There’s no better way to marvel at nature’s diversity than to go looking for mushrooms in the forests of Summit County. The damper the summer, the greater the bounty, and you’ll have the best luck a day or two after a rain. Find fairy circles and every color in the rainbow. From giant, beautiful amanitas to crazy tree formations, examining the forest fungus world is truly fascinating.
A Perfect Amanita
The shocking red beauty of the most well known mushroom.
Mushrooms are the final fruit of a much bigger mycelial network, so they are literally all around you as you hike. There are a few apps that will use your cameral to help you with identification. Picture Mushroom has an AI that compares your find to thousands in their database, and the app is great fun in learning more about the mushrooms you find.
The forest has an amazing variety of fungus everywhere.
A book can be better if you really want to be certain of your identification. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms and Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora are two great references. There is also the public Mushroom Identification group on facebook.
Bring Home Dinner!
There are a wide variety of edible mushrooms in the National Forest.
If you do wish to collect mushrooms in the national forest, don’t forget a permit. The Dillon Ranger District issues free seasonal mushroom permits for personal use. There are daily and seasonal limits on the amount of mushrooms you are allowed to collect. Don’t eat wild mushrooms if you are not 100% certain of their identity. There are plenty of poisonous look-a-likes to choice edibles that could fool you, with a painful or deadly outcome.