Mushrooms, an additional bonus to our hikes

How are you enjoying our nice, warm summer hikes, when you don’t have to put on so many layers that it’s hard to walk, and we can end many of our hike days with these enjoyable picnics in the park.  There’s certainly allot more nature to add to your hiking pleasure.  Along the trails we hike, we can find many different kinds of mushrooms, unless the rainfall is much below average, which has not been the case so far this year.  Many of you have taken some very nice pictures.  How about posting your pictures on this web site, so we’ll have a collection of what we’ve seen.  If, after seeing your picture, on a larger screen than your phone, I can identify it, I’ll add it to the picture.

So, from now, till the first killing frost, which is usually around the middle of October, let’s see what mushrooms we can find on our Sunday hikes, take pictures, and post them on this site.  Be sure to look at the underside.  Most will have gills but some will have pores or teeth, instead.  This is where the mushroom produces spores, that are carried by the wind and spread, and is the first step in identifying mushrooms.  Your pictures, therefore, should show the underside, as well as the top.

If we find any good edibles, and you think you might like to bring  some home to try, carry a paper bag with you.  Plastic is not recommended because they can sweat and rot inside.  Remember that there are many wild mushrooms that can cause mild to severe discomfort, or even, death.  NEVER even think of eating a wild mushroom, unless you are absolutely sure of its identity.  Mushroom roulette is a deadly game  Any, that I tell you are safe, are ones that I have eaten, and am still here to write about them.  You can use this opportunity to learn about mushrooms, or buy them at the store, and help Mr. Wegman pay the taxes on his house on Canandaigua Lake.

Picking mushrooms is not like digging up wildflowers, which destroys the entire plant.  The mushroom is just the fruiting body of the fungus.  The mycelium radiate hundreds of feet in the soil, and will send up more mushrooms, making it a renewable resource.  Some of the mycelium wrap around tree roots, bringing the host tree essential water and minerals.  The tree makes organic compounds through photosynthesis, that nourish the fungus, making each dependant on the other.

We have the good fortune of having had some joint ventures with RAMA, the Rochester mushroom club, where we have met people who know mushrooms far better than Georgia and I do, such as Garrett Taylor of Olean, who has joined us on some of our hikes.  You can see pictures of some local mushrooms on the RAMA web site,   In the near future, we will have the opportunity to meet some more people who have expertise on mushrooms.  The dates are:

Suinday, September 8:  At our hike in Wesley Hill, we will be joined by Richard Aaron of Toronto, a member and leader of the local mushroom club, there.

Wednesday, September 11:  At the meeting of the Springwater Webster’s Crossing Historical Society, attendees will bring in mushrooms that they’ve collected and, after a pot luck dinner, specimens will be discussed and identified by Dr. Randy Weidner of Bath.

Saturday, September 14: At the magnificent Fiddler’s Fair, there will be a table of mushrooms collected at the maple farm, and members of RAMA will be there.

Sunday, September 22:  Don Tuminelli of Conesus (ex president of RAMA) will be there to review mushrooms collected at Katherine’s Christmas Tree Farm.


Stid Hill WMA (42.765404,-77.406227) – Directions

Stid Hill northern parking area.

Stid Hill northern parking area.

Stid Hill WMA is a DEC managed property consisting of two tracts in Bristol and South Bristol. These directions are to the northern parking area.

From Honeoye: Take US-20A East to Bristol Valley.  Turn right on NY-64 S.  Follow NY-64 for 4.8 miles.  The parking area is on the left.

From Naples: Take NY-21 North to the intersection with NY-64 just before S. Bristol.  Stay left onto NY-64.  The parking area is 4.8 miles north on the right (1.4 miles past the ski area).

NOTE:  NY 64 is closed July 20-27, 2014 just south of Bristol Mt for road work..  To avoid construction follow these alternate directions:  From Naples: Take NY-21 north staying right at the intersection with NY-64 to stay on NY-21.  4.5 miles past that intersection, turn left on Dugway Rd.  It is 3.2 miles over the hill to NY-21.  Turn left on NY-21 S.  The parking area is on the left 1.8 miles south of Dugway Rd.

From Rochester: Take 490 East to the Victor Exit.  Follow NY-96 into Victor.  At the road sign for Bristol Mountain Ski Area, turn right on Maple Ave (NY-444) through Bloomfield (4 miles).  Turn left on US-20 for 1.2 miles and right onto NY 64.  The parking area is on the left 8.5 miles south of US-20.

From Springwater: Google recommends going north to Honeoye, saying that is 6 minutes faster than going south through Wayland and Naples.  Take 15A north.  Just before Hemlock, turn right on 20A to Honeoye. Continue on US-20A East to Bristol Valley.  Turn right on NY-64 S.  Follow NY-64 for 4.8 miles.  The parking area is on the left.

From Wayland: Google recommends going east to Naples, saying that is 6 minutes faster than going north through Springwater and Honeoye.  NOTE:  NY 64 is closed July 20-27, 2014 just south of Bristol Mt for road work..  To avoid construction go north on NY-15 and through Springwater and then follow 15A.  Just before Hemlock, turn right on 20A to Honeoye. Continue on US-20A East to Bristol Valley.  Turn right on NY-64 S.  Follow NY-64 for 4.8 miles.  The parking area is on the left.

Boating on Hemlock and Canadice Lakes

For 20 years I had my small rusty fishing boat lying year-round along the side of the boat launch on Hemlock Lake and my grummen canoe on Canadice Lake.  Nothing was said about the local residents who for many years felt they had a special privilege with the City of Rochester.  Since the sale of the land to the DEC and the adoption of the Hemlock/Canadice State Forest with new state regulations, local residents were required to remove their boats from the lake shores for a mass clean up, or have their boats impounded with a fine for pick up.  Since my canoe disappeared during one May storm many years ago, out of respect for the new laws I was one of the first to remove my row boat and purchased a kayak to continue exploring the lakes by water.

Bob took a boating safety class

Bob took a boating safety class

A couple of years ago it was evident that during the planning of our summer schedule for Springwater Trails many of our hikers were also kayakers and canoists.  We reorganized our schedule to add a subgroup of boating to some of our weekly hikes to take advantage of what these beautiful undeveloped lakes had to offer during the summer months.  This wasn’t an easy task, as now it involved more than just planning hiking routes.  Planning boating adventures including boating safety, contant weather reports, earlier arrival times for launching, while continuing to plan hikes around the state forest.

Launching our boats

Launching our boats

While hikers had their adventures on the trails, last week’s hike attracted 11 boaters and one dog to enjoy the calm waters of Hemlock Lake at the north end.  Thanks to our leader Bob, who managed to keep an eye on the safety of beginners to advanced boaters, we traveled the east shoreline, then crossed the lake to find the remains of the beaver lodge we encountered last year when we hiked the west shoreline to Eagle Crest Winery.  Linda, Mac in their bumper kayak and a few other kayakers enjoyed a relaxing ride and remained on the east shoreline.

Watch out for Linda and Mac in their bumper kayak

Watch out for Linda and Mac in their bumper kayak

Being that the water level of the lake is much higher this year, we found some wet branches protruding above the water and much to our surprise saw an underwater lodge.  On the shoreline, placed over a creek was the old beaver lodge we walked up to last year.  Last year this lodge was completely out of water and the entrance and exit holes were fully exposed.  What was even more interesting was a deep water channel created between the two lodges.  One may have to explore the area at night to have an encounter with a beaver if the lodge is active. Some air bubbles were noticed and  boaters should be aware of not damaging the underwater lodge as it is pretty close to the surface and hard to see.

one on shoreline one underwater

one on shoreline
one underwater

Traveling the west shoreline, we crossed the lake to return to the boat launch and give the climbers a ride back to their cars parked at Rob’s Trail.  A fantastic social was enjoyed on the new deck of Bob and Joan’s chalet, complete with fresh vegetables and nasturtiums from Joan’s garden. Thanks Bob and Joan and to all those that provide delicious healthy Pam at beaver housemeals for all to enjoy.

If you would like to kayak during the week, contact Pam at [email protected]