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Flood Resources

Metal Detecting and Gold Panning

Use of metal detectors is a hobby for many, and can be a benefit to a park, in that finding and removing metal objects from beaches, parking areas, and campsites helps prevent injury and/or damage to vehicles and equipment. However, many parks are located in areas of historic and archeological significance and removing artifacts from state land is against the law. Also, the accompanying digging (when an object is found) can disturb turf areas and/or rare or fragile plant and animal communities.

Metal detecting is permitted with conditions:

  • Only in areas previously disturbed by park development (constructed beaches, roads, parking lots, campsites, etc.)
  • Other areas must first be approved by the Commissioner of Forests and Parks, in consultation with the Division for Historic Preservation.
  • Must report to Park Staff before metal detecting. (Suggest you record name/address/phone for follow-up, should that become necessary).
  • Disturbed areas shall be restored to their original state. Artifacts of historical significance are property of the State and must be surrendered immediately, along with any information as to the location of the find.
  • Probing in permitted areas only with a hand tool, to a maximum depth of three inches.
  • Use prohibited in areas of obvious historical significance (stonewalls, cellar holes, etc.).
  • User agrees to pick up and properly dispose of all items found, even if trash (bottle caps, pull-tabs, etc.).

Metal Detecting World

Gold Panning


You're probably familiar with the famous California Gold Rush, but how many know that one occurred in Plymouth, Vermont? Farmers discovered placer gold in Broad Brook and for a time gave up their farming to pan for gold. Canny Yankees that they were, they soon calculated that they weren't really earning more money than they had from farming, and the Vermont Gold Rush was over. Gold can still be panned from Broad Brook today. Camp Plymouth state park is a favorite location for gold panners in the parks. Mechanical devices such as sluices are not permitted on state lands, only traditional hand panning methods are permitted. Also see:


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