Trip Report: Fall Mushroom Hikes
Trip Report: Fall Mushroom Hikes
The rain has returned to the Northwest, and the mushrooms are following right behind. Next Adventure Outdoor School's Greg Hill led two hikes this October to see the fruiting fungi.
Our first adventure was in the Columbia River Gorge on Sunday 10/12 for a mushroom identification hike along the Angel's Rest Trail.
The second forray was to the Tillamook State Forest on Sunday 10/19, where our small group collected chanterelles.
It was a beautiful day in the gorge. Enough rain had recently fallen to bring out a wide variety of mushrooms. The sky remained clear to enjoy the cliff-top views from the summit of Angel's Rest. Mt. Adams' snowy white peak even made and appearance.
But mostly we saw mushrooms.
We dawdled along the beginning of the trail, finding lots of fungi, but mostly LBMs and not many of the showier kinds.
Common along the path we found Douglas-fir cones with tiny white mushrooms sticking out of them - Strobilurus mushrooms.
Also recognizable were the Zeller's Boletes, a number of Agaricus species, turkey tail (Tramates sp.), earth stars, and lots of lichens.
There were stalked puffballs, some oyster mushrooms, sulfur tuft, and other fungi growing.
We paused by the viewpoint above Coopey Creek Falls to rehydrate and have a snack. We looked at the mushrooms we found to discuss identification criteria, such as cap, stalk, ring, and veil features.
The higher we climbed, the less mushrooms we saw. It was particularly evident when the trail left the woodsy creekside and switchbacked up the dry exposed slopes.
The views were spectacular from the rocky top of Angel's Rest. The Columbia River snaked along below us, stretching west toward Portland. The Vista House at Crown Point could be seen on the cliffs across from Rooster Rock.
After lunch up top, we turned back down the trail. Not stopping as often to look at mushrooms, we made it back to the trail head in short order.
TILLAMOOK STATE FOREST
Next Adventure Outdoor School mushroom hikes focus on identifying mushrooms in the field, but not collecting them. But we had a small group of repeat participants for our second mushroom hike, so we visited the Coast Range mountains where the chanties were fruiting and we could collect up to a gallon of mushrooms per vehicle.
Clouds and fog had dampened the leaves, but it was turning into a sunny day. We started our hike along the Storey Burn Trail near the Coast Range crest. We didn't even have to leave the parking area to find mushrooms. Puffballs were growing through the gravel in the parking area. As we hiked along the trail, there were many mushrooms to be seen, especially slippery jacks and sulfur tuft, but no chanterelles.
Our next stop was along Drift Creek Road, where we followed old logging roads and beat around the damp bush to find the golden treasures. There were still lots of slippery jacks and other mushrooms, but the chanties were the prize. We only saw a few at first, but as we retraced our steps, we found we had passed over many more.
Finally we made a visit to the Tillamook Forest Center and peered into the Wilson River to see if any salmon were spawning. We didn't see any, but that doesn't mean that they weren't there. 2014 has been a good year for salmon returns in the Pacific Northwest.
Enjoy the Fall rains and wait for the snow!
Next Adventure Outdoor School has more exciting trips planned for you.
Once the snow falls in the mountains, we'll have regularly scheduled snowshoe and cross-country day trips all winter long!
We also offer free clinics and presentations at the Grand Avenue Store and Paddle Sports Center In Portland, Oregon.
Check out these upcoming events, brought to you by Next Adventure!
November 6 - "PDXccentric" Presentation - with author Scott Cook
November 11 - Winter Travel: XC-Ski & Snowshoe Clinic
November 18 - Trekking Nepal Presentation - with Heather Knight
December 9 - Snowshoe and XC-Ski Clinic
December 16 - Women's Lightweight Backpacking Clinic
December 18 - Snowplay with Dogs - with Whitney "Allgood" La Ruffa
Come on down and let Next Adventure Inform, Outfit and Excite you!