Gorges SP Mushroom Walk

Posted By on July 22, 2022

Gorges SP Mushroom Walk

1.71 miles; 184 ft. total ascent; Sapphire, NC

As you may or may not know, I am a member of the Asheville Mushroom Club (AMC—not to be confused with the Appalachian Mountain Club). The club sponsors walks or “forays” for club members, and creates species lists based on our finds. These species lists are sometimes why we get granted special permission to collect, as was the case here at Gorges State Park on the NC/SC border.

In fact, on this particular walk we were accompanied by a park ranger, who showed me something very interesting about the little guy below. When startled or threatened, they give off the aroma of Dr. Pepper. Who knew???

Wildlife!

You know, sooner or later I’m going to put up a “Wildllife!” photo of an actual bear. Western North Carolina is lousy with them. But that day is not today. This guy is part of a family of millipedes known as “flat-backed millipedes.”

Now I’m not a particularly STEM-oriented person, and don’t really participate in the ID process. Members who do bring boxes and boxes of books, and some folks even have little chemical kits that they use to positively identify species of fungi. And if that’s not enough to definitely ID particularly tough species, there are some members who bring the samples home to examine them under microscopes.

Example of an ID

I am told that the above species is quite edible, although the caps tend to get mushy when you cook them, the stems (or stipes) hold up well. This seems to me to be something I could even trust my own ID on. If I ever to find them, I’ll let you know how they taste.

View

No, the main reason I love joining in on these walks, aside from the excellent company, is that I get exposed to all kinds of cool places that I need to revisit for more hiking. Gorges [or Gorgeous, ammirite???] State Park is one of those places. It seems as if, looking at the maps, this place is full of great trails. Cannot wait.

You can find out more about the Asheville Mushroom Club from their website. For more information about Gorges State Park, see this page. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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