Researching Locations for Detecting

Where can I go for Researching Locations for Detecting?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions from new and beginning metal detectorists. Truth be told, it is a question you will continue to ask yourself for as long as you are in the hobby of metal detecting. Fear not, we’re going to tell you about different great spots to metal detect.

There are literally thousands of places to go metal detecting. If people have ever been there, there’s a likely chance to find treasures they either dropped or buried! Even if nobody has ever been there before, there’s a chance to find naturally occurring gold, silver, copper, and other valuable metals with your metal detector!

Before we get started, let’s cover the number one rule when it comes to metal detecting. DO NOT enter any property without first obtaining permission from the landowner.

I repeat, get permission first! Secondly, check local, state, and federal laws to ensure you are legally allowed to metal detect in that particular area.

At GoldXtra, we know that the key to a successful metal-detecting adventure starts long before you turn on your detector.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dig in! (The following areas are listed in no particular order)

1. Your own front and back yard:

Your own property can be an excellent place to start your metal detecting journey. Not only is it easily accessible, but it also provides a safe and familiar environment for practice. You might be surprised at what treasures lie beneath the surface, from lost coins to forgotten jewelry.

2. School Yards or Grounds:

School yards and grounds are bustling hubs of activity, making them prime locations for metal detecting. With generations of students passing through, you never know what historical artifacts or valuable items you might unearth. 

Just be sure to obtain permission from the school administration before detecting on campus.

3. Sporting Fields:

Sporting fields see a lot of action, from games and practices to spectator events. As such, they can be treasure troves for metal detectorists. Keep an eye out for areas where people gather, as these spots are more likely to yield lost items like jewelry, keys, or coins.

4. Around Bus Stops:

Bus stops are transit hubs where people come and go, often in a hurry. This makes them potential hotspots for lost items such as coins, jewelry, or even small electronic devices. 

Be sure to scan the areas around benches and waiting areas where people may have dropped or misplaced belongings.

5. Old Drive-In Theaters:

Old drive-in theaters evoke a sense of nostalgia and are rich with history. These sites can be fruitful for metal detecting, as moviegoers may have dropped coins, jewelry, or other items while enjoying a film under the stars. Be sure to obtain permission from the property owner before detecting on the premises.

6. City Parks:

City parks are popular recreational areas where people gather for picnics, sports, and leisurely strolls. 

These vibrant spaces offer ample opportunities for metal detecting, with the potential to uncover a variety of lost items. 

Be sure to focus on high-traffic areas such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports fields.

7. Hunting Camps and Lodges:

Hunting camps and lodges are often located in remote or wooded areas, making them intriguing locations for metal detecting. 

Campers and hunters may have dropped or misplaced items such as ammunition casings, tools, or even valuable artifacts. Be sure to obtain permission from the property owner before detecting in these areas.

8. Beaches:

Beaches are popular destinations for sunbathers, swimmers, and beachcombers, making them fertile ground for metal detecting. 

The ebb and flow of the tide can reveal hidden treasures like coins, jewelry, and other items lost in the sand. Be sure to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before detecting on beaches.

9. Renaissance Fairs and Fair Grounds:

Renaissance fairs and fairgrounds are lively venues where people gather to celebrate history, culture, and entertainment. 

These colorful events can yield a variety of lost items, from costume jewelry to souvenir coins. Be sure to obtain permission from event organizers before detecting on fairgrounds.

10. College Campuses:

College campuses are bustling hubs of activity, with students, faculty, and visitors coming and going throughout the day. 

These dynamic environments offer numerous opportunities for metal detecting, from busy walkways to quiet corners. Be sure to obtain permission from campus authorities before detecting on university property.

11. Traveling Carnivals and Fairs:

Traveling carnivals and fairs bring excitement and entertainment to towns and cities across the country.

These temporary venues attract crowds of people, creating opportunities for metal detecting enthusiasts to uncover lost treasures amidst the festivities. Be sure to obtain permission from event organizers before detecting at carnival sites.

12. Roadside Stands:

Roadside stands are popular stops for travelers seeking fresh produce, snacks, and souvenirs. 

These bustling hubs of activity can yield a variety of lost items, from coins and jewelry to keys and trinkets. Be sure to obtain permission from the stand owner before detecting on their property.

13. Campgrounds:

Campgrounds are popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and relaxation. 

These serene settings offer numerous opportunities for metal detecting, with campers often leaving behind items such as tent stakes, cooking utensils, and personal belongings. 

Be sure to obtain permission from campground management before detecting on their grounds.

14. Ski Resorts:

Ski resorts attract outdoor enthusiasts year-round, offering thrilling adventures on the slopes and cozy retreats in the lodge. 

These bustling destinations can yield a variety of lost items, from ski equipment and clothing to valuables dropped in the snow. Be sure to obtain permission from resort management before detecting on their property.

15. Scout Camps:

Scout camps are vibrant communities where young people come together to learn, explore, and connect with nature. 

These dynamic environments offer numerous opportunities for metal detecting, with scouts often leaving behind items such as badges, pins, and personal belongings. Be sure to obtain permission from camp leaders before detecting on scout campgrounds.

16. Churches:

Churches are sacred spaces where people gather for worship, fellowship, and community events. 

These historic sites can yield a variety of lost items, from religious artifacts to personal belongings left behind by parishioners. Be sure to obtain permission from church leadership before detecting on church property.

17. Ghost Towns:

Ghost towns are eerie reminders of the past, offering glimpses into bygone eras and lost civilizations. 

These abandoned settlements can yield a treasure trove of artifacts and relics, from old coins and tools to household items and architectural remnants. Be sure to obtain permission from property owners or local authorities before detecting in ghost towns.

18. Bars and Taverns:

Bars and taverns are lively establishments where people gather to socialize, relax, and unwind. 

These bustling venues can yield a variety of lost items, from coins and jewelry to keys and trinkets dropped during a night out. Be sure to obtain permission from the establishment owner before detecting on their property.

19. Rest Stops:

Rest stops are convenient waypoints for travelers seeking a break from the road. 

These busy hubs can yield a variety of lost items, from coins and jewelry to personal belongings left behind by weary travelers. Be sure to obtain permission from rest stop management before detecting on their property.

20. Old Barns:

Old barns are iconic symbols of rural life, offering glimpses into agricultural history and craftsmanship. 

These weathered structures can yield a variety of artifacts and relics, from farming implements and tools to household items and personal belongings. Be sure to obtain permission from the property owner before detecting around old barns.

Why Research is Crucial

Optimizing Finds:

Some areas have a richer history and are more likely to yield valuable items. Historical sites like old battlefields, colonial settlements, and abandoned homesteads are prime spots for metal detecting due to their historical significance and the likelihood of finding artifacts.

Legal Reasons:

Not all places allow metal detecting. Research helps avoid trespassing or breaking local laws. Public parks, beaches, and forests may have specific regulations regarding metal detecting, requiring permits or restricting certain areas to protect the environment or cultural heritage.


Understanding terrain and potential hazards ensures a safe detecting experience. Be mindful of uneven ground, wildlife encounters, and weather conditions when exploring remote areas or rugged landscapes for metal detecting.

Always prioritize personal safety and take necessary precautions before embarking on any detecting expedition.

Learn About Common Challenges When Metal Detecting.

Steps to Researching Locations

  • Local Libraries and Archives:

Exploring local libraries and archives can uncover a treasure trove of historical information. Historical maps stored in these institutions provide valuable insights into past settlements and activity areas, guiding metal detectorists to potential hotspots for uncovering artifacts.

Additionally, delving into old newspapers archived within these collections can reveal mentions of events or gatherings, offering clues to potential drop spots where valuable items may have been lost or buried over time.

  • Online Forums and Groups:

Engaging with fellow metal detecting enthusiasts through online forums and groups opens doors to a wealth of shared experiences and valuable recommendations.

These communities serve as vibrant hubs where enthusiasts exchange tips, techniques, and insights gained from their metal detecting endeavors.

Websites dedicated to metal detecting often host location databases and offer practical advice, helping enthusiasts discover new sites and optimize their treasure-hunting experiences.

  • Visit Local Historical Societies:

Connecting with local historical societies provides a direct line to firsthand knowledge about significant historical sites in the area.

Members of these societies are often well-versed in the region’s history and can offer valuable insights into potential metal detecting locations. Moreover, they may be aware of local regulations governing metal detecting activities, ensuring that enthusiasts operate within legal boundaries while exploring historical sites.

  • Use Apps and Online Maps:

Harnessing the power of technology, metal detectorists can leverage apps and online maps to identify promising locations for exploration.

Tools like Google Earth enable enthusiasts to survey terrains from the comfort of their homes, pinpointing areas of interest based on historical landmarks or geographical features.

Furthermore, specialized apps designed for metal detecting provide location suggestions and facilitate efficient planning for successful treasure-hunting outings.

Quick Tips for Successful Research

  • Maintain a Journal: Keep notes of potential sites, historical references, and any permissions required.
  • Seek Permissions: If a site is on private property, always get permission before detecting it.
  • Stay Updated on Laws: Metal detecting regulations can change. Regularly check local guidelines to stay compliant.
  • Engage with a Community: Sharing knowledge and experiences with fellow detectorists can yield unexpected and valuable insights.

Here are some important things you should know before buying a metal detector


Researching metal-detecting locations is an essential step in the metal-detecting journey. 

A blend of historical knowledge, community insights, and technology ensures not only productive hunts but also enriching experiences.

Researching metal-detecting locations isn’t just a step in your journey; it’s a crucial part of the adventure. With a mix of historical knowledge, insights from the metal detecting community, and the help of modern technology, you’re not just searching for treasures – you’re also creating memorable experiences.

Remember, the more you know about where you’re searching, the more likely you are to find something amazing. So before you head out with your detector, spend some time on research. It makes all the difference!

Howard rockse

Hey there, I am Howard a deeply committed individual who likes to share my knowledge and insights in this field, having spent over ten years as a metal detectorist.

My experience with GoldXtra has allowed me to provide trustworthy and informative advice to both new and experienced metal-detecting enthusiasts. I’m committed to assisting others in exploring and enjoying the world of metal detecting with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have.

Howard Rockse
Senior Content Writer at GoldXtra

Read More about