Metal Detecting In New York (Ultimate Guide)

Metal detecting in New York is an exciting adventure that thousands of people enjoy every year. 

This hobby combines the thrill of exploration with the potential for discovering hidden treasures, ranging from ancient coins to valuable relics.

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of metal detecting in New York, highlight must-visit spots, and share tips. 

Let’s dive in!

Metal Detecting In New York

Metal Detecting In New York

Metal detecting in New York can be a fascinating activity because of the state’s rich history and diverse population.

New York has a long history, from Native American cultures and early European settlers to its role in the Revolutionary War and as a gateway for immigrants at Ellis Island.

This history means there could be a wide variety of interesting items waiting to be found.

New York’s large and diverse population, currently around 19.45 million people, also means that there have been countless activities, gatherings, and developments over the years. 

This increases the chances of finding unique and valuable objects with a metal detector.

The state is particularly good for metal detecting because of its many beaches, parks, and historical sites. 

However, you should check local laws and obtain necessary permissions, as some areas may have restrictions.

Some of the best places for metal detecting include the beaches of Long Island, such as Jones Beach or Robert Moses State Park. 

Upstate New York offers natural beauty and potential historical finds in areas like the Adirondacks or the Catskills. 

Historical sites, although requiring permission, can sometimes allow detecting and might yield historical artifacts.

Is metal detection legal in New York?

Yes, using a metal detector is legal in New York, but there are rules you need to follow. In state parks, you may need a permit, and in some places, metal detecting is not allowed at all. 

For example, it’s not allowed in state parks or historic sites without getting a special permit first. 

Also, in New York City, you need to have a permit to use a metal detector in public parks, and there are only certain areas where you can look for metal objects. 

So, you should ensure to check the specific rules for the area you’re interested in before you start your metal detecting adventure.

Penalties for Violating Metal Detecting Laws in New York

Breaking metal detecting laws in New York can result in fines, imprisonment, and the loss of any items found.

For example, disturbing artifacts over 100 years old without a permit can lead to a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.

Not obtaining a permit for archaeological research can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

Where can I metal detect in New York?

1. Private Properties

You can metal detect on private lands; with the owner’s explicit permission. However, you should ensure you have written consent to avoid any legal issues.

2. Beaches

Some public beaches may allow metal detecting during off-season months or in designated areas. But you should check local ordinances or contact local authorities for specific rules.

Beach NameLocationMetal Detecting Status
Jones Beach State ParkLong Island, NYRequires Permit
Robert Moses State ParkLong Island, NYRequires Permit
Sunken Meadow State ParkLong Island, NYRequires Permit
Coney Island BeachBrooklyn, NYCheck Local Regulations
Orchard BeachBronx, NYCheck Local Regulations
Rockaway BeachQueens, NYCheck Local Regulations

3. Parks

Local parks may have specific regulations regarding metal detecting. Some might allow it with restrictions or require a permit.

Contacting the park’s administration or local government will provide accurate information.

Park NameMetal Detection Status
Allegany State Park – Quaker AreaContact Park
Bear Mountain State ParkContact Park
Beaver Island State ParkContact Park
Buttermilk Falls State ParkContact Park
Caumsett State Historic Park PreserveContact Park
Chenango Valley State ParkContact Park
Grafton Lakes State ParkContact Park
Green Lakes State ParkContact Park
Letchworth State ParkContact Park
Minnewaska State Park PreserveContact Park
Niagara Falls State ParkContact Park
Watkins Glen State ParkContact Park

4. Historical Sites

Generally, metal detecting is not allowed in historical sites, especially those managed by the state or federal government, due to the potential disturbance of historical artifacts.

Historical SiteMetal Detecting Status
Bennington Battlefield State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Clermont State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Clinton House State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Crailo State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Crown Point State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Darwin Martin House State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Fort Montgomery State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Fort Ontario State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Ganondagan State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Grant Cottage State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Herkimer Home State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Hyde Hall State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Jay Heritage CenterContact Authorities
John Brown Farm State Historic SiteContact Authorities
John Burroughs Memorial State Historic SiteContact Authorities
John Jay Homestead State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Johnson Hall State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Knox’s Headquarters State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Lorenzo State Historic SiteContact Authorities
National Purple Heart Hall of HonorContact Authorities
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Olana State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Old Fort Niagara State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Oriskany Battlefield State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Philipse Manor Hall State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic ParkContact Authorities
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Schoharie Crossing State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Schuyler Mansion State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Senate House State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic ParkContact Authorities
Staatsburgh State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Steuben Memorial State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Stonewall Inn State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Stony Point Battlefield State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic SiteContact Authorities
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic SiteContact Authorities

5. National Forests and State Lands

These areas often require a permit for metal detecting, mainly if the activity is for archaeological purposes.

Recreational metal detecting might be allowed in certain areas but check with the managing agency first.

Metal detecting clubs in New York

1. Long Island Treasure Hunters Club

Location: Bohemia

Phone Number: Not provided

A well-established club with a supportive community that organizes regular excursions and meetings to share experiences and treasures.

2. E.A.R.T.H. – Electronic Archeological Recovery Th’Ers

Location: Durhamville

Known for its focus on electronic archaeological recovery, this club welcomes both beginners and experienced hunters, offering a wealth of knowledge and tips.

3. Southern Tier Metal Detectors Club

Location: Endicott

A club that caters to metal detecting enthusiasts in the Southern Tier region, fostering a friendly environment for members to learn and grow in the hobby.

4. Empire State Metal Detector Association

Location: Latham

This association is dedicated to promoting the hobby of metal detecting in New York, offering opportunities for members to engage in various types of treasure hunting activities.

5. Northeast Metal Detectors Club

Location: Capital District region of upstate New York

Phone Number: (518) 356-0564

A diverse club catering to all levels of metal detecting enthusiasts, providing a range of activities from coin shooting to relic hunting, with a welcoming and helpful community.

6. Westchester County, New York Metal Detecting Club

Location: White Plains

A unique club emphasizing camaraderie and knowledge-sharing among members, focusing on collaborative hunts and community engagement without formal structures or dues.

7. New York City’s ONLY Metal Detecting Club

Location: New York City

An exclusive club in NYC dedicated to metal detecting, offering a niche community for enthusiasts to connect and explore the city’s hidden treasures.

Is metal detecting allowed in NYS parks?

Yes, metal detecting is allowed in many New York State (NYS) parks, but there are specific rules you must follow. 

Also, there are certain areas in parks where you can’t use metal detectors, like in protected historical or archaeological sites.

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

Can you metal detect on BLM Land in New York?

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

Before you start, you should contact the local BLM office for specific guidelines and to see if you need a permit.

You should also not disturb historical or archaeological sites, and you must not remove any items you find from these places.

So, you can see the BLM New York Map before going to the metal detection.

Is there any buried treasure in New York?

There’s no confirmed buried treasure in New York like the kind you see in pirate movies. 

However, New York has a rich history, and over the years, there have been stories and legends about hidden treasures from pirates and colonial times.

Some people enjoy searching for these treasures as a hobby, using metal detectors and exploring historical sites.

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