It is your - the forager’s - responsibility to know the law regarding collection of wild plants and fungi on public and private land. For your convenience, we present this list of guidelines for foraging on public access land, which are accurate to the best of our knowledge but should not be taken as legal advice.
Foraging Laws vary by park in national parks. You can find more information about laws in a park near you using the National Park Service’s Website. To access the superintendent’s compendium for a specific park, visit nps.gov, select a location, and click on “learn about the park.” From there, you can access the compendium by clicking “management,” then “laws and policies.”
Be sure to follow additional regulations, including trail allowances and container allowances. Some parks do not allow glass containers of any kind, for example.
The following local national parks allow collection of specific species in specific quantities for personal use or consumption.
State Parks and State Forests
PA State Park Rules and Regulations, section 11.211
PA State Forest Rules and Regulations, section 21.115
PA State Parks and Forests prohibit the cutting, picking, digging, damaging or removing, in whole or in part, a living or dead tree, shrub, plant, or fungus except when gathering edible fruits, nuts, berries and fungi, in reasonable amounts, for one's own personal or family consumption. This permission does not apply to wild plants listed in Chapter 45 (relating to conservation of Pennsylvania native wild plants) as threatened, endangered, rare or vulnerable.
Rules and regulations will vary by county, but in general, foraging in any form (to cut, remove, pick, gather, uproot, or destroy plants) is not allowed in PA county parks.
York County Parks Rules and Regulations, section 75-8
Lancaster County Parks Rules and Regulations, section 14
In Maryland State Parks and Forests, foraging is not allowed: an individual may not remove, disturb, damage, or destroy a plant, rock, mineral, or animal without a permit.
County Park regulations vary by county, but most prohibit all collection of plants.