Where Can I Metal Detect in the US?

Stories of gold mines near me or the Oak Island treasure can fill your mind with fantasies of finding riches with your metal detector. While the reality of this popular hobby is not usually as exciting, the world still offers plenty of opportunities to get out there and have some fun. Before you grab your favorite forest or beach metal detector, a water bottle, and bag for your discoveries, make sure you know where you can metal detect in the US legally.


Metal Detecting Spots Without Permission
Unless a specific spot has unique rules about metal detecting, you are allowed to go on a treasure hunt in any public place. This includes local parks, school grounds when schools are not in session, public beaches and fishing spots, fairgrounds or amusement parks, open air venues, and your own private property [1]. Always use common sense and a high degree of respect when exploring with your metal detector. For example, you should never treasure hunt near a school when children are present or get too close to sunbathers at the beach.

Possible Treasure Hunt Locations if You Ask First
Metal detecting at both residential and commercial privately owned property requires permission. Even if a house or other building looks abandoned, someone must own it. Ghost towns, abandoned mines, and historical ruins offer intriguing possibilities. Be aware of local trespassing laws so you do not find yourself in trouble from your favorite pastime. Old houses, battlefields, and historical points of interest can be great sources of interesting finds, so many metal detecting fans focus on them.
Asking permission may be as simple as contacting an organization or posted owner of the property over the phone or with a letter. Written permission is always better because it would stand up in court if authorities tried to claim you were trespassing.
Places Where Metal Detecting Is Against the Law
Familiarize yourself with the State Park and public spaces regulations when it comes to metal detecting [2]. Ignorance of the law is not a defense for breaking it. If you intend to take your metal detector on vacation to a new state, it may help to get in contact with a local club for more precise information.
Metal detecting is illegal anywhere within the National Park System, around National Monuments, and on Revolutionary War and Civil War Battlefields. It is also disallowed on most official Native American lands. It is important to realize that the places where visitors walk and stand to view monuments or national points of interest are not public. You cannot, for example, metal detect around the base of the Washington Monument even if visitors drop every coin from their pockets. These are felony crimes, so do not even think about bringing your metal detector anywhere close.
You start a metal detecting hobby because you want to have fun, go on a treasure hunt, and explore new locations. The last thing you want to do is get in legal trouble by breaking the law or trespassing. After buying a waterproof metal detector suitable for beach, fields, and woods, you want to focus on discovering lost items. Learn where you can metal detect in the US and always has permission when in doubt.

[1] https://metaldetectingintheusa.com/best-places-to-metal-detect/
[2] http://www.mdhtalk.org/maps/fp-map-regulations.htm