at the end of the permit period.

Under Wisconsin law (s. 44.47, Wis. Stats. [exit DNR]), the state retains the title to all objects of archaeological interest. Objects that the property manager suspects may be of archaeological interest will be sent to the DNR archaeologist along with the name and address of the finder. If discovered to be of no archaeological value, they will be returned to the finder.


Objects whose owners might be found are held at the property office. If unclaimed, and return is requested, the items will be returned to the finder at the end of a 60-day waiting period.


The finder may keep cash and coins.

Occasionally persons with metal detectors are hired to find a specific item lost by a park visitor. If a metal detector user has a written request to search for a specific item, that item doesn't have to be turned into the office if found. The conditions of the permit may be expanded to implement the search of a specific item.



In cases where the use of a metal detector may support an archaeological study, please contact a person who is familiar with the area and with the use of a metal detector.

Anyone engaging in field archaeology must get a permit from the state archaeologist [exit DNR] before getting a DNR metal detector permit.


How to Get a Permitt

To get a metal detector permit, contact the manager of the property where you want to use the detector. For more Information, ask Wisconsin State Parks, (608) 266-2181. Last Revised: Thursday August 24 2006




(c) The use of any mineral or metal detecting device at a state historic or archeological site is prohibited, except for official use. The use of any mineral or metal detecting device at a state park or recreation area is prohibited without written permission of the Superintendent.