Leelanau News and Events

Friends Of Sleeping Bear Dunes Foraging PSA: Morels Okay, Petoskey Stones Must Stay

By Emily Tyra | May 3, 2021

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes put out a friendly reminder in its May 2021 newsletter to mushroom hunters and rockhounds. Petoskey stones — our state stone, actually remnants of a coral reef that existed when this area was a tropical sea — can certainly be found along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, but pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 – 2.1, they must remain in the park.

According to Julie Christian, Chief of Natural Resources at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, “Lakeshore visitors may find and admire Petoskey stones on its Lake Michigan beaches, but the stones must be returned to the lake to maintain the pristine nature of the environment. Those who want to collect Petoskey stones may visit State-owned lands (the Lakeshore is Federal) where they may collect up to 25 pounds per visit.”

Check out Friends of Sleeping Bear’s blog on the topic, and some alternate rock hunting spots, here.

Bottom line, it’s illegal to take any natural thing from a National Park — including rocks, wildflowers, plants and mosses — with some edible exceptions, including morel mushrooms.

Gathering morels on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore land is permitted with these stipulations:

• the mushrooms are collected by hand
• mushrooms are for personal (non-commercial) use or consumption
• no more than one gallon of morels at a time

See the Friends’ morel blog with more details, and more news from the lakeshore, here.

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