The world is full of interesting places. The thing about metal detecting is that it always leads you to interesting places and things. History can be found just about anywhere if you dig deep enough.
In this guide, we’re going to look at 28 of the best places to metal detect, how to get permission, and how to do research, to find the “good spots.”
When it comes to metal detecting, you can start just about anywhere. Your own backyard, a friend’s house, local parks, schools, old home sites, and more.
The hard part, sometimes, is getting permission. So first, let’s take a look at how to get permission and how to find new locations for metal detecting.
Metal Detecting How to Get Permission
Before we get into the best places to metal detect, let’s talk about permission. When you metal detect on property that you do not own, you MUST get permission.
What does this mean? If you find a field you want to hunt, a property, a public park, or any other type of place that you do not own, you have to reach out and make contact for permission. Source.
Ways to ask permission for metal detecting:
- Knock on doors and talk to the owners
- Send a letter to the property owner
- Ask the county or city if metal detecting is allowed
- Email the property owner
Once you get a permission or two, they usually start coming to you by word of mouth or from someone who sees you doing it. You will also get a lot of people suggesting that you do not have permission (sometimes even when you do have permission!) I personally like to print out the email giving permission or ask the land owner to be available for a phone call, in case someone comes by asking questions.
How to Research Metal Detecting Sites
You would be surprised how much more success you will have metal detecting if you just do a little bit of research beforehand. You ideally want to look for places that have some age to them, like homes or properties that were built in the 1960s or older, in fact, the older the better.
In an older home, your chances of finding silver or gold coins are much better than at a home that was built in the 2000s. Why is that? In the United States, they stopped using silver in most coins around 1964.
You can also research old maps, to find old homesteads, settlements, civil war locations, and historic spots that do not exist today. Once you locate the land where the place of interest is, you can reach out to the land owner to ask for permission.
These types of locations can yield all kinds of relics and treasures. You may find old coins, war relics, old buttons, and other goodies. These types of locations can be located in farm fields, on old lots, in city parks, or even on a new home site built over an older one.
You can use the best machines and you can use beginner metal detectors. They all find great stuff! You can find the metal detector that I use now here.
Best Places to Metal Detect
Now that you know how to research and how to get permission let’s look at my favorite places to metal detect.
1. Your Own Property
The very first place I used my metal detector was on my own property. Believe it or not, your own property can yield all kinds of cool things. In my first week, I found a wheat penny, a silver dime, and a cool old cap gun.
I started in my backyard, then worked my way around to the front. The cap gun I found in the alley! Digging in my backyard got me comfortable with using my machine and digging.
Once I made it to the front yard I was able to dig proper plugs and didn’t mind the eyes around me. I hunted my own house 10+ times, and each time that I thought I had found everything there was to find, I found something new!
Old schools can be a great place to find older relics and coins. However, new schools can also yield jewelry and other items of value. Getting permission to metal detect at a school is pretty easy. You can get the OK from the City, or the school itself, if there are no city or county rules or laws against it.
You can find all kinds of relics such as watches, coins, jewelry, and more. It’s a best practice to ask to hunt during weekends when kids are not at school and make sure all holes are filled in without damaging anything.
Playgrounds are another great place to find things like coins and jewelry. Playgrounds, or “tot lots” as some people call them, can be located at schools, churches, parks, and other types of locations. Many cities allow metal detecting in city parks, and some require a permit, while others do not allow it at all.
4. Baseball Fields
Baseball fields can be a great place for metal detecting. Just like with any location, an older field can yield some better results. The fact is, however, that baseball fields replenish themselves. So even if it is a newer field or one that people have hunted in the past, it will continue to yield relics, like lost jewelry and other items of value.
5. Stadium Seats
Under stadium seats (bleachers) is one of my favorite places to metal detect. They are located in places like sports fields, rodeos, and other places that hold events. You can scan the seats and the underneath part with just your eyes for lost items, or you can metal detect if there is dirt under the bleachers. Since there can be limited space under bleachers, I will sometimes use my pinpointer instead of the metal detector.
6. City Parks
City parks are one of the best places to metal detect. They get a lot of traffic and older parks can yield silver and gold coins. Although these are some of the harder hit areas, where metal detectorists may have already been many times, there are always things that are missed.
7. Camp Sites
I love to camp, and I love to metal detect, and when I get to do both I’m a really happy camper. Old campsites are areas where people have been gathering for a long while to camp, hunt, and do other activities. These types of places can yield lots of great relics.
8. Bus Stops
There are many public areas where you can find cool stuff, like at bus stops. These types of areas often yield coins and other types of relics. If you can find a really old bus stop, you may find silver and gold coins. You could also find jewelry.
9. Old Pay Phone Areas
I love to hunt areas around old pay phones. Even though they really don’t exist anymore, you can find old ones that do not work, or where the booth is still there. In the area around these locations, you may be able to find coins and other items.
10. Old General Stores
In just about every old small town, there is an old run-down building that used to be the town’s general store. These locations are great places to find old coins and old relics. Usually, you will have to find out who owns the property, so you can get permission. With some research, you may even find that some old building in your town was once the general store, and you now have some “insider” information.
11. Ghost Towns
I live in Texas, and we have many ghost towns. These spots are great to hunt because they are abandoned (you still need permission in most cases) and they have relics from a time long ago. These are some of the most interesting metal detecting finds.
Beaches are a favorite place for many metal detectorists. Beaches also replenish themselves, like other places we have mentioned, so even if they have been hunted many times over, people continue to lose jewelry and other valuable items.
13. Summer Camps
Summer camps can be old places where people have been gathering for many years. You can find all kinds of cool things like items dropped by boy scouts, and other things like coins and jewelry. Summer camps usually have large areas that are metal detector friendly.
One of the things that really stepped up my game, was getting a good pinpointer! You save a lot of time and frustration, by getting right to the target. You can find the one I use here.
14. Hunting Camps
Hunting camps are another type of camp location that can yield results. Any place where people gather over long periods of time can yield things like coins, jewelry, and other relics. The older the camp the better luck you will have.
15. Old Homesteads
With the proper research, you can find old home sites. These locations most likely will have signs that the homestead was there, such as a nearby well, or places where stones have been moved around. They can be found in places with a lot of property, like ranches and farms. Old maps can have homestead sites and locations on them.
16. Historic Trails
You can use old maps to research where old trails used to be. In the US, before roads, there were trails. Some trails were made by the Spanish and some were made by pioneers. These trails and paths are marked on old maps. If you can find land located where the trail passed through, these can yield old relics and coins.
17. Farmers Fields
Farmer’s fields are a great place for metal detecting. Many old homesteads, trails, and other ruins are found in farm fields. Farmers also used to bury or burn their trash, so fields are also a great place for finding old bottles and relics. Many farmers will gladly give you permission to hunt their fields.
Plantations, or old homesites like them, can yield some very good relics. These places had a lot of foot traffic. You can find some interesting pieces and old relics in these kinds of places. All of history is important and plantations are a great place to metal detect.
Resorts are another place that constantly replenishes. They attract people who have a lot of money and people who party and lose things. At resorts, you can find expensive sunglasses, phones, jewelry, and other valuable items. Many resorts are located on beaches, so you also have the chance to find that “Spanish gold” that everyone seems to be chasing.
20. Rest Stops
Rest stops provide people with an area to stop and stretch. These are good places for metal detecting because when people have to kill time and relax a little, they tend to lose stuff. Kids will play with toys and leave them when it’s time to go. Other people may lose coins and things while stretching or sitting on tables and benches.
21. Mediums Near Roads
Mediums in neighborhoods and near roads can be a place to find cool stuff. People walk across and around these spots pretty frequently. These are also spots that many metal detectorists do not try, which means there is more to find! Expect to find mostly modern change.
Churches are a gathering spot for many people. They also have things like playgrounds, sports fields, and other large types of areas. Churches are a great place to hunt if you can get permission. One way to get permission is to offer your services to find lost items. Many times they will let you keep the coins and other relics that have no claim.
Most towns and cities have fairgrounds. These places get a lot of foot traffic and can yield some pretty good stuff. Depending on how old the grounds are, you can also find silver and gold coins. These are great places to find jewelry. You can also research where old fairgrounds are, to hunt locations that no one knows about.
Rodeos attract a lot of people. These places usually have a lot of dirt that you can search. They sometimes have bleachers which can be a great place to find coins. Even if they are modern coins, a good bleacher area can yield $10-$50 in quarters.
25. Various Sports Fields
Baseball fields are not the only fields that yield coins and relics. Any type of sports field is a good place. Football fields and soccer fields also have large areas for you to metal detect. If they are old enough you may find silver and gold coins.
26. Old Farmhouses
Old farmhouses can yield some good results. Farmhouses are usually on bigger plots of land. They have many buildings, such as barns, that have areas for you metal detect. You can find old coins and relics. You can also find places where they buried or burned their trash, to hunt for bottles and other relics.
27. Houses in your Neighborhood (With Permission)
One of the easiest ways to get permission is by knocking on doors in your neighborhood. If people already know you, then your chances of them saying yes are much higher. Start in your neighborhood, then you can move on to other neighborhoods once you have mastered your pitch (what you say when you knock to get permission.)
28. Along Rivers
Rivers are great places for metal detecting because they are home to people who fish, to old wars, and people who swim for recreation. You can find jewelry, old war relics, old coins, and more. People burned their trash near rivers as well, and most old town dumps are along rivers.
See our article for Best Places to Find Old Coins
See our article for Best Places to Metal Detect for Gold
Where is the best place to find gold coins
The place to find gold coins is in areas that have a little bit of history, such as beaches where there were shipwrecks or places that have older sites, from a time when more coins were made from gold.
Where is the best place to find silver coins
The best places to find silver coins are places that are old. Older houses and locations will yield older coins, that may be made of silver. Knocking on doors in old neighborhoods can yield great results.