Map of Where Different Types of Mushrooms Grow in the United States for Mushroom Foraging

When most people think about mushrooms, it’s not at all uncommon to believe that these mushroom hunting fungi come from very exotic places – we conjure up images from the Amazon rainforest, or mushroom foraging high in the mountain ranges of the Sierra Mazatec in Mexico, or even the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Beginner Mushroom Foraging

And while it is true that many, many special mushrooms do hail from those areas of the world, beginner mushroom foraging seekers that could be special mushroom hunting also discover they grow in abundance throughout the wilderness of the United States.

Take a closer look at where mushrooms grow in the United States as well as several other relevant topics, such as laws concerning foraging special mushrooms and how to legally study the spores of mushrooms, no foraging required.

You’ll Learn How To Find Mushrooms In The Wild & About Mushroom Strains & Mushroom Species:

Where do Mushrooms Grow in the United States?

Let’s begin with the most interesting information of all, where hallucinogenic mushrooms grow in the United States:

united states mushroom map

Mushrooms Growing In The Wild vs. Grow Kits

It’s estimated that there are over twenty species of special mushrooms growing wild in the United States without the aid of mushroom grow kits. That’s probably quite the low estimate, in fact, but those were the findings by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society in their joint initiative called iNaturalist, a social network which allows people to share biodiversity information.

iNaturalist organizers recently released a mushroom observation study using this information on biodiversity, which to our knowledge might be one of the most complete studies on the actual locations of different species of mushrooms, including psychoactive fungi. This is possible because the organization effectively “crowdsourced” work to thousands of explorers, mycologists, biologists, and individuals otherwise interested in documenting their findings in nature.

Using the datasets submitted by participants in the network, researchers were able to document over 40 million confirmed occurrences of mushrooms discovered in the wild. Nearly 100% of the findings had accurate geolocation data, meaning that the dataset collected by iNature is remarkably accurate (and, crucially, up-to-date as of 2022).

Psychedelic mushrooms were discovered in California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Wisconson, Texas, Indiana, and even Alaska. But where were the most mushrooms found?

Where are the Best Areas to Forage Mushrooms in the United States?

That’s a bit of a trick question. The answer is nowhere, because doing so is illegal! More on this in the following section. For now, it’s good enough to understand that according to the findings of the researchers mentioned in the previous section, the best area of the country to find and observe mushrooms in the wild is—by a fairly significant margin—the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, including Northern California, Oregon, and Washington.

Some of the United States areas with the most special mushrooms were:

  • Pacific County, Washington
  • Clatsop County, Oregon
  • Tillamook County, Oregon
  • Humboldt County, California
  • San Mateo County, California
  • Dewitt County, Texas
  • Warren County, Pennsylvania
  • Alachua County, Florida

The reason so many of these areas are in the Pacific Northwest region of the country is because this area tends to experience very wet weather, which fungi loves. There are also large forests which provide plenty of shade and darkness. The temperature during warmer periods of the year is also just right for many special mushroom species.

where to find mushrooms

Mushroom Legality and Illegality Between USA States

The possession of mushrooms is illegal throughout most jurisdictions in the United States. While some areas have decriminalized mushrooms, this isn’t synonymous with legalized regarding spore legality from state-to-state, it just means that these things aren’t a priority for law enforcement. Only a handful of cities in the United States have decriminalized mushrooms, such as Denver and Santa Cruz.

With this in mind, it’s very important to know that foraging or otherwise collecting mushrooms, even if discovered in the wild, is illegal in the United States. If you do happen to come across mushrooms, it isn’t illegal to observe them and you aren’t obligated to report your findings.

Want to Study Mushroom Spores Without Breaking the Law? Here’s the Legal Way to Get Spores

Mature mushrooms are illegal. This is because they contain a special compound, since the spores of these fungi don’t contain anything illegal (it only manifests during the growth and maturity phases), they’re legal in most states. The only exceptions are California, Idaho, and Georgia. If you live in a state other than those, you can buy mushroom spores online legally and study them under your microscope!