Detecting is a great way to get outside and explore. You never know what you might find while metal detecting! While some people go metal detecting in their backyards, others prefer to visit specific locations where there is a higher chance of finding old treasures. The following places are known for having an abundance of old coins and other items from the past.
Going metal detecting is a fun hobby that can be enjoyed by anyone at any age! You don’t need any special equipment or skills—just a good detector and some know-how is all it takes to get started!
If you are looking for an area to detect but don’t know where to start, these 15 places to metal detect will certainly get you going.
1. National Parks
Metal detecting in National Parks can be a great way to find some more unique treasures. They are typically very large, and there is plenty of land to cover. The other benefit is that they tend to be less crowded than other areas.
One thing you may want to consider before going out metal detecting in a National Park is researching the rules and regulations for searching there first so you know what’s allowed and where it’s appropriate for you to search.
2. The Woods
Wooded areas are the perfect place for metal detecting. You can find a lot of things in the woods, from old coins and bottles to even old cars and trucks. These objects have been lost for many years, so you will be able to find them with your detector.
3. Public Swimming Areas
While you’re at the beach, you can also check out public swimming areas. These include lakes, rivers, and oceans. Public swimming areas are great because they’re full of lost items that people have dropped in their haste to get in the water or on their way back to shore. You might find coins and jewelry as well as other interesting things like rings and bracelets.
4. Picnic Areas
Picnic areas are ideal for metal detecting. Picnic areas can be found in parks, playgrounds, and near water sources. It’s also common for picnic areas to have trails, roads or parking lots nearby them.
Picnic areas are typically located within close proximity to bathrooms, drinking fountains and playground equipment. These items are great for detecting because they’re made of metal and can easily be detected by a metal detector when the device is turned on.
5. Hunting and Fishing Spots
Hunting and fishing spots: If you’re a hunter or fisher, this is the place to be. You can find old hunting and fishing spots, as well as signs of old equipment or personal belongings. These are often overgrown with weeds and grasses but may still contain metal objects that may have been dropped by hunters or fishers in the past. Hunting is allowed in many places, so keep an eye out for signs that say “No Trespassing” or “Private Property.” Also avoid government land if it’s not open to the public!
6. National Forests
National Forests are a great place to metal detect. They have lots of history buried there, and they’re big enough that you can explore different areas on foot. National Forests also have a wide variety of terrain: some are flat, while others are hilly or mountainous; some have rivers running through them, while others are dry; some are thick with trees and brush, while others are more open and grassy. National Forests tend to be located near large cities (such as San Francisco), which is another plus for people who want to get out on weekends but don’t want the hassle of bringing their detector back home every day after work.
7. Camping Areas
Camping areas are a great place to metal detect. If you’re camping, you’ve got a lot of time and space to explore your surroundings. There are also plenty of places that aren’t used as often by people and could have interesting artifacts buried just beneath the surface.
Here are some places I recommend looking when you’re camping:
- Campgrounds and State Parks
- National Parks and Monuments (like Yellowstone)
- National Forests and Wildlife Refuges
8. Public Beaches
Public beaches are also a great place to metal detect. The sand is typically dry and easy to work with, and it’s generally easy to get permission from the beach owner. You should always check the regulations before taking your detector on any public property, but if you can meet all of the requirements, you can find some awesome finds at the beach.
9. Airports (Within Reason)
One of the best places to metal detect is an airport. This will work best if you’re in possession of a detector and know how to use it—but even if not, there are still great opportunities for finding treasures!
Airports are good places to go because they’re generally safe and don’t have many other people around. If you do happen across someone who asks what you’re doing, just tell them that you’ve found a lot of coins on this spot in the past and want to check again (this is true). The guard might let you leave your detector with security while they search through any bags/backpacks/etc., or they might ask that you return at another time when there aren’t as many people around so that no one gets alarmed by seeing so much digging equipment lying around.
Airports tend to be built on old farmland, which means that sometimes old coins could get buried underneath them—so look carefully!
10. Old Homesteads or Homestead Foundations
Old homesteads or homestead foundations are great places to metal detect. You can find old coins, jewelry and other interesting things that have been lost over the years. Homesteads are usually located on the outskirts of towns or cities and were built on land that was fertile and easy to farm. The best part about homesteads is they’re often left untouched for long periods of time which means they’re perfect for finding relics in good condition!
11. Old Barns and Buildings on Old Farms/Ranches
Old barns and buildings on old farms/ranches are a great place to metal detect. You can find old coins, jewelry and even other items that have been lost over the years. Glassware is also common in these areas as well as bullets, shells and other military items.
12. Old Farm Fields and Pastures that are now Overgrown with Brush and Weeds
Old farm fields and pastures that are now overgrown with brush and weeds is a great place to find old coins, jewelry, and relics. Many people have found Civil War relics in these types of areas.
A few years ago I was metal detecting an old field in Georgia when I came across a silver ring that had been laying on the ground for many years. It had been part of a larger collection of jewelry that was buried by an older gentleman who passed away years ago. He knew he would never be able to dig up all his treasures but wanted them to be found one day by someone else who might appreciate them more than he could at the time they were lost or buried.
13. Ghost Towns and Cities
Ghost towns and abandoned cities are great places to go metal detecting. They’re often in remote locations, so you won’t have to worry about people seeing you. If you choose to go here, bring good hiking shoes and plan on being away from civilization for a while.
If a ghost town is too far away from your home or work, try exploring the outskirts of your local city with a metal detector instead! You’ll be able to find buried treasure without having to travel anywhere exotic or dangerous.
14. Railroad Tracks
Railroads were the main form of transportation in America until the 1950s. Railroad construction was a massive undertaking, requiring hundreds of thousands of people to break ground, lay tracks, and build bridges. These workers were often immigrants, who had few other opportunities for employment at the time. They were paid little or not at all; some Chinese immigrants even built rail lines through dangerous parts of the western United States in exchange for their freedom!
15. Old Ferries that No Longer Exist
If you are a history buff, you may be interested in locating old ferries that no longer exist. You can do this by using historical maps to find where they used to be located. A ferry is a great place to metal detect because it has been there for a long time and the ground around it is heavily traveled.
You can also search online for historic ships and boats that have been sunken along the coasts of America as well as other countries around the world like Great Britain and Australia.
16. School Grounds
Schools are a great place to start your metal detecting hobby, as they have many advantages.
- They’re usually not patrolled by security guards, so you won’t have to worry about getting in trouble.
- They are generally well-maintained and often have a lot of different places to explore (classrooms, hallways, playgrounds). This makes it much easier to find something exciting!
- And perhaps most importantly: schools are usually safe. You don’t need to worry about any dangers except for maybe getting caught by a teacher or principal who doesn’t know what you’re doing.
17. Sporting Events
When you’re searching public areas, there’s a chance that you’ll find something valuable.
You could discover lost items like a wallet or set of keys, or cool old coins and jewelry. You can even find historical military items from the Civil War or World War II!
18. Fairs, Concerts, and Festivals
If you’re planning to attend a festival, concert, or fair in your area, there’s a good chance that metal detecting is allowed. Many festivals have areas set aside for people to use their detectors and if they don’t have one set up already it may be worth asking the organizers if they can accommodate you. The best way to find out if this is the case is by checking out the festival website before going.
You can also search churchyards. Churchyards are a metal detecting enthusiast’s dream because they are free to search and you will often find old coins and jewelry in the ground. When you first arrive at the churchyard, look around for any signs that say that searching is not permitted. If there are no signs, then you have permission to search!
If you do not see any signs stating that searching is prohibited, then it is safe to assume that it is permissible. However, it is always better to ask someone who works at or lives near the parish before proceeding with your hunt. When asking for permission (or simply if someone asks what you’re doing) be respectful and friendly; nobody likes an aggressive detectorist on their property!
If searching a churchyard has been on your bucket list for some time now, then check out this page from The National Association of Treasure Hunters (NATH). The NATH has compiled a list of parishes where metal detecting has been banned due to past incidents occurring while people were hunting artifacts or coins within these sacred grounds.”
Battlefields are another great place to metal detect. Many of these sites have been preserved, so they’re ideal locations for the more advanced hobbyist. There are hundreds of battlefields across the country and in other countries as well that can provide hours of entertainment and history. The Civil War was a particularly bloody conflict, with over 600,000 casualties occurring within just four years between 1861-65. That’s why there are so many Civil War battlefields that remain today—it was literally one big war zone!
The most famous American battle site is Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland, which saw some 20,000 casualties over three days during September 1862. This was the bloodiest day in American military history (nearly 3K were killed), so if you’re looking for iron relics from this battle it would make sense for them to still be there today!
Know Where to Look for Lost Items.
What is the best place to metal detect? It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for long lost treasure, then the woods and beaches are your best bets. The ground there has been disturbed by animals, people, and weather over time so they provide a good environment for finding items that are no longer in use. The downside is that these areas have also been picked pretty clean over time as well—so if you find yourself with nothing but junk after searching an area of forested land or beach then maybe it’s not worth your time.
If on the other hand, what you’re really looking for is jewelry or coins (and not money) then abandoned homes should be at the top of your list when selecting where to metal detect. These homes were once occupied by people who left behind personal items from their lives such as rings, bracelets and necklaces when they moved out or died unexpectedly leaving them behind unintentionally . Finding these kinds of artifacts will give insight into who inhabited those homes before their occupants moved out – which may lead researchers down another path towards finding answers about past inhabitants’ lives!
The best way to find out about these places is by asking around. Ask your friends and family, ask at the library or on social media sites, or even call up local historical societies. The more information you have before heading out into the field, the better equipped you will be for success!