Places to metal detect without permission

(This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.)
I’ll share with you five places to metal detect without permission. But, before we start, please note:

  • Even if the place is open for detectorists without a permission, it’s a good idea to get one just in case.
  • Be responsible, dig small and clean holes and fill them back again after you recover the target. Irresponsible detectorists are making things harder for the rest of the community.

So let’s go back to the famous question: where can I detect without permission? And here’s where you can enjoy your freedom…

Your Yard

The most obvious place where you can metal detect without a permission is your own yard!

If you’re a beginner, this is the best place where you can practice using your metal detector, pinpointer and dig neat plugs.

If your house is old, you may find interesting coins lost by the previous owner. So don’t underestimate the potential of your yard.

You can also use it to locate your buried sprinkler heads. Be careful, dig safely and don’t hit utility lines.

City Park

Generally ,you don’t need a permission to metal detect in city parks. Since every park, city, and state has its own rules, you should double check and ask for permission anyway. It is also a good thing to do if the groundskeeper shows up.

Don’t use a shovel to dig holes. Use only a trowel and a screwdriver to popup coins without digging.

Please remember to dig small holes and to cover them well. Don’t damage the grass. And make them look as if nobody was detecting there.


Playgrounds are a good spot where you can find a lot of coins lost by kids while playing. And you don’t need any permission just like parks.

Look near the swings, slides, and sandboxes. Sand is easier to dig and you can cover the holes without a problem.

If you want, you can take your kids with you. Let them play and go metal detecting.


If it’s a public school, then it’s a public property. You can metal detect in the schoolyard without a permission only outside school hours.

So, it’s better to go during the weekend, holidays and of course during the summer vacation.

Metal detecting during school hours is a bad idea. You will draw the attention of hundreds of eyes from the school.

If you come at the weekend and some people asked you about what you are doing, be friendly and show them how useful the hobby is.

For example, you can show them the nails and the metal debris you recovered that could eventually hurt the kids while they are playing especially if they are near the surface.

Some of them will like the idea and may invite you metal detect and to help them find their lost items.


Sidewalks belong to the city. So because they are public property, you should be able to metal detect the grass strips (between the sidewalk and the curb) without asking for a permission.

However, there are certain things that you should keep in mind. The rules differ from one city to another.

In some cities, the homeowner is responsible for the sidewalk maintenance and repairs. In others, cities have to take care of that. And in some cases, they both share the responsibility.

So, maybe because the owner of the house adjacent to the sidewalks is responsible for the maintenance you have to ask for a permission.

Second, many people don’t like seeing someone digging in front of their houses even if the sidewalks are a public property (you can wear a green or an orange safety vest to look like surveyor).


Now you have a list of five places to metal detect without having to ask for a permission. If you have any other good spots, please share them with us in the comments below.

But, as I already noted, it’s better to get a permission just in case. And always dig neat plugs and fill them. Don’t ruin the hobby for the rest of the detectorists community.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.