Treasure Hunting in New York State

by Goody Clairenstein
Go hunting for treasure in New York state.

Go hunting for treasure in New York state.

Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

Treasure hunting is an adventurous way for the old and young to get fresh air and outdoor activity. There are numerous locations throughout New York where you can begin investigating the local history by using a metal detector, or even the simple power of sight. Take a friend and a picnic for a day of hunting for treasure -- you never know what you'll find.

Treasure Hunting Clubs

Numerous treasure-hunting clubs are scattered throughout New York state, which are listed on the Treasure Chronicle ( You can browse the complete listing for New York state treasure-hunting clubs, which include contact information and website address if the club uses one. Clubs typically arrange periodic meetings and treasure-hunting expeditions, and welcome new members of any age. It's also possible to set up your own treasure-hunting club with friends in New York -- all you need are a group of people, a meeting place and a dose of enthusiasm to get you treasure hunt going.


Because of its high volume of human traffic throughout the ages, New York state has much to offer the dedicated treasure hunter. Recent artifacts of modern life are some of the most frequently encountered items on New York state treasure hunts, but remnants of past civilizations can also be uncovered if you dig a little deeper. Some of the many Native American peoples who populated the state of New York include the Abenaki, Cayuga, Erie, Laurentian, Mohawk, Mohican, Mohegan, Munsee, Oneida, Onondaga, Poospatuck and Seneca. Commonly discarded items from their settlements, such as weapon components and construction materials, are scattered throughout the Empire State.

Metal Detecting

Metal detecting is a popular way to hunt for treasure in New York state. Metal detecting can turn up Indian-head pennies, mercury dimes, buffalo nickels and silver dimes in locations like Deposit, New York, where Jeff Herke documented his haul in 1989. A metal detector can retail for as little as $50 as of July 2011. New York's beaches are also popular places to metal detect. Long Island offers several promising metal-detecting locations, including Treasure Unlimited locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties and local treasure wrecks on the Long Island Sound.

Legal Considerations

Research the restrictions are on metal detecting and treasure hunting in your area before you begin your expedition. To hunt for treasure on public land, you may need a permit from the local parks-and-recreation office. To hunt for treasure on private land, you need permission from the landowner -- to ensure yourself against legal disputes, get permission in writing if you're digging for treasure in someone's backyard.

About the Author

Goody Clairenstein has been a writer since 2004. She has sat on the editorial board of several non-academic journals and writes about creative writing, editing and languages. She has worked in professional publishing and news reporting in print and broadcast journalism. Her poems have appeared in "Small Craft Warnings." Clairenstein earned her Bachelor of Arts in European languages from Skidmore College.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images