Where to Metal Detect?
This is a question both new and experience detectorists always ask. Where can I go and have the possibility of finding something cool?
Many of us get our first detector and head straight for the little town park, only to be disappointed. If you are lucky, you might find some clad coins there, a variety of pull tabs and beer tops, but let’s face reality. These public lands are just that…open to the public. That means that Joe Blow was there with his detector 25 years ago and he hit it hard. Detecting clubs have held group hunts and detecting enthusiasts passing through have also hit it. You might find treasure in the old parks, but the pickings are pretty slim.
An alternative is to detect in old yards. Any yard with a home prior to 1950 might hold good treasure. But these yards are usually private property. It is important to get permission to detect these properties.
More Ideas – Where to Detect?
This is probably the most burning question we all have! Where or where can we go detecting??? OK. Here are a few ideas to keep you hopping!
(1.) Check alongside boat ramps. Whether you have a water detector or not, there are frequently many coins, knives, rings etc. lost as folks are launching and retrieving their boats. Check alongside the ramp as it goes down, and even on shore. A kid came up to me and said he saw a gold ring in the water at the boat launch
(2.) Detect around your motel/cabin. If you travel, detecting on the grounds of your motel/cabin can produce many treasures! If you have the opportunity and time to choose – select older units to stay in when you travel. I have located Barber dimes and turn of the century coins at these older motel sites, as they often have never been detected!
(3.) Be visual. We can visually scan for treasure! If you are at the water’s edge, look for dark circles. Both coins and silver rings look black in the water. You can also find paper money and items to turn in i.e. lost keys that fall out of swim trunks! Pick up trash and dangerous items as you go. Everything positive we do helps us promote the hobby and show that we really are “good guys!”
(4.) When detecting at an old school yard, church or the like… Check the edges of the sidewalks very carefully… I have found many old coins right up against the sidewalk at these type sites that are supposed to be hunted out!
(5.) Review old maps for the surrounding counties and villages. First, look for and mark the old schools, churches, railroad stations, parks etc. to actually go locate and verify. Sometimes they still exist which is great and sometimes they are now a vacant field which is BETTER. Remember to seek permission on private lands.
(6.) Look at road names as you are going through towns – i.e. – Church Street, Railroad Ave., Old Bridge Rd, Academy St., Grove St. Along these roads is likely the site of an old depot, bridge, school etc the road was named after!
(7.) When scanning fields and empty lots, look for rows of trees, flowers or shrubs that may have been planted years ago. This could be the site of an old home. Anything that does not appear to be “natural” may be the sign of some good detecting possibilities!
And more ideas for “where to hunt”…
Parks Military Installations Motels
Athletic Fields Winter Sledding Areas Drive in Theaters
Carnival Sites Lookout/Overlook Sites Vacant Lots
Schools Church Supper Groves Bus Stops
Circus Grounds Fishing Holes Old Taverns
Picnic Groves Resorts Old Inns
Homesties Fishing Camps Canal Towpaths
Swimming Holes General Stores Construction Sites
Swimming Beaches Outhouse Areas Barns & Other Out Buildings
Scout Camps Battle Sites Front/Back Yards
Ghost Towns Band Shells Railroad Stations
Play Grounds Racetracks Fence Rows
Campgrounds Rural Boundary Walls (Stone Walls) Hiking Trails
Rodeos Roadside Stands Trailer Parks
Roadside Rest Stops Farmstands Old Gas Stations
Sidewalk Grassy Strips College Campuses Highway Cafés
Rural Mail Boxes Under Seaside Boardwalks Lovers Lanes
Revival Meeting Sites Near Telephone Booths Town Common
Amusement Parks Around Parking Meters Town Square
Rural Dance Areas Flea Markets Fort Sites
Reunion Areas Your Relatives Homes Ski Slop
Many State parks and all National Parks are off limits to metal detecting. Please check with local, state, or federal agencies if unsure.