Metal Detecting In New Hampshire (Ultimate Guide in 2024)

Metal detecting in New Hampshire, with its rich history and beautiful landscapes, is a treasure hunter’s dream.

From colonial-era coins to relics from the American Revolution, New Hampshire’s soil is steeped in history waiting to be discovered. 

With over 1,300 lakes and an extensive coastline, it’s not just the land that holds secrets, offering varied environments for metal detecting adventures.

So, in this guide we’ll discover the legal considerations, best places, and parks for metal detection in New Hampshire.

Let’s dive in!

Metal Detecting In New Hampshire

Metal Detecting In New Hampshire

Metal detecting in New Hampshire is quite an adventure because of the state’s rich history and the variety of places where you can explore.

New Hampshire, founded in 1788, is one of the original 13 colonies in the United States, so the ground beneath is a treasure trove of historical artifacts waiting to be discovered.

This state offers both lively communities and serene; with a population of around 1.36 million people as of 2023.

One reason New Hampshire is ideal for metal detection is its vast and varied landscapes, ranging from beautiful beaches to dense forests.

The state’s history during the colonial times, its role in the American Revolution, and during the industrial era means that metal detectorists can uncover a wide range of items.

Typical finds in New Hampshire range from colonial and Civil War-era coins to buttons, bullets, and artifacts related to the area’s rich Native American history.

More recently lost items, such as jewelry and modern coins, are also common finds, making metal detecting in New Hampshire rewarding.

Is it legal to metal detect in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, using a metal detector is mostly allowed, but there are some important rules to follow. 

You can use your metal detector in many public places like beaches and parks, but it’s a good idea to check with the local town or city laws first. 

If you want to search on private property, you always need to ask the property owner for permission first.

If you find something worth more than $50, there are specific rules about reporting those finds.

When it comes to historical sites or lands owned by the state, like state parks, there are stricter rules.

You usually need a special permit to search in these areas because they want to protect historical artifacts. 

If you find anything that seems old or important, it’s best to report it. This way, you help preserve the history of New Hampshire.

Also, when digging, you must fill back any holes you make, and there’s a limit on how deep you can dig.

Do you need a Metal Detecting Permit in New Hampshire?

While New Hampshire doesn’t require a statewide permit for metal detecting, some parks or cities might have their own rules. 

However, you should consider checking the specific guidelines of the location you’re interested in or contact park staff for details.

Where can you metal detect in New Hampshire?

1. White Mountain National Forest

This is the largest area available for metal detecting in New Hampshire, offering vast natural landscapes to explore. 

While metal detecting is allowed, it’s recommended to contact the forest management for any specific permissions or guidelines.

Ideal for those interested in exploring natural forests and potentially uncovering historical artifacts.

2. Hampton Beach

A popular summer destination with over three miles of beach. It’s known for high foot traffic, especially after long weekends, increasing the chances of finding lost items.

Besides metal detecting, the area offers swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and boating.

Name of BeachLocationMetal Detecting
Bear Brook State ParkAllenstown, NHDepends on park rules
Clough State ParkWeare, NHDepends on park rules
Echo Lake State ParkNorth Conway, NHDepends on park rules
Ellacoya State ParkGilford, NHDepends on park rules
Forest Lake State ParkDalton, NHDepends on park rules
Franconia Notch State Park – Echo Lake BeachFranconia, NHDepends on park rules
Greenfield State ParkGreenfield, NHDepends on park rules
Hampton Beach State ParkHampton, NHDepends on park rules
Jenness State BeachRye, NHDepends on park rules
Jericho Mountain State ParkBerlin, NHDepends on park rules
Lake Francis State ParkPittsburg, NHDepends on park rules
Lake Tarleton State ParkPiermont, NHDepends on park rules
Livermore Falls Recreation AreaHolderness, NHDepends on park rules
Mollidgewock State ParkErrol, NHDepends on park rules
Mt. Sunapee State ParkNewbury, NHDepends on park rules

3. North Beach

Adjacent to Hampton Beach, North Beach offers a quieter alternative with the same beautiful sandy shores. 

It’s open to the public with lifeguards and facilities during the summer months. A serene spot for metal detecting, especially during off-peak times.

4. Ellacoya State Park

Known for its beach, picnic tables, and pavilions, Ellacoya State Park is a local favorite. The park’s popularity makes it a promising location for metal detecting after busy weekends.

Offers a mix of recreational activities including swimming and picnicking.

5. Pawtuckaway State Park

This park features a beach and pavilions within the guidelines for metal detecting on state-owned land. 

It’s recommended to contact the park’s office for detailed permissions. Ideal for a day out with family, offering hiking, swimming, and nature exploration.

Metal detecting clubs in New Hampshire

1. Granite State Treasure Hunters Club

Website: Granite State Treasure Hunters Club

The club offers a community for metal detecting enthusiasts in New Hampshire, providing opportunities for fellowship and information sharing.

2. Northeast Metal Detecting

This club is dedicated to promoting the hobby of metal detecting in the Northeast region, fostering a community of treasure hunters.

Can you metal detect on BLM Land in New Hampshire?

Yes, you can use a metal detector on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in New Hampshire, but there are important rules to follow.

First, you need to check if the area you’re interested in requires a permit. Not all places do, but it’s better to make sure before you start.

If you find any historic or archaeological items, you must leave them where you found them and report your find to the BLM office. 

You can also find our guide on metal detection New Jersey, In Louisiana, metal detection New York, and In West Virginia; for successful hunt.

Is there any buried treasure in New Hampshire?

There are stories about buried treasure in New Hampshire, but finding one can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

One of the most famous tales is about Ocean Born Mary’s treasure, linked to a pirate named Don Pedro.

According to legend, gold and valuable items were buried on her property in Henniker, New Hampshire.

However, despite many attempts, no treasure has been found, and it remains a part of local folklore rather than a confirmed fact.

Another story talks about treasures hidden in the White Mountains, supposedly left by early settlers, Native Americans, or even pirates. 

These tales inspire treasure hunters, but again, there’s no solid evidence that such treasures exist or have been found.

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