Metal Detecting in Vermont – Rivers of GOLD!

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Cory Haasnoot

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Vermont, what a beautiful state to do some treasure hunting in. I assume you have landed on this page because you are planning to do some metal detecting in Vermont. You have definitely come to the right place. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know to have a successful treasure hunt in Vermont.

When you read on you will learn what metal detecting laws you should follow while in Vermont. You will also discover some of the best places to metal detect in this state and even a few of the best resorts and lodges you can stay at while visiting Vermont. We will also dive into some of the lost treasures of Vermont and the best metal detector to use while detecting in Vermont.

So read on to find out everything you need to know about metal detecting in the Green Mountain state of Vermont in this comprehensive guide!


Metal Detecting Laws in Vermont

If you plan on metal detecting in Vermont you will want to know the laws that pertain to treasure hunting and metal detecting before you venture out. In this section, you will learn what are some of Vermont’s metal detecting laws. There are no particular laws pertaining to metal detecting directly but you must follow the two laws that I lay out below.

There are two main laws that pertain to every state in the U.S. that we will explain in the following.

ARPA act of 1979

The ARPA act of 1979 or Archaeological Resources Protection Act is the main law you need to abide by when metal detecting in Virginia. It essentially states that you will not disturb, remove or desecrate any known archeology site on Federal Lands and Native American Lands of the United States. So this act pertains to every state in the Union. All other laws described below follow the ARPA act of 1979.


Antiquities Act of 1906

The Antiquities Act of 1906 was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt. This law was put into place to protect the looting of Indian artifacts that was being done mostly in the western United States at the time. Because of this law, you are not allowed to remove any artifact from State or Federal Lands that’s more than 100 years old.


Can You Metal Detect In Vermont’s State Parks?

Metal detecting in Vermont’s state parks as long as you ask permission from the superintendent of the particular park you want to treasure hunt at. There are also some rules and regulations you need to follow. Every park is different so make sure you know the rules before you take that metal detector and start looking for treasure.

A few things to consider before metal detecting in Vermont’s State Parks:

  • Metal detecting is only allowed on areas that were previously disturbed when they developed the park such as constructed beaches, parking lots, campsites, and roadways.
  • Digging is only permitted in certain areas and only with the use of hand tools.
  • You are only allowed to dig to a depth of 3 inches.
  • Contact park staff before you start metal detecting
  • No metal detecting in areas that are of known historical or archeological significance.
  • Any historical artifact that you find will need to be immediately turned over to park staff and show them exactly where you found the item.
  • If you find trash while metal detecting you agree to pick it up and properly dispose of it.
  • If you dig you need to put the disturbed area back to its original state.
  • You will not dig up or disturb rare and fragile plants or animal communities.

If you follow these rules and use proper metal detecting ethics you should have no problem being able to enjoy a day of treasure hunting at Vermont’s State Parks.


Is There Gold in Vermont?

Yes, there is gold in Vermont but not in large quantities. But there is placer gold and small nuggets that can be found while panning for gold in the rivers and streams of Vermont.

Vermont Counties Where Gold Has Been Found In

Here is a list of the counties in Vermont where gold has been found:

  • Bennington
  • Addison
  • Lamoille
  • Orange
  • Orleans
  • Rutland
  • Washington
  • Windsor
  • Chittenden
  • Windham

Rivers in Vermont Where Gold Has Been Found

There are a number of rivers in Vermont where gold prospectors still find placer gold and they are:

  • Minister Brook – Worchester, VT
  • Mad River – Warren, VT
  • Ottauquechee River – Bridgeport, VT
  • Gihon River – Eden, VT
  • Lamoille River – Johnson, VT
  • Missisquoi River – Lowell, VT
  • White River – Stockbridge and Rochester, VT
  • Little River – Stowe, VT
  • Gold Brook – Stowe, VT
  • Williams River – Ludlow, VT
  • Rock River – Newfane and Dover, VT
  • Shady Rill Brook – Wrightsville, VT

Before you do any gold panning in Vermont make sure that you are not on private property because many of the rivers and streams here go through people’s land. So you want to make sure you are accessing the river on public land and if you are not sure ask. Also, it’s a good idea to contact the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to know the current regulations in regards to panning for gold in Vermont. There also may be seasonal restrictions and a limit on the size of equipment you can use while panning for gold.


Digging Deeper: How to Metal Detect in Rivers and Lakes


Where Are The Best Places to Metal Detect in Vermont?

Vermont offers a number of places that are great for metal detectorists to treasure hunt at. In the following, I will list a few of the best places to metal detect while in Vermont.

Woodford State Park

Woodford State Park is a great place to do some metal detecting. Its located in the Green Mountain National Forest at an elevation of 2400 feet and encompasses 396 acres. They offer over 103 campsites that can be metal detected if they are not in use. Early settlers once occupied this area so you will have no trouble finding interesting items on your hunt. You will enjoy the 207 miles of trails that go around the Adams Reservoir that is at the center of the park.

Other activities to enjoy would be fishing, camping, hiking, swimming, and stand-up paddling board among other fun activities. While you are in Woodford, Vermont you will want to visit the Woodford Historical Society Museum to get your history fix on!


Ghost Town of Glastenbury

In the 1880s Glastenbury was a thriving town of 250 residents. In 1898 a great flood swept the town of Glastenbury destroying everything in its path. All the residents eventually left and the town was never rebuilt. Now there is not much left but some old foundations of buildings. But beware before you venture to this area of Vermont because people claim that it’s one of the most haunted spots in Vermont.

Over the years a number of people who were hiking in the Glastenbury Mountains went missing and they have never been found. But if you don’t believe in ghosts or superstition you will probably be able to find some interesting relics of the past where this town once stood.


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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

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