Hiking for Morels

in Wednesday Walk11 months ago (edited)

Last weekend, I took a trip to the Manistee National Forest in search of morels. This expansive forest in the western portion of Michigan's lower peninsula is a beautiful and remote destination with only a few small towns being scattered amongst the miles and miles of trees.

The forests here are an eclectic collection of deciduous and conifer trees that result from this region lying on the boundary of the coniferous boreal forests to the North and the eastern deciduous forests to the south. This transitional zone affords habitat to a wide array of tree species including red pine, eastern hemlock, jack pine, sugar maple, American beech, paper birch and more. With the warm weather finally having arrived, I decided to try my luck at finding morels deep in these woods along the winding banks of the Manistee River.

As I started my decent from the top of the steep banks, I ran into my first clue that morels were nearby: false morels.

Gyromitra venenata:






These brain-like masses projected from the steep banks leading down to the river below, taunting untrained mushroom hunters to mistake them for their edible cousins.





As I made my way further along the river, the trail jogged into the forest to make the descent to the floodplains.


Along the way were various rustic campsites, occasionally occupied by backpackers as they made the trek along this river and the adjacent North Country Trail beyond.


The bends in the river occasionally gave way to stunning views of the river. I was a bit surprised to not see more trout fisherman testing their own luck on these smooth flowing waters.






Several miles further along the trail, I came across another patch of false morels, though a different species than those I had found earlier in the day.

Gyromitra brunnea:






Six hours after I had started my trek along this river bank, I had no morels to show for my efforts, but the beauty and serenity of the experience was more than enough of a reward.


In the following days I returned home from the forest, eager to return some time in the future. Although I was disappointed to have not found any morels during my trip, my efforts were eventually rewarded. Rather than being tucked away in the remote corners of a vast forest, the morels were right under my feet all along.

While walking through in a local town park, two triumphant white morels sat only mere feet from the well-trafficked trail, a consolation prize I was more than happy to accept.

White Morel (Morchella americana):



Thank you for walking with me.

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A nice walk and trofeis - !BEER 🍻

Beautiful country! We are in morel season in Vermont also. I found a few last week but now we are in a cold snap. Not sure how the season is going to play out.

I think I'd die if I saw a morel!!!! Isn't it funny that you can hunt for hours and then just bump into one. That's how I found wood blewitts!

WOW the views along your way are so beautiful lush and green

I know little about Mushrooms so I would have bene fooled by the fake ones

Thanks for joining the Wednesday Walk, its my pleasure to host it and see all the posts each week from all around the world, including yours, if you have time visit some of the other walks this week there are so many interesting ones

what a nice place! I am not a fungi professional, but this mushroom was created to be captured by your cam;)

A good bike for unexpected emotions. I love it.

very nice pictures that friends display

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