Trying to find places to metal detect without permission? If many are into this hobby in your area, then finding the right spots will be easy.
While you’ve got many options as to where can you use a metal detector legally, most public areas have rules and regulations regarding treasure hunting.
This is especially true if it involves digging.
Below, we listed down the best possible spots where you can metal detect without asking for permission.
Is It Legal to Metal Detect in Public Parks?
Going to a public park to metal detect is a great idea because you might find old coins and some lost jewelry.
Still, you need to ask if the public parks are open for treasure hunting or not.
Is it legal to metal detect in public parks? The answer is both yes and no.
There are rules and regulations on public parks, and depending on your area, they may or may not allow metal detecting.
Before you bring your metal detector to a public park and start treasure hunting, there are a few things that you need to do to make sure that you are following the laws of your city.
1. Talk to the Local Council
The first thing that you need to do is to talk to your local council to ask for permission.
Some cities don’t allow metal detectorists to treasure hunt in certain parks, especially historical parks.
When asking for permission, you can tell them that you would clean up litter on the places where you will metal detect.
You can offer them your services in exchange for permission to hunt for treasures.
Alternatively, you can also tell them that if you find any lost items, you will surrender it to the park authorities.
2. Avoid Crowded Places
You should never go around swinging your metal detector in crowded places. If you want to metal detect on a particular area, you have to wait for the visitors to move away.
If you accidentally find something near these people and they saw you, they might claim that it was their missing jewelry or coin.
Also, they have the right to privacy, and you can’t go there swinging your metal detector while they are relaxing or having a picnic.
3. Dig Properly
When you find something in public parks, don’t just dig randomly. You have to pinpoint the location of the metal and dig it properly.
One reason why metal detectorists are not allowed to treasure hunt in public parks is that they just dig randomly and leave the holes there.
Cover the holes after digging whether you find something or not.
A park is a public place, and many people go there every day, so it won’t be a good idea to leave a couple of holes on the ground.
Can I Metal Detect on Public Footpaths?
Most people think that you can treasure hunt on public footpaths because it is open for all.
However, these footpaths only became public because the owner of the land gave the right of way.
With that in mind, can I metal detect on public footpaths? Yes, but you have to contact the owner of the land before you can begin treasure hunting.
In a sense, these footpaths are still private property, so if you don’t want any legal repercussions, you should ask for permission first.
Public footpaths are one of the best places to metal detect because many people have been walking up and down these paths.
You might find some new and old coins, jewelry, and other precious metals.
Still, there are a few things that you should know when you find some treasures on a public footpath.
1. Research Is the Key
If there are a lot of footpaths in your area, it is better to do a little research before you go there.
If you want to save time and effort, make sure that you know how long the footpath has been there.
If it is newly constructed, it is better to look for older footpaths. You have a better chance of finding something valuable if the footpath is very old.
2. Look for Old Trees
Although you are focused on the footpath itself, it is very important to check out the old trees near it.
Most people spend their time under these trees, especially if the footpath is open.
They might lose a few important items while staying there, so you might find a few valuables under the trees.
If the footpath is very old, you might even find old jewelry and coins that are worth something.
3. Check the Areas Around the Footpath
People walk on the footpaths, but the areas around it might also have a few valuable items that you can find.
Most people walk on the areas around the footpath, so it is worth the shot if you already checked the road.
Places to Metal Detect Without Permission
Where can I metal detect legally? This is a question that most beginner metal detectorists ask.
There are so many places to metal detect without permission, and you can just go there and bring your detector without worrying about legal repercussions.
Since we’ve already mentioned public parks and footpaths, here are other places that you can try.
1. School Grounds
School grounds are one of the best places to check out if you are looking for older and newer finds.
You are in luck if the school has been there for many years because you might find something valuable.
Although most schools don’t require permission to treasure hunt, it is best to ask around, especially if there are historical buildings or landscapes on the school grounds.
They are often protected by the federal government, and you might get in trouble if you are treasure hunting in these areas.
You can go around the school to find and dig treasures, but you should avoid the sports field that the school maintains.
You might find something valuable on the sports field, but you may get in trouble if you start digging holes.
You can only go and hunt for treasures during the weekend because the school won’t allow you to do it while class is in session.
2. Swimming Holes and Public Beaches
People tend to lose a lot of things when they are swimming, so if you want to find some rare and valuable treasures, go to swimming holes and public beaches.
However, you need a waterproof metal detector for this, and a cheaper model won’t accomplish the task.
Public beaches and swimming holes are open to the public, and you can go around and dig in the sand to find rare items.
However, the waterways that would enter government properties are off-limits, and you would need permission if you want to treasure hunt in those areas.
Underwater metal detecting can help you find silver and gold rings, coins, and lost jewelry.
Make sure that you go early when the beaches and swimming holes are not yet packed with people so that you can freely hunt treasures without distractions.
3. Properties Owned by Friends and Relatives
If you have friends or relatives with historical or old properties, you might want to start your treasure hunting in these areas.
You still need to get permission, but you won’t get in trouble if you just start metal detecting in these properties.
Old houses and historical properties are the best places to find treasures. You can find old and rare coins, historical artifacts, old jewelry, and more.
If you are a beginner and you plan to metal detect for treasures, you can start by asking your friends and relatives if they have old properties or private historical places.
4. Abandoned Towns
Commonly known as ghost towns, these areas are one of the best places to check for treasures without asking for permission.
These communities were abandoned for different reasons, and you can just go there to start metal detecting.
Although these abandoned towns have been swept by authorities, there are still a lot of treasures that you can find around them.
You won’t necessarily dig around the area because most of the valuable items are just hidden in plain sight. With a metal detector, you can find them with ease.
You can do your research and search for towns or areas that have been abandoned near you.
5. Old Church Grounds
Old church grounds contain a lot of big opportunities when it comes to relics.
Most churches are very old, so your chances of finding treasures around the building are very high.
Still, you should respect the burial grounds and avoid metal detecting on areas with gravestones.
You can find ancient coins and relics around the church, especially if the area is still untouched.
6. Stadiums and Bleachers
You are allowed to hunt for treasures in stadiums and bleachers if there are no sports events.
Although the playing grounds are off-limits, you can go around the bleachers and search for coins and other valuable items.
7. Areas Around Lakes and Rivers
There are so many things that you can find around lakes and rivers.
You don’t need to metal detect in the water. You just need to check the areas around the lakes, especially the ones where people usually stay.
8. Abandoned Mines
Although this is very uncommon in most areas, you can do some research if there are any abandoned mines near you.
Metal detecting in abandoned mines is very dangerous because the area itself is very unstable. Still, if you are very careful, it is a good place to look for valuable items.
If you are lucky enough, you might even get a few pieces of gold from the mines.
You just have to be extra careful and don’t dig on areas that look unstable. You have to remember that a simple mistake may cost you your life.
There are instances where you won’t be required to ask for permission when entering abandoned mines, but it is better to ask first before you go there.
9. Your Backyard
If you have an old house or the house you are currently living in has an old history, you can do some metal detecting on your lawn or backyard.
You can freely dig around your house and look for precious metals and coins without any legal repercussions.
Where Can I Metal Detect Legally?
When it comes to where can you use a metal detector legally, you can try many spots in your area.
In fact, you can even do so in historical sites as long as you can get a permit.
Although some states in the United States are stringent when it comes to treasure hunting, it is only applicable to protected areas.
If you want to go around your neighborhood and look for rare items, you should ask the local government or read about the current laws of your state.
The laws governing metal detecting are different depending on the area where you are currently living, so you should do your research before you go around treasure hunting.