Getting a new product is exciting. You want to use it immediately, but when you buy a metal detector, there is a learning curve. Even if you’ve used one before, this newer model might have different features. Since you want to get the most out of it, it’s best to take your time and figure everything out first.
However, when you’ve done that, you’re then itching to find a place to use it. I’ve come up with a list of the 15 best places to use your metal detector. Ultimately, I broke the list down into sections, such as ‘old coins,’ ‘gold,’ and others. That way, you have a better idea of where you can safely and legally go to detect.
Best Places to Metal Detect for Old Coins
If you prefer to detect old coins, it’s important to research your area to find out its history. That way, you can start off in your hometown and branch out from there. Even if you pick one from this list, it’s a good idea to learn about it because the location is essential.
How to Search them
Ultimately, areas where people lived and worked a very long time ago are sure to produce great finds. You also have to understand the area to determine what you might find. If you live in the Midwest, you’re not likely to find relics from the Civil War, but you can find old coins regularly by treasure-hunting in historical sites.
Ideas to Find Old Coins
Historic homes are a great option. You often need permission to do this, and it’s best to choose homes that were built before the 1900s.
Along with that, old house sites where the houses have been torn down are a great option. You may need to research old maps to find out where those houses used to be.
Here are some other ideas:
- Old school sites (usually in cornfields)
- Old swimming holes
- Old churches
Public Places to Metal Detect Near Me
This is a harder one to answer because each person reading this is likely to live in a different area. However, there are a few obvious and not-so-obvious options.
For example, there are bound to be many parks in your area. If they’re open to the public, you don’t need permission to do it. The same is true of old colleges and schools, the fairgrounds, sports grounds, campgrounds, and the like.
You can metal detect just about anywhere. However, if you’re hoping to do it in a public place, it’s important to sit down and make a list of various options near you. Most people want to mark their grid, which means some setup time. At a park, campgrounds, sports grounds, and the like, this shouldn’t be a problem. Still, you should be aware of who might be there. For example, if you go to an area where sporting events happen, there might be a game going on.
Other Ideas for Nearby Public Places
If you just want to swipe the ground and see what’s there, it might be okay to go to various tourist sites. You probably aren’t going to make a grid, but you can still count steps and try your best.
Depending on where you live, there might be a battlefield nearby. If you hunt the Civil War battlefields, you’re sure to come up with musket balls and other treasures.
Another great idea is to go to a flea market or swap meet. However, there are bound to be a lot of people, so you may want to go at off-peak times to prevent jostling your equipment.
Best Places to Metal Detect for Gold
One of the best places I can think of to metal detect for gold is an old mine. However, you must be very careful, and I recommend that you use the buddy system. Bring a friend along and agree to split shares equally. Alternatively, you can make it a quest to see who can find the most gold.
Though it depends on the area, you may need permission to metal detect an old mine. Also, you’re going to have to research it to find out what it was used for.
Don’t forget that gold tends to concentrate at the bottom of drainage systems. Often called ‘hunting the fringe,’ you can find better and more productive ground to cover. Gold nuggets aren’t a renewable resource. Much of the gold is already gone because of the gold fever that happened in the past. This means the easy pickings aren’t there, but you can still find gold if you know where to look.
If you live near an old mining district, you’re sure to find gold if you metal detect on the outskirts. People had gold falling out of their pockets at times, so there’s probably a little along the way. Start off with dry areas, and then figure out the geology of the day and try to work around any new structures.
Best Places to Metal Detect for Jewelry
There are so many areas where you can metal detect to find jewelry. Just imagine where people often wear it and go from there.
You might be surprised at just how many people wear jewelry to the beach. On top of that, it can wash in from the ocean, so if someone was on a boat, you might pick up their lost jewelry by searching the beach.
What You Might Find
There’s an endless array of necklaces, watches, rings, and more. Plus, your metal detector is going to find it all. Geology plays a role here. If you can figure out what the area used to look like, it might be possible to check diverting streams, breakwaters, and much more.
WV Metal Detector Hot Spots
Though it’s not technically illegal to metal detect in state parks and forests in West Virginia, the rules in place by those entities make it that way. There’s also the Antiquities Act, which prohibits anyone from removing artifacts from federal or state lands if they’re over 100 years old.
Here are a few of the hot spots I recommend:
- Seneca Caverns
- Snowshoe Basin
- Adena Burial Mounds
- Monongahela National Forest
- Seneca Rocks
- Potomac River Shore
- Cheat River Shore
- Tygart River Shore
- Blackwater Falls
- New River Gorge National River
- Harper’s Ferry
- Silver Run Tunnel
- North Bend Rail Trail
- Point Pleasant
- Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
Places to Metal Detect without Permission
Many people want to get out there and start metal detecting without having to go through the hassle of getting permission. I recommend that you ask owners of homes and property so that you’re not trespassing. However, if you already know that you don’t need permission, then there’s no problem at all.
Public Places to Go That Don’t Require Permission
Even though private properties are often a gold mine of metal (sometimes literally), there are public places to go. Though the below locations rarely require permission, you should still check in advance for your city and county to ensure that you’re not breaking any rules.
The fairgrounds are public places, and it’s safe to metal detect them. If they’re older, you’re bound to find some interesting stuff. However, I also have to admit that they’re full of trash, so it’s going to take a lot of effort. Still, if you’ve got a day to kill and want to sort through, you might discover something amazing.
Head to the Curb
Curb strips are another option that people often forget about. This is the grassy area between the sidewalk and street. You can also find them between the lanes of some highways. Typically, they’re owned by the city, so you don’t need permission to metal detect them. However, this isn’t always the case. If you’re very worried about this and still want to try it, call your local police department and ask.
Friends and Family
It’s also possible to metal detect the property that your family and friends own. While this does require an informal request, it’s often easier to ask a friend than it is a total stranger. If you know people who live on old properties, you’re bound to come up with something exciting to see.
Where Is a Good Place to Use a Metal Detector?
There are countless ‘good’ places for you to use your metal detector. In fact, your own backyard is the perfect spot.
When you’re ready to venture out with your equipment, these options are perfect:
- Local Lover’s Lanes
- Old dance sites
- College campuses
- Highway lookout sites
- Stone fences and walls
- Under bridges
- Tent revival meeting areas
- Mining camps
- Rodeo arenas
- Railroad tracks and stations
- Ghost towns
- Old boulevards
- Abandoned gas stations
- Construction sites
- Hotels and motels
- Logging camps
- Golf courses
- Old town squares
Where Can I Treasure Hunt with a Metal Detector?
If you hope to find treasure with a metal detector, it’s important to start with the town’s history. Whether you’re traveling to metal detect or doing it in your own area, you need to know what happened in the past.
What Past Events to Consider
That’s going to tell you where the ‘rich’ people lived, where important celebrations happened, and the industry for the town. Try to get some old maps with homestead markers and crossroads to help you.
Those who want to wing it at first may want to consider these top locations:
- Old town dump
- Surveying expeditions
- Church and other social events
- Wagon train routes
- New thoroughfares and bridges that opened the community
- Local landmarks and other points of interest
- Meeting halls for civic groups
- Floods, disasters, and fires that destroyed property
- Ore discoveries (silver, copper, gold)
- Unsolved robbery areas
- Local crime stories
- Abandoned houses
- Civil War encampments and battlefields
- Boarding houses, hotels, and saloons
Where Can I Metal Detect an Old House?
Many cities and towns across America have turned old homes into national antiques. They can’t be torn down, and some of them can be toured. Sometimes, regular people live in them, so you can always look in your area to find out about them.
Find Old Houses
With the internet, searching is much easier. You can use your favorite search engine to find old houses in your area. As you go, make sure you create a list so that you can check it off once you metal detect it.
Think about your normal route to work. There may be an older-looking house nearby. If you live in the town, it’s probably easy to ask at the local bar or church who owns it. That’s a good place to start. Just remember that you need permission from the owners to search an old house. They have the right to say no, but many of them are just as intrigued as you!
Are You Allowed to Use a Metal Detector on a Beach?
Many beginners are unsure of where to start. They want to branch out from testing their backyard, but they don’t want to get in trouble. Fortunately, most beaches allow you to use a metal detector. Typically, you’re just digging in the sand, and people do that all the time to make sandcastles. However, if you plan to go to a private beach, or it’s part of a federal or state park, you must get permission and see if it’s allowed.
Where to Find Old Coins in the Ground?
Almost any public place is going to have coins for you to find, and some of them are just shining out in the open for you to bend down and grab. However, if you want to use your beloved metal detector to find old coins in the ground, it gets a little trickier.
Ultimately, this means that you’re going to have to dig in the dirt, and that could make homeowners angry. It might also be illegal if it’s government-owned property.
While you need the right metal detector to do that, you’ve probably already got it.
Research Is Your Friend
I recommend that you do plenty of research into your hometown or the area where you want to search. Since you want to find old stuff, you can try the campgrounds if it was established long ago. You can also go to the fairgrounds if it’s been up and running for a long time.
More Tips and FAQ
Other than that, you might want to research old homes and properties. Find out who owns them and ask if you can be on the grounds to metal detect. They may say no or have stipulations (such as showing them everything you find), but it’s a great way to get what you want.
Can You Metal Detect in City Parks?
The short answer is yes; you can metal detect in city parks. For the most part, it’s not illegal and there are no regulations from the city warning against it. Again, though, you may live in an area where there are regulations, or you can only do it at a certain time. It’s always best to be cautious and ask. Just call the local police department and ask about a particular park (or all of them in the town).
Can You Metal Detect in State Parks?
It’s harder to answer the question of metal detecting in state parks. Most of the states and federal agencies have regulations in place that state you can’t use metal detectors on parklands, state parks, and national parks unless you have a written permit from the district’s general manager. Since I’m really only talking about state parks, yes, some of them do, and some of them do not. For example, California doesn’t allow it. Therefore, it’s best to research the state parks you want to metal detect and go from there.
Metal Detecting Clubs
You’re sure to find tons of metal detecting clubs in your area. I’ve collected some of the top metal detecting clubs for you. When you’re ready to join a club, you can do more research about what’s available in your state or city.
Remember, large states are sure to have more clubs than smaller ones, with the exception of Alaska.
- Southeast Treasure Hunters (Alabama)
- Roadrunner Prospector’s Club (Arizona)
- Arkansas Treasure Hunters Club (Arkansas)
- Bay Area Searchers (California)
- Durango Diggers (Colorado)
- Nutmeg Treasure Hunters Club (Connecticut)
- First State Search and Recovery (Delaware)
- The Villages Treasure Hunters Club (Florida)
- Dixie Relic Recovery Club (Georgia)
- Rock and Mineral Club (Hawaii)
- Boise Basin Search & Recovery Club (Idaho)
- Peoria Area Treasure Hunters (Illinois)
- Hoosier Hills Treasure Hunters (Indiana)
- Iowa GPAA Chapter (Iowa)
- Wheat State Treasure Hunters Club (Kansas)
- North Kentucky Treasure Hunters (Kentucky)
- Pelican Relic Recovery Association (Louisiana)
- Metal Detecting (Maine)
- Eastern Shore Treasure Club (Maryland)
- Silver City Treasure Seekers (Massachusetts)
- Great Lakes Metal Detecting (Michigan)
- Gopher State Treasure Hunters (Minnesota)
- 417 Relic Hunters (Missouri)
- Midwest Historical Detector Club (Nebraska)
List of Farms That Allow Metal Detecting
There are countless farms in the nation that allow people to metal detect on them. I’ve come up with a great list of some of the most popular and famous farms that you can try.
Most of the owners are willing to let you metal detect if you just ask:
- Blackberry Farm in Aurora, Illinois
- Simplot Family in Iowa
- Boswell Farm in San Joaquin Valley, California
- Historic Wagner Farm
- Eckerts Farm
There are so many places to think about using your metal detector. While I’m sure that you can come up with others on your own, this is a good place to start. Happy hunting! 🙂