Walking through the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve after a rain is a good time to spot fungi. The forest will be sprouting an incredible display for you to enjoy. If you are looking for a fun adventure, go for a fungi scavenger hunt in Chicopee Woods!
The variety of shapes and colors make mushrooms a fascinating study. They randomly come up in spring, summer and fall when the humidity, temperature and shade are right.
The mushrooms you see are actually the reproductive organs of a larger fungal organism, the mycelium. The mycelium has web-like threads that run underground and throughout dead and decaying organic matter. When conditions are just right, they produce mushrooms to spread spores to reproduce.
Among species spotted along the 8-mile hiking trail system in recent days are groups of chanterelle and clavarioid fungi.
The clavarioid fungi’s reproductive body grows in a branch-like formation and is commonly called coral fungi. The orange chanterelle is a popular choice for foragers, as it is edible. Make sure you identify your mushrooms correctly because the false chanterelle is poisonous and will upset your stomach.
Remember, taking mushrooms or any plant from the Nature Preserve is prohibited, but it is a fun adventure to see how many species of fungi you can find!
Take a Hike in Chicopee Woods
The Chicopee Woods 8-mile hiking trail system is open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset. Dogs and pets are PROHIBITED in the Chicopee Woods Conservation Area and on the Elachee Nature Science Center campus.