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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure where I am allowed to look. I moved to the Nashville area from Oregon two years ago. In Oregon I would go into the national forests and it was okay to simply leave a trail in search of mushrooms. I also searched on federal BLM land. Here in TN, local state parks seem keen on sticking to the trails. I've looked into TVA land and there doesn't appear to be any near Nashville. For morels, I understand I should get out of the basin and I have ideas of which towns to explore near. It's just unclear to me where I can go and start exploring the forests and the land off a trail. I appreciate any general guidance on this.
 

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I usually try along side of road where a small stream is or place where ppl fish. I look at parks walking trails, rest stops pull offs any where I see trees that they partner with, even gas stations ( y not).
 

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Think about it. Just how many rangers can they pay to be out there, and how many of them are out in the woods? There's a local metro park that is supposedly verboten for hunting and gathering. There are also advisories against going "off trail". I do so regularly, as do others, and have never been busted. We fellow gatherers recognize each other, and trade knowing looks as we pass by.

The thing you need to be really careful of is when you are coming out. That's where the enforcement people will be if they are there at all! You might need to stash your finds in the woods and come out empty handed until they go away! Always have a camera hanging around your neck, and take plenty of pics of things while out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your advice, Michael W. and shroomsearcher. I feel emboldened to broaden my search outside the trail a bit.
 

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Yep. Just need to use your head and keep your wits about you. The aforementioned metro park is one gigantic, miles long ramp patch! I can find them everywhere! However, I've found one place where I am completely out of sight, and only have to cross a short stretch of open ground to get to my truck. I love ramps.

Had an interesting experience last year. Was near the top of an oak, maple, beech ridge in the same park last year. I was going in to get a few chanterelles. Ridiculously easy to find. Takes me 10-15 minutes to find enough for a couple of meals. I've found out that they don't dry well, so I use them fresh, in season. There's a hiking path that runs along the length of the ridge. and you can find them growing right beside the path! On my way in I've hiked past the same fallen log for years. Last year, as I enter the woods, I see that tell-tale orange/yellow color that screams "CHICKENS"!

Sure enough, log is loaded with newly popped chickens. A first year chicken log! But, it's located about 30 feet from the path, and 30 feet from a park road on the other side! I know that somebody is going to see that log! So, I go get my chanterelles figuring to get those chickens on my way out. As I'm working on those chickens I hear a voice say, "What are you doing?" "Oh crap! I'm busted!" Turns out I wasn't. It was just some woman out for a walk on the trail, and she was just honestly curious. So, I showed her what I was doing,

I also showed her some of the chanterelles I had picked. She seemed genuinely interested, and didn't understand why the park would forbid such an activity when I told her that they did. As far as I'm concerned, they should offer guided classes on this stuff!
 
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