, 2023-05-05 07:01:25,
As Michigan continues its thaw from the long winter, and spring temperatures — though slow to arrive — seem to be here to stay, there will be no shortage of hiking trails, flower festivals, farmers markets and other ways to enjoy the outdoors this season. But for those looking to do something active outside that’s a little more off the beaten path, these unique activities can help accomplish just that.
Go mushroom hunting
A great way to get out and explore the wild areas of Michigan is mushroom foraging. Both amateur and experienced hunters can meet to commune with nature and connect with others who share a common interest.
But mushroom foraging can be tricky. Lenny Tomaszewski, president of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club, said it is important to have a good identification book and possibly a good in-person guide if you are new to the activity.
“There are a lot of look-a-likes – especially foraging for morel mushrooms. We suggest you join a club, start with an organized event or go with someone experienced in foraging,” he said.
Over time, he said, you get a knack for what to seek out and where to look.
“You develop an eye,” he said. “You look at the base of dead elms, large oak trees, under the trees, and in large stands of poplar.”
The Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club schedules public hunts with about 30-50 participants on most Saturday events and everyone is welcome to sign up for upcoming activities. They also have a Kids Corner page on the website with helpful tips and information.
Tomaszewski said it is a great family activity.
My grandmother showed me my first morel and used to send me and my cousins out to hunt for them.” he said.
Rachel Coale, communications representative for Michigan DNR, Forest Resources Division, agrees that it is a family-focused activity.
“It’s like a woodland treasure hunt, and it also teaches children how to enjoy nature but also be respectful of it,” she said.
But safety is key.
“Foraging is a wonderful way to get children interested in nature, as long as you are safe and informed. There are poisonous mushrooms in Michigan, so it’s important for a child to have guidance from an experienced companion,” said Coale.
A good place to find out about DNR learning opportunities is through the…
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