Metal detecting in an old park

Finding Old Parks for Metal Detecting and Uncovering History

Discovering the hidden treasures of old parks through metal detecting is an adventure like no other. Whether you’re in an area steeped in Native American history, early settler life, or the bustling paths of traders and merchants, these parks are treasure troves waiting to be explored.

My own experience in a late 1800s park in Utah, where my husband and I unearthed intriguing metal pieces and an antique coin, is a testament to the rich finds these places offer.

The base of old trees in historic parks is perfect for swinging a metal detector
The base of old trees in historic parks is perfect for swinging a metal detector

Finding Old Parks to Metal Detect

Parks, the common thread in the fabric of most cities and towns, are accessible havens for metal detecting enthusiasts. But the real gems are often hidden in the oldest of these green spaces. Here’s how to find them:

  • Research Local History: Dive into the past at your local library or historical society. Old maps, newspapers, and archival records can reveal the locations of long-forgotten parks. For instance, a 19th-century map might show a now-overlooked gathering spot, ripe for exploration.
  • Consult Online Resources: Utilize digital tools like Avenza Maps, which I personally recommend, to compare historical and current maps of your area. This app, functional even offline, is invaluable for pinpointing old parks that have withstood the test of time or have been transformed.
  • Engage with Community Elders: The living history within your community is a goldmine. Engage with long-time residents who can recount the evolution of local parks and public spaces, some of which might no longer exist or have been altered significantly.
  • Look for Telltale Signs: In your quest, be observant of large, mature trees – their presence often indicates an older park. Exposed tree roots suggest undisturbed ground, increasing the likelihood of finding original, unaltered sites.
  • Understand Legal Restrictions: Always ensure the park is not a historical site, as these are often off-limits without specific permissions. Check local regulations to understand the dos and don’ts of metal detecting in your area.

Metal Detecting Tip: Treasure hunting doesn’t mean making a mess, digging holes and destroying historic sites. Use some ethics and preserve history. Sharing pictures and documenting the location and researching the back story is the most important part of finding treasure. Read my article πŸ‘‰ Metal Detecting Rules, Ethics and Laws

Leveraging Library Resources for Historical Maps

Searching a library for maps and newspapers to locate parks and fairs
Searching a library for maps and newspapers to locate parks and fairs

When embarking on a journey to discover old parks suitable for metal detecting, your local library can be a goldmine of information. Focus on finding historical maps within the library’s archives.

These maps are windows into the past, often revealing the existence of parks, fairgrounds, or festival areas that have faded from modern maps and memory. Such places, once bustling with community activities, could be rich in lost items and artifacts.

Metal Detecting Tip: One of my most popular articles is about getting permission for private land. Read it here πŸ‘‰ How to get permission to detect private property

Navigating Newspaper Archives for Event Locations

In addition to maps, turn your attention to the library’s newspaper archives. Old newspapers are a chronicle of community life, often containing detailed accounts of local events, fairs, and gatherings. By perusing these papers, you can uncover mentions of specific locations where people historically congregated for various events.

These locations, especially if they were recurring event sites, are likely spots for interesting finds. The librarians, with their wealth of knowledge and experience, can be invaluable guides in navigating these archives and pinpointing the most promising areas for your metal detecting adventures.

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Lesche T Handle Shovel picture
Lesche T Handle Shovel digs through everything

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I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.

Minelab Equinox 800 amazing Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800 amazing metal detector

If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME , get the industry standard metal detector. The Minelab Equinox 800 IS THE BEST. Okay it’s not cheap, but your finds are going to increase with this machine.

Tips For Finding Old Items in Old Parks

  1. Study the Landscape: Use aerial views to identify paths, large trees, playgrounds, and picnic areas. These spots, frequented by people, are likely spots for lost items.
  1. Focus on Large Trees: The root systems of large trees can bring buried items closer to the surface. Explore around and under these natural landmarks.
  2. Be Persistent: When searching for deeply buried items, patience is key. Not all signals will be clear, and sometimes, what seems like trash could be masking a valuable find.
  3. Explore Urban Sidewalk Strips and School Grounds: In addition to parks, consider exploring older sidewalk strips and school grounds in your area. These places, especially in the oldest parts of town, can be rich in finds due to their historical usage and foot traffic.
  4. Use Zillow for Historical Insights: Platforms like Zillow can be surprisingly useful for metal detecting research. They often provide historical data on neighborhoods, which can help you identify older parks or areas where parks might have existed in the past.
  5. Map Out Small Areas for Detailed Searching: When in a park, consider mapping out small, manageable areas and methodically detecting every signal within that zone. This thorough approach can increase your chances of finding older, deeper targets that are often missed.
  6. Focus on Rural Old Parks: Old parks in rural areas are often less hunted than those in urban settings, making them potentially more fruitful for finding old coins and relics. These parks might have seen less foot traffic over the years but can hold historical items.
  7. Metal Detect After Rain: Rain can make the ground more conductive and soften the soil, making it easier to dig and potentially bringing buried items closer to the surface. Plan your trips after a rainfall for potentially better detecting conditions.
  8. Explore Newly Planted Areas: Freshly disturbed soil around new plantings in old parks can bring older items closer to the surface, making them easier to detect.
  9. Consider Soil Conditions: Different seasons affect soil conditions, which in turn impact metal detecting. Moist soil in spring and early winter can be more conducive to detecting than the dry soil of summer and fall.

More Historic Spots Worth Researching

Secrets in the Woods

Imagine wandering through the serene woods, where each step could bring you closer to a hidden relic or a long-lost coin. These wooded areas, especially near historical settlements, are like time capsules.

They might have witnessed everything from daily chores of the past to secret caches. The chance of stumbling upon old tools or forgotten treasures here is not just a possibility, it’s an adventure waiting to happen.

Old Swimming Holes

There’s something magical about old swimming holes, once buzzing with summer joy and now quiet. These spots were the social hubs of yesteryears, where people gathered, swam, and inadvertently left behind bits of their lives like coins or jewelry.

Metal detecting in these old swimming haunts isn’t just about finding things; it’s about unearthing memories of sunlit days and carefree splashes.

Uncovering Stories in Abandoned Farmhouses

Picture an abandoned farmhouse, its walls silent witnesses to centuries of stories. The land around these farmhouses is a treasure hunter’s dream. Over the years, these grounds have gathered a mosaic of lost items – from quaint household utensils to personal mementos.

Metal detecting here is like flipping through the pages of a history book, where each find adds a sentence to a long-forgotten story.

Each of these locations isn’t just a place to find things; they’re chapters in the grand story of the past, waiting for you to turn the page. So, grab your metal detector and step into these scenes of history – who knows what tales await your discovery!

Rooting Around for History Swing a Metal Detector

Old parks are not just patches of green but gateways to the past, each with its own story and hidden treasures. By doing thorough research, respecting local laws, and approaching each hunt with curiosity and respect, you can uncover the secrets they hold.

Remember, the true joy of metal detecting lies not just in the finds but in the journey of discovery. So, gear up, step into the past, and happy hunting!

Malory Ericksen discovered metal detecting in 2015, initially unearthing nails and pull tabs in Idaho. The finding of an old railroad tie cemented her passion for the hobby. Now in Utah, she delights in uncovering historical treasures, driven by her love for history.

Read Malory’s complete bio πŸ‘‰ About Malory Ericksen

Here are five valuable resources for metal detectorists interested in finding old parks and other historic spots, complete with URLs and brief descriptions:

More Resources for Digging into the Old Stuff

Here are five valuable resources for metal detectorists interested in finding old parks and other historic spots, complete with URLs and brief descriptions:

5 Best Places to Metal Detect for Old Coins – This article discusses the most accessible and rewarding locations for metal detecting, particularly focusing on parks. It explains why parks, being common in almost any town in the United States, are ideal for finding old coins and other treasures.

33 Great Places to Metal Detect (Discover Hidden Treasures) – This comprehensive guide lists 33 different locations where metal detecting enthusiasts can explore, including mountains, rivers, campsites, local parks, churches, and yards. It provides insights into each type of location and what kind of treasures you might expect to find there.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in California [Maps, Laws and More] – This resource is specifically tailored for metal detecting enthusiasts in California, offering a detailed list of the best places to explore, including state parks and beaches. It also provides useful information about the relevant laws and maps to assist in planning your metal detecting adventures. – This resource guides you on how to utilize historic maps effectively to identify potential treasure hunting sites, including old parks and historic areas.

Treasure Coast Metal Detectors – This blog post provides insights into identifying and dating metal objects and suggests ways to discover metal detecting sites in your community, including historical locations.

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