Whether you're hunting for gems and minerals, fossils or Native American artifacts, you'll find plenty of treasure to hunt for in the state of Alabama. You can use a metal detector to search for Confederate coins or pan for gold in the state's streams. Whatever the treasure you are after, make sure that you get permission from landowners to hunt on private land and be aware of all the laws pertaining to treasure hunting on the shores, as well as on national and state park land.
Gems, Minerals and Fossils
The state of Alabama is known for paint rock agate, jasper, garnet and gold. The Paint Rock River Valley's streams and gravel bars are a good place to search for paint rock agate. You can find geodes in the streams and fields of Athens in northern Alabama. Rough geodes often look like cauliflower heads and are relatively easy to spot if you know what you're looking for. Parson's Quarry, northwest of Florence, Alabama, will allow limited access to a large, not currently mined section of its property, where you can find many Devonian and Silurian fossils. The streams of the mid-eastern region of the state are good places to pan for gold.
Alabama was home to many Native American tribes including the Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee people. Arrowheads and other artifacts can be found along the Alabama Gulf Coast and riverbanks of waterways throughout the state. Search for ancient campsites and settlements by researching historical maps of Alabama that identify Native American settlements or simply scan the landscape, while imagining where possible campsites may have been located. Keep an eye out for middens--an ancient trash pile that appears as a mound of discolored earth--where you're likely to find an artifact or two.
Treasure hunting takes practice and effort but finding a Confederate coin or some relic from the past is an exciting reward. With its interesting Native American and Civil War history, there are countless treasures to be found by the avid treasure hunter in Alabama. To find sites to explore with your metal detector, scour old maps and history books to locate old roads, railroad stations, sites of schools and other points of interest that people have forgotten about or no longer exist.
Geocaching is a totally different type of treasure hunting. When geocaching, you use GPS technology to hunt down the coordinates of cache sites found online from the Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site. When you've successfully found a cache, select a treasure and replace with one of your own to keep the cycle going. According the official website, there are close to 9,000 geocaches to hunt for in Alabama.
Somewhat similar to geocaching, letterboxing is a treasure hunt outdoor activity, where clues are posted online as to the locations of small, hidden, weatherproof boxes. Letterboxes usually contain a log book, a rubber stamp and ink pad. Upon finding a letterbox, you make an imprint of the stamp in your personal log book, and leave an imprint of your own personal stamp in the letterbox's logbook. According to the main website, letterboxing.org, there are 201 listed letterboxes in Alabama for you to find.