Mushroom Hunt, Hell Hollow

Posted By on October 1, 2017

Mushroom Hunt, Hell Hollow

3.9 miles; Voluntown, CT

I was pretty desperate to find some mushrooms, particularly Hen-of-the-Woods, before they’re done, so I headed out to an area of the Pachaug where I remembered there has been some logging done recently, thinking that might be a good place to look. It wasn’t the best haul I’ve ever gotten, but not bad. I found a decent-sized Hen plus my first ever Lion’s Mane.

Evidence of Logging

Evidence of Logging

This hike starts at Hell Hollow Pond in Voluntown and follows the blue-blazed Pachaug Trail north to where the yellow-blazed Pachaug-Quinebaug Connector intersects it. It’s along this connector trail that most of the logging had been done.

Petroglyphs?

Petroglyphs?

The Quinebaug connector uh, connects up with the Quinebaug Trail at an old woods road called Flat Rock Road. It was on Flat Rock Road that I noticed this boulder that looked to have carved circles in it. Thought it was interesting.

Lion's Mane

Lion’s Mane

It was just before I intersected Flat Rock Road that I found this Lion’s Mane fungus, up a bit over my head on a beech tree. Lion’s Manes are part of a large family called toothed fungi, and they are all very similar looking and they are all edible. I’ve never even seen one before irl, and I was very excited by this find.

Alas! Someone Else was Here First!

D’OH!

Then, finally, AHA! Oh, damn. I found a large oak with evidence of Hens, but someone else had gotten there first. You can see where the mushrooms were cut off at the base. Just out of a sense of desperation, I looked around the back of the tree and, lo and behold, there was one the Mystery Fungus Forager either missed or decided to leave till it got a little bigger. Oh, well, you snooze you lose.

Almost 1 3/4 lbs.

Almost 1 3/4 lbs.

Not a bad find. I can relax now and go back to just enjoying the woods now that I’ve found a Hen.

You can read more about the vast (825 miles at last count) network of blue-blazed trails throughout Connecticut at the website of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Be sure to check out the interactive map. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this hike and to download the GPS track.

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