Metal Detecting in WISCONSIN [Laws, Locations, Gold & More!]

Metal Detecting in Wisconsin

Wisconsin, even if it is pretty small of a state, it still holds several possibilities for detecting enthusiasts!

Yet, this doesn’t mean that there are no regulating laws for the hobby in the state! In fact, there are some rules that you should respect and that I will address in a simple way in this Post …

… In addition to that, I talk about:

  • What spots you should you opt for there?
  • I recommend a good detection device for the state type of soil
  • A little taste on Gold detecting there
  • A good list of clubs to join
  • Some beaches worth exploring …

… As well as more useful info!

What are the metal detecting laws in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is a small state, surrounded by two great lakes, having long winters and glorious summers!

People who have developed the hobby of finding metals during their leisure period will find this place being pretty interesting. But the government and the Archaeological Resources Prevention Act has laid down some general laws, which the people need to follow while metal detecting.

So, before you venture out to this new land to pursue your hobby, here are a few laws you should pay attention to if you do not want to face legal charges :

  • In Wisconsin, detecting activities are prohibited in state-owned lands
  • Exploring the Kickapoo Valley Reserve is also banned, as it can cause damage to the natural resources
  • While detecting, if any object of archaeological importance is found, it must be handed over to the concerned department
  • You should not dig anything which is supposed to be an artifact or any object that can be older than 100 years
  • You should avoid detecting in areas which are privately owned, without prior permission from the owner
  • If you are planning to turn the layers of town, city villages or parks, you should inform the local authorities beforehand, to avoid legal actions against you

Where to go detecting in Wisconsin?

Being surrounded by two great lakes- Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, and having a generous area, covered by forests or farmlands, this state is an exciting place for hobbyists for sure!

In addition, the land is nurtured by the Mississippi River (Check this detecting article in Mississippi) flowing along the west coast. The site has seen many migrants; thus, any place near caves and water sources are a promising place to find some valuable artifacts.

Other places where detecting enthusiasts are likely to come across valuable metals or pieces of art are:

  • The caves of Nelson
  • The woods of Crivitz
  • The town of LaPointe
  • Bradford beach alongside Lake Michigan in Milwaukee
  • The remains of the Wildcat mountain
  • The ghost town of Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee city parks like Jacobus Park
  • The abandoned towns of Donaldson and Star Lake
  • The parts of Northern Wisconsin
  • The rivers of Wisconsin

All these places and farmlands have been found to yield various relics of the ancient civilization, dwelling there. Thus, these places can be ideal for quenching your metal detection thirst if you are in Wisconsin.

While moving your sensor wand through these places, do keep in mind that you follow the mentioned rules and regulations of the country.

A Decent Detector for Wisconsin Soil!

Minelab Equinox 800

The major part of Wisconsin is either surrounded by lakes or river coastline!

In fact, detecting in such areas demands a suitable waterproof device which is able to withstand the submersible levels of water.

Thus, one of the most adapted machines for Wisconsin lands is the Minelab Equinox 800 (Check it Right Here at Amazon!).

It has a Multi-IQ technology, which is perfect for the appetite of all the detection enthusiasts. It comes with an additional gold detecting feature, which makes it a go-to device for treasure hunting.

The gold mode can easily detect small gold nuggets in mineralized lands. It has 3 additional modes for parks, beaches, and fields. The user profile button on the screen allows the user to shift from one detecting mode to another.

The screen backlight can also be adjusted according to the environment. It works on both high and low frequencies for better detection.  It comes with a wireless headphone and a USB charging cable with a magnetic connector.

Finally, if for some reason this model is not adapted for your current budget … You may want to opt for this Cheaper Detector Here at Amazon! It is a Fisher model that works just fine.

Beach detecting in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has seen footfalls of the early European civilization. The state has been centre of American culture since decades. The geographical surrounding of the country is also enriched by culturally rich countries like Minnesota and water bodies like Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

Several persons have reported finding various coins, jewelry, and artifacts in the country. The coastline running through the lakes and the isthmus, are great places to go for treasure hunting.

Bradford Beach is the most popular site where you can spot a number of detecting enthusiasts wading their sensor in search of relics or other valuable.

This requires an excellent waterproof sensor as you have to submerge your device while searching through lakes. But according to the rules and regulations laid out by the archaeological department, it is not allowed to detect metals in Lake Superior.

It is said that there are numerous remains of cultural heritage in the form of relics and artifacts, buried deep in the lakes. It is one of the significant reasons that the hobby in most of the beaches are not allowed, as the authorities are Keen on protecting their cultural remains. Thus, you should ask the local authorities before you go for beaches in there.

Searching for Gold there …

Gold prospecting is the most exciting aspect of metal detecting! Who will not want to get a stroke of good luck? And if it comes while pursuing what you love for recreation, I bet you are not asking for more.

The beaches of the southern coastline of Lake Michigan is an ideal place to find gold nuggets and flakes. The black sand of the beaches is known to have deposits of small gold chunks and flakes…

…You are likely to come across some deposits while searching through the land. The Wisconsin glacier is known to erode gold deposits and dispose of them in the black soils of the beaches. But it is challenging to find gold, as they are in the form of sand grains.

Apart from the beaches, the ghost towns and the old remains of the towns are some of the places where you can find some pieces of gold in the ancient remains. But do not get disheartened, if you are not able to come up with gold, there are various other things that you are likely to find like coins, pieces of jewelry, broken parts of statues of artifacts.

For more solid info about this topic, I encourage you to check this Gold Detection Post! I’ve spent days to put it together so you will able to increase your chances to find this valuable metal.

What other finds to expect there?

Wisconsin has a history of rich cultural abundance. The state has seen many things, from the earliest dawn of civilization to the civil wars…

…Thus, there lay relics of the old culture, buried deep in the Wisconsin lands. Many people are interested in finding coins and chunks of jewelry. On the other hand, many people are interested in finding the historical treasures or relics of an older civilization.

It may include pottery, statues or parts of utensils and other items. In Wisconsin, the things that have been majorly found are the old historical remains.

They depict the rich culture; the country has inherited from the migrants. The major things that draw the attention of hobbyists are old coins, lost jewelry, and some museum worth craft items…

…But the pure thrill of finding an old penny is enough to encourage the new enthusiasts to carry on their hobby. The folk tales speak of various treasures that had been hidden in the coastal areas, along the lakes of the country.

Since decades, this folk take has attracted a large number of enthusiasts to discover this hidden treasure of Wisconsin. Thus, there is a lot to find in this state. Just grab your beloved machine and fly to Wisconsin unless you are already there!

Are there good clubs in Wisconsin?

People love to spend their time in clubs while drinking and grooving on their favorite time. So, why not people who love searching for metals, have a club also?

There are a number of clubs in Wisconsin that welcome hobbyists (including total beginners) with open hands. Here are a few clubs that you can join, while pursuing your hobby in Wisconsin.

  • Midstate MD Club: This one knows the thrill of the hunt, that the members crave for. It offers annual hunt programs, rewards, and many more things to encourage them.
  • Four Lakes MD Club: This club is located in the city of Madison. This capital city club organizes educational training programs, counseling, and practice opportunities.
  • Central Wisconsin MD Detecting Group
  • Northwoods Adventurers
  • Three season treasure hunters
  • Wisconsin Association of treasures
  • Title town of treasure seeker
  • Treasure trash and artifacts

All these clubs are located in different parts of the state, they don’t only give rewards and organize hunt programs, but they also provide essential training and counselling to the newcomers.

If you are in Wisconsin and want to learn to detect, you can join any of these clubs!

Getting your Permit to Detect in Wisconsin!

If you are looking forward to explore metals in city parks of Wisconsin, you should obtain a permit from the city clerk!

For the prohibited areas, you need to have written permission from the Archaeological Resources Prevention Act…

…If you are digging on private property, make sure to get permission from the land-owner, or you can face legal charges for trespassing.

If you are eyeing any historical spot for detecting, you should approach the State Historical Society. The permission of the State Historical Society is also needed to explore the beaches!


I hope that I’ve got you excited, even a little bit, to visit the state and try searching in it using your beloved detector! At the end of the day, searching in new places is the optimal way to put your hands on the best and most rare finds …

… I am confident that you will come up with some exciting targets!

Finally, I invite you to have a look at North Dakota as a potential state to search with your metal detector!

Carissa Harmer

Carissa is the huge metal detecting enthusiast that loves collecting coins. She is also highly interested in other treasure hunting activities like magnet fishing and gold prospecting/panning.

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