HomeMetal Detector News25 Best Places to Go Metal Detecting: A List of Places to Metal Detect

25 Best Places to Go Metal Detecting: A List of Places to Metal Detect

MichaelChong 2023-09-05

The hobby of metal detecting has captured the imagination of enthusiasts around the world. From beaches to historical sites, there are thousands of places to go metal detecting. If you're wondering about the best places to go metal detecting, you're in for a treat. This guide will dive deep into some of the most coveted spots, ensuring that both beginners and seasoned pros find great spots to metal detect. Whether you're aiming to uncover relics of the past or find naturally occurring gold, silver, copper, and other valuable metals, the world is replete with opportunities. So, where should you start? Let's embark on this treasure-filled journey!

Key Tips Before You Begin Metal Detecting


Respect Private Property: One of the foremost rules in this hobby is to always respect others' spaces. If you're eyeing a particular spot that's privately owned, obtaining permission from the landowner is crucial. Not only is it a sign of courtesy, but it also ensures you're legally allowed to metal detect on that land. No treasure is worth the trouble of trespassing!

Be Aware of the Metal Detecting Law: Different areas have different rules when it comes to metal detecting. Some places might have restrictions, while others might be more lenient. It's vital to familiarize yourself with the local metal detecting law to ensure you're digging without breaking any rules. A quick online search or a visit to the local town hall can provide this information.

Equip Yourself Properly: Lastly, to maximize your chances of striking gold (or silver or copper!), it's essential to have the right tools. Invest in the best metal detector that fits within your budget and ensure you're familiar with how it works. Alongside the detector, having a durable digging tool and a pouch for your finds will come in handy.

Top 25 Places to Metal Detect




When exploring the best places to go metal detecting, beaches often top the list. Why? Beaches, especially popular ones like Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, see thousands of visitors every year. With high foot traffic comes the potential for lost items, including valuable jewelry. Beyond the recent losses, coastal regions also have a rich history. In places like Myrtle Beach, there might be remnants from old shipwrecks or coins from past visitors. With a metal detector in hand, combing through the sandy shores can yield exciting discoveries that tell tales of both present and past.


Historical Towns


Historical towns are treasure troves for metal detecting enthusiasts. Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia is a prime example. As one of America's oldest towns, it has seen centuries of history unfold on its streets. This means there are countless opportunities to uncover old coins, relics, and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the past. When you're metal detecting in places steeped in history, every find is like connecting with a story that dates back years, if not centuries.




Battlefields are some of the most poignant places to explore with a metal detector. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for instance, was the site of one of the Civil War's most significant battles. Over the years, relics like bullets, military buttons, and other artifacts have been discovered in such areas. Metal detecting on battlefields is not just about finding objects; it's about paying homage to the brave souls who fought there. However, remember to always treat these places with respect, given their historical and emotional significance.


Forests and Wooded Areas


Forests and wooded areas, like the breathtaking Redwood National Forest in California, offer a unique metal detecting experience. Such places are often less frequented by humans, which means they can house old settlements or undiscovered sites. Whether it's an old mining town now reclaimed by nature or a hidden campsite from decades ago, forests hold secrets waiting to be unearthed. The serenity of these spots, combined with the promise of discovery, makes them a must-visit for every metal detecting enthusiast.

Old Schools and College Campuses


Old schools and college campuses are rich in history and human activity, making them some of the best places to go metal detecting. Think about it: generations of students, countless events, and daily activities mean there's a good chance of stumbling upon lost jewelry, old coins, and forgotten time capsules. These educational grounds not only offer a lesson in history but also provide an opportunity to discover remnants from decades, or even centuries, past.


Former Gold Rush Areas


The Gold Rush era was a transformative period in U.S. history, and places like Sutter's Mill in California were at the heart of it. Metal detecting in these areas can be incredibly rewarding. Not only can you find traces of gold overlooked by miners of the past, but you can also uncover tools, old coins, and personal artifacts left behind during the rush. Every discovery in such places paints a vivid picture of the hopes, dreams, and challenges faced by those seeking their fortunes.


Ghost Towns


Ghost towns, often abandoned after economic declines or resource depletions, stand as silent witnesses to once-thriving communities. These towns, now reclaimed by nature, offer an eerie yet captivating backdrop for metal detecting. From old saloons to deserted homes, you never know what relics from the past await. Items like antique utensils, vintage toys, and old coins tell tales of the people who once called these places home.


Campgrounds and Picnic Areas


Season after season, campgrounds and picnic areas see families, solo travelers, and adventurers setting up tents, enjoying meals, and engaging in outdoor activities. Over time, many items get lost or left behind. These areas are ideal for finding modern-day treasures like watches, jewelry, and sometimes even antique items from earlier campers. While the finds might be more recent, the thrill of discovery remains ever-present.


Old Farm Lands


Farm lands that have been cultivated for generations often hide below their surface a wealth of historic artifacts. From tools used by early farmers to personal items lost during daily chores, these lands offer a unique window into rural life of the past. It's not uncommon to find old horseshoes, vintage coins, or even pieces of pottery. As you sweep your metal detector over these fields, you're not just searching for items, but stories of hard work, family, and bygone days.

Riverbanks and Dry River Beds


Riverbanks and dry river beds are nature’s own conveyor belts, bringing with them treasures from upstream. Over the years, rivers have witnessed trade, travel, and sometimes even battles. When rivers recede or their courses change, they often leave behind coins, tools, and sometimes larger artifacts. Metal detecting in these areas can yield items that have traveled miles, each with its own tale of origin and journey.


Parks and Playgrounds


Parks and playgrounds, buzzing with activity, are some of the most common spots where people lose personal items. From lost jewelry during a game of catch to old coins from yesteryears buried in the sand, these places are perfect for both newbie and seasoned metal detecting enthusiasts. It’s always exciting to unearth modern treasures and nostalgic relics in areas frequented by the community.


Old Churches and Meeting Houses


Centuries-old churches and meeting houses have seen a myriad of events – from weekly gatherings to special ceremonies. The grounds surrounding these sacred places can be a goldmine for metal detectorists. You might stumble upon old ceremonial items, coins, or personal artifacts lost during events. Moreover, these places, steeped in history, offer a peaceful and reflective backdrop for your treasure hunt.


Deserted Buildings and Homes


Abandoned buildings and homes are like frozen moments in time. As inhabitants moved on, they often left behind items that now serve as a window into their lives. From old toys in a child’s bedroom to kitchen utensils and personal accessories, each item tells a story. Exploring these deserted places with a metal detector can be both thrilling and poignant, offering a tangible connection to the past.


Railroad Tracks and Old Train Stations


The advent of railroads transformed nations, boosting trade, migration, and communication. Old train stations and tracks saw countless passengers, goods, and stories passing through. Detecting near these areas can yield buttons from railway uniforms, coins from travelers, and tools used in the golden age of rail. Just remember, it's crucial to ensure you're legally allowed to metal detect in these areas, given the historical and safety implications.



Fairgrounds and Festival Sites


Where there's celebration, there's often a trail of forgotten treasures. Fairgrounds and festival sites have seen a whirlwind of activities, from fun rides to music concerts. Over the years, visitors drop coins, jewelry, and other personal items. After a major event, these sites can become a hotspot for metal detecting enthusiasts. Each find holds a memory, a piece of the joyous ambiance that once filled the area.


Old Swimming Holes


Summers of the past were marked by laughter and splashes at old swimming holes. As people dived, played, or simply relaxed by the water, many lost trinkets and coins. These aquatic spots can be a delightful place for detectorists. Beneath the waters or in the surrounding sandy areas, one might find vintage jewelry, old coins, or even relics from eras gone by.


Public Gardens and Common Areas


Public gardens, with their manicured landscapes and serene environment, have been frequented by countless individuals for relaxation and leisure. Likewise, common areas in towns or residential communities often witness daily activities. These places can be surprisingly rewarding for metal detecting, with potential finds ranging from modern-day items to older, more historic pieces.


Footpaths and Hiking Trails


The trails walked by adventurers, traders, or everyday folks hide secrets of their own. Footpaths and hiking trails wind through various terrains, from dense forests to open meadows. Metal detecting along these paths can yield unexpected treasures. Lost items from modern hikers, old trade coins, or tools from travelers of the past await discovery.


Native American Settlement Sites


These are areas of profound historical and cultural significance. Native American settlement sites are places where indigenous communities lived, worked, and celebrated their traditions. While they can be intriguing spots to metal detect, it's crucial to approach them with the utmost respect. If allowed, searching these areas can lead to finds like pottery shards, tools, or ancient jewelry. Always remember to consult local regulations and consider the cultural implications before metal detecting in such areas.

Native American Settlement Sites


Rich with history and deep-rooted traditions, Native American settlement sites are places where ancient communities thrived. These sacred grounds may contain artifacts like arrowheads, pottery, or tools. However, it's essential to handle such places with reverence and respect. Many of these sites are protected by law, and metal detecting may be prohibited. If you do get permission, always ensure that you don't disturb or remove artifacts of cultural significance.


Fishing Piers and Docks


Fishing piers and docks have always been bustling hubs of activity. From fishermen securing their daily catch to travelers embarking on journeys, these places are ripe for exploration. Metal detecting along the wooden planks or sandy areas nearby can reveal lost tackle, coins, and sometimes even heirlooms dropped accidentally over the years.


Mountain Areas (especially near old mines)


Mountains, with their rugged beauty, often hide tales of old explorations and mining endeavors. Areas near old mines can be particularly rewarding for detectorists. Beyond the possibility of finding overlooked minerals or ores, you might also stumble upon mining tools, old campsite relics, or coins from miners who once worked the land.


Local Historical Markers


Local historical markers are landmarks that commemorate events, people, or significant periods. Given their historical relevance, the ground around these markers can often yield interesting finds. Coins, badges, or other personal items lost during ceremonies or daily visits can be unearthed, each telling a fragment of the locale's rich history.


Cave Entrances


Caves have been places of refuge, exploration, and sometimes even ritualistic activities for ages. The entrances to these natural formations can be a goldmine for metal detecting enthusiasts. Ancient tools, coins from explorers, or even artifacts from people who sought shelter in these caves can be discovered. But safety first! Always ensure you're well-prepared and aware of your surroundings when detecting near cave areas.

Old Mills and Factories

The industrial revolution and the centuries preceding it brought about numerous mills and factories. These places were buzzing hubs of activity, where countless workers toiled day in and day out. Over the years, as some of these establishments shut down or relocated, they left behind a plethora of potential treasures. Metal detecting around old mills and factories can yield fascinating finds like vintage tools, workers' personal items, old coins, or even machinery parts. Each artifact discovered here offers a peek into the lives of those who once made these places come alive with their sweat and determination.


Sports Fields


Think of the number of games, matches, practices, and celebrations that sports fields have witnessed. Every slide, tackle, goal, or home run brings with it the chance of a player or spectator losing something valuable. Metal detecting on sports fields, especially after major events, can be quite rewarding. Lost jewelry, coins fallen out of pockets, commemorative badges, and even older artifacts from times when the field might have been used for other purposes, are all potential treasures. As with all places, always ensure you have the necessary permissions and respect the sanctity of the ground you're exploring.

Detecting Etiquette and Best Practices


Venturing into the world of metal detecting is not just about finding treasures; it's also about respecting the land and its history. Here are some best practices every detectorist should follow:


Leave No Trace: After the thrill of a discovery, it might be easy to forget the small hole you've dug. However, it's crucial to fill in any holes after digging. Leaving the land as you found it is not only courteous but also ensures that the environment remains undisturbed for future visitors.


Report Significant Historical Finds: While it's exciting to find something that hints at a bygone era, certain artifacts might have historical or archaeological significance. In such cases, it's the right practice to report your finds to local authorities or historians. This not only helps in preserving history but might also lead to further exploration of the area.


Respect Restricted Areas and No-Trespassing Zones: Always adhere to local laws and regulations. Some areas might be off-limits due to their historical significance, environmental concerns, or private ownership. Respect these boundaries to ensure that the hobby remains enjoyable and legal for everyone.




Metal detecting is as much about exploration as it is about responsibility. Cherish every find, and respect the environment, ensuring that the tales of the past continue to echo for future generations.

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