Share:

The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi

52 Week Adventure Challenge

09.05.17

Start Exploring
The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi

Share:

Advertisement
  • A white-gilled mushroom (Russula emetica).- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Mushrooms called shaggy manes sprout from desert sand after heavy rainfall in the Mojave desert- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • In the summer, the stinging fork falls trail in Tennessee is lined with wildflowers and mushrooms.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Wild mushrooms in New York's Leland Preserve- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Mushrooms along the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • An unidentified mushroom brightens up Big Hill State Park in Tennessee.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • An unidentified species of conk mushroom.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • The damp environment of the Sweet Creek hike in Oregon is ideal for spotting mushrooms.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • A lobster mushroom grows along the trail in Opal Creek Wilderness.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • An unidentified mushroom growing in the Willamette Foothills.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • An amethyst deceiver mushroom along the Clackamas River.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • An angel wing mushroom (Pleurocybella porrigens). It's edible status was called into question after 19 elderly people with liver problems died in Japan a few years ago.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Little mushrooms like these are an easily identifiable fungus in the Pacific Northwest.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • A large cauliflower mushroom (Sparassis crispa) in the Pacific Northwest.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Jelly fungus (Dacrymyces palmatus).- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Puffball mushroom (Calbovista subsculpta).- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Interesting fungi sprouting from the ground.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
  • Red coral mushroom.- The Fascinating World of Mushrooms + Fungi
Article
Contributor

If you have spent any amount of time outside in damp, forested places like the Pacific Northwest, you know that spotting an interesting fungi on a hike can sometimes be as exciting as seeing a rare wild animal.

It was assumed for a very long time that fungi, a category that encompasses everything from mold to yeast to mushrooms, were just another funky type of plants. In 1966, they were given their own category in the animal kingdom when researchers discovered they are actually living organisms.

Unlike regular plants, they don’t create their own nutrients. Like animals, they need to take in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from the world around them. The part where it gets weird is that they don’t digest their food inside the body like we do. Instead, they expel enzymes and break down the nutrients from their food externally rather than internally. Crazy, right?

So, what do mushrooms and mold have to do with outdoor recreation? When you open your eyes to how interesting and mind boggling these organisms are, it brings a whole new element to a hike or outdoor outing.

They are also pretty tasty, we have to admit. Mushroom hunting and gathering is rising in popularity and is a great way to learn more about these interesting fungi. Be cautious, however. There are plenty of edible mushrooms out there that look really similar to ones that could be poisonous and potentially life threatening if you eat them. If you are new to mushroom hunting, consider joining your local mycological society to learn what is and isn’t safe in your area. 

California

Oregon

Washington

New York

Tennessee

#52AdventureChallenge

We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!

Advertisement
Published By

Published by

Contributor
5 Adventures Explored

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info