Foray at Ridgeway Pine Relict – Sunday, October 21

Join us for our VERY LAST FORAY OF 2018! The days and nights are getting quite cool and with the increasing frequency of frost, macrofungi are just about done for the season. Some mushrooms can still be found, though, including the late fall oyster (Sarcomyxa serotina), honey mushrooms (Armillaria spp.), the elm oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius), and more, like this strangely colored Suillus spraguei that I found on Thursday when I scouted the location. Of course, crusts, lichens, and cup fungi don’t mind the cool weather and we will be excited to look at those, too.

Given the construction on highway 151, the drive from the Capitol is 56 minutes. Please follow the outlined path in Google Maps. Please look at this map of the site. We will be parking along Ridgvue Road, on the East side, between the two house icons and then walking East into the pine forest. Find a carpool buddy here. Please note, the terrain gets pretty steep! This site is spectacular for its topography, which unfortunately also makes it difficult to navigate. 

Foray at Browntown Oak Forest SNA – Sunday, October 7

Join us at Browntown Oak Forest SNA on Sunday, October 7 at 2 pm. The fall is a great time for foraging in oak forests. We will find all kinds of edible and choice inedible fungi, from giant puffballs (Calvatia gigantea) to small puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme), from bright crusts (Phlebia coccineofulva) to resinous polypores (Ischnoderma resinosum), and cool boletes like the cyan-staining bolete (Cyanoboletus pulverulentus). Find a carpool buddy here. Leah Bendlin will be leading this foray. She grew up in Madison and is back from the Pacific Northwest for a few months. Leah is on the board of directors of the Oregon Mycological Society and has been foraging mushrooms and teaching mycology for years.

Browntown Oak Forest SNA is 1 hour and 4 minutes from the Madison Capitol. If you follow the Google Map instructions, drive to where Google takes you then keep going for about another minute up the hill. The parking lot is on the right at the top of the hill. The DNR map shows where the parking area is.  

If you have any questions, contact Leah via email:

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Foray at Magnolia Bluff SNA – Sunday, September 23

At 2 pm on Sunday, September 23, join us at Magnolia Bluff State Natural Area. Alden Dirks will be leading the foray. Contact him at 610-314-9573 if you need help. Find a carpool buddy here.

Check out the DNR page for Magnolia Bluff SNA. It is worth visiting just to see the awesome cliffs with a great view of distant farms and woods. There is also a beautiful oak savanna with big, gnarly bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa).

Make sure to bring bug spray. Mosquitoes are bad. 

Foray at Texas Island Woods State Natural Area #603 – 2 pm, Sunday, August 26

Alden Dirks will be leading this foray. Contact him at 610-314-9573 if you get lost, need more information, etc. Find a carpool buddy here.

Texas Island Woods State Natural Area #603 comprises 72 acres of mature hardwood forest and was established in 2010. Note that most state natural areas do not have public facilities like restrooms. 

This Google Map roughly shows how to get to the natural area, but you will need to follow the instructions below to find the parking area. We will meet at the parking area and walk together into the natural area. 

From the intersection of County Highways F and E in Sullivan, go south on County Highway E 2.5 miles to a DNR parking area west of the road. Hike west 0.5 miles into the natural area.

Wisconsin DNR

We highly recommend you look at and print this map from the DNR. Note the location of the parking lot. Also note that the natural area is an “island” with swampy and marshy areas surrounding it on all sides. I think the maturity of the forest, with its natural beauty and the amazing mushrooms I expect us to find, will make the drive and 10 minute trek well worth it.

Foray at Kathy and Henry’s place, 49 Danks Rd., Stoughton, WI 53598 – Sunday, August 12

This Sunday we will be foraging on the private property of Kathy and Henry Royer. Meet us at their house, 49 Danks Rd., Stoughton, WI 53598. Check out their beautiful sculptures and furniture on their website.

We hope to find some exciting late summer edibles, like chanterelles and chicken of the woods. 

Find a carpool buddy here.  

Bring outdoor clothes and expect to walk through woods and brush that might contain ticks and poison ivy, and most definitely some mosquitoes. A hat, water, snacks, and insect repellant are all handy things to bring. Stiff wicker baskets are ideal for carrying fungal finds intact; mesh bags will often turn your collection into unidentifiable debris. Also, a camera for documenting mushrooms and a notebook for recording information are both valuable for growing as a wild forager and mycologist.

Foray at Waunakee Wildlife Area – Sunday, July 29

Join Madison Mycological Society on a summer foray at Waunakee Wildlife Area. Alden Dirks will be leading the foray and can be contacted at 610-314-9573 if you can’t find the group or need help. You can find a carpool buddy here.

Waunakee Marsh State Wildlife Area, although primarily comprised of marshland, has 40 acres of hardwood forest. It was established in 1958 to protect some of the waterways leading to Lake Mendota. Read more about the site here. There is only one designated parking lot at Waunakee Widlife Area, which you can see on this map.

Foray at Capital Springs State Recreation Area – Sunday, July 22

Join Madison Mycological Society on a summer foray at Capital Springs State Recreation Area. Sarah Wiest will be leading the foray and can be contacted at 937-371-3907 if you can’t find the group or need help. You can find a carpool buddy here.

Capital Springs State Recreation Area is owned cooperatively by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Dane County Parks. We are allowed to forage on the state park, but not the county park area. Driving directions are on the DNR website, but you can also see Google Map directions here. The address is listed as 3123 Lake Farm Road. The DNR map is lackluster, but might be of value.

Foray at Lake Kegonsa State Park – Sunday, July 15

Join Madison Mycological Society on a summer foray at Lake Kegonsa State Park. Alden Dirks will be leading the foray and can be contacted at 610-314-9573 if you can’t find the group or need help. You can find a carpool buddy here.

Lake Kegonsa State Park is described as “one of the best kept secrets of southern Wisconsin.” You can read more about the area here. Take a look at the map of the state park. We will be looking for fungi along the White Oak Nature Trail – meet us at the trailhead. There are two parking lots labeled in really small font as “trail parking” on the map. These seem to be the parking lots closest to the trailhead. The DNR also has an educational trail guide which you can take a peek at.

Note that a vehicle admission sticker is required, which costs $8 daily or $28 for an annual sticker.

Foray at Goose Lake Drumlins – Sunday, June 17

At 2 pm on Sunday, June 17, Madison Mycological Society will be hosting a foray at Goose Lake Drumlins (SNA #375 in Dane County).  Following these directions, meet us at the parking lot between Mud Lake and Goose Lake Sarah Wiest will lead the foray. If you can’t find the group, contact her at 937-371-3907. Add your name or find a ride on our carpooling list.

As a reminder, please be cautious and conscientious when moving through public lands. State Natural Areas are available for public recreation like wild foraging, but are protected primarily because they are some of the last remaining areas representative of the ecosystems that existed across Wisconsin prior to European-American colonization. Please avoid trampling vegetation. Learn more about Wisconsin’s State Natural Areas Program.

State natural areas (SNAs) protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin’s native landscape of natural communities, significant geological formations and archeological sites. Encompassing nearly 400,000 acres, Wisconsin’s 687 natural areas are valuable for research and educational use, the preservation of genetic and biological diversity and for providing benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also provide some of the last refuges for rare plants and animals.