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Detecting at city parks


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New here and to detecting.

I have a Gold Bug. I was told it is a good entry level detector.

I just read a great thread on propecting vs trespassing.

Looks like Sawmill has it together.

My followup question is:

Is it legal to detect at city parks?

You know, around baseball fields, soccor fields, and other recreational areas.

They are supposed to be for public use, right?


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Welcome to the forum! :D

All cities have their own regulations on what can be done or not done in city parks/properties, in some cities you can detect in the parks and some you can't.

In some cities you can detect on public school properties, e.g. playgrounds, ball fields etc. are the best places, but a call to the school or school district will get you a answer

You would need to check with the City Parks Department to get the answer you seek for your city and or state.

In almost all State Parks and National Parks they usually forbid metal detecting, a call to the Ranger's Station for the area would get you the answer to what can be done in these parks.

Wherever you find that you can get permission to detect on public property, it's best to get the permission in writing and have it with you in case an uninformed law enforcement officer/park Ranger, etc. confronting you saying it's not allowed.

Other good place to detect is on private property after gaining permission from the land owner, look for the older properties and seek to gain permission for the best finds.

Be sure to post any treasures you may find in metal detecting on the forum!!


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If you get a no from someone at a desk, try and get them to show you the regulations/rules/law that forbids metal detecting the park in question, you may ask a particular city employee that thinks they know but may not, or you may ask someone that doesn't know, or someone for personal reasons that think metal detecting shouldn't be allowed but it isn't in the regulations, so asked to see it in writing.

I also know of others that have asked to have a copy of the park's regulations and never mentions metal detecting to check and see if there's a was a regulation regarding metal detecting, and or digging, etc., it they found nothing forbidding any of the activities that is used when metal detecting, they would then go and detect armed with the regulations in hand, which is the approach I like best.

Whichever approach you use if allowed to detect and you're ask by a LEO or Park employee to stop first politely show them the regulations, if they still insist you stop do so without argument, go and talk to the person you got the regulations from or better yet their boss and see if the matter can be resolved in your favor.

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With or without written permission it is always best to leave the place just as if you were never there. What do I mean?

Fill all your holes. More than that cut a 'plug' or lift the top layer over a target and lay it back EXACTLY as it was before you started. Act as if you are going to have to pay a fine for every hole dug. If someone can't tell if you dug a hole then you won't be fined. :) (Some cities actually want you to take a class and get a license before you can hunt.)

Seriously, if you have written permission and you leave holes that are a hazard to someone walking over them you are going to be busted anyway and make it impossible for anyone to go back to that and other city parks. If you see holes that have been dug before you then try to fill them. At some point you will be 'rewarded' with permission to hunt a place that others will never get because they are sloppy.

Try and have this same attitude about a sandy beach. I know kids leave holes but kids don't want permission to go back day after day after day to get new goodies.


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You make a great point about filling and hiding the dig site.

I've only had the GB for a couple of months and haven't done much detecting yet,

but I figured it out right away that I don't want to leave a hazzard behind.

I'm going to try to get to the parks dept. this week and find out just what they have to say.

I've been scouting parks for possibiities of any action. Some look better than others.

I have a handle on an old shool site, late 1800's, that I'm itchin' to detect.

I believe the prop is stil on the school dist. roster so I'm thinkin' I may need permission there too..

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Looks can indeed be so deceiving. Simply take that time and go to your local historical society and there you'll find out the truths. Some parks built on old parks and some parks long gone ,nuttn' but a field and the older the better. I've been to dozens of their mini museums and chock fulla info on old houses,parks,depots,fairgrounds etc etc,a virtual info treasuretrove they are-John

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Been talkin' to some old timers and have gotten info on an old military staging RR station, the old school site, and a non existant town with directions to the site of the old store and hotel. Starting to believe that I could spend the rest of my life detecting just these.

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Ah yes ... so many parks, beaches and meeting places to detect and so few days to detect! Same way I feel about all the mountain areas in the Bradshaw's ... So much land to detect and too few days left in life ... however many that may be! Just have to do the best we can!

Mike F

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