Purchase Knob Mushroom Walk

Posted By on August 20, 2022

Purchase Knob Mushroom Walk

1.2 miles; 109 ft. total ascent; Waynesville, NC

This was another Asheville Mushroom Club excursion, and it wasn’t till I got here that I realized I’d hiked here before, back in June of 2020. Last time I had to make the loooong walk up the road from the gate, but because the club was doing a park-approved mushroom survey, we had the gate codes to drive right up to the top.

View from the Science Center lawn

And what a top! When I was here before I didn’t realize that the building at the summit was once a private residence. Can you imagine waking up to this every morning??? Absolutely stunning. This property is now part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you can see where they got the name.

Starry Campion (Silene stellata)


White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

Being much better versed in wildflowers than in fungi, these caught my eye. It’s kind of approaching the end of the wildflower season up here (we were at about 5,000 feet elevation). But there was still plenty to see.

Heckuva lunch spot!

I was trying to figure out what mountains I was looking at here, so I tried using the Peakfinder app. That’s a pretty amazing thing… Here’s what I came up with.

Peakfinder screenshot

That tallest peak just visible through the vegetation on the right is Mount Pisgah. I had that confirmed by some of my fellow fungi enthusiasts.

Bumblebee butt!

I was joined during lunch by this lady, who really didn’t have time to visit, she was so busy collecting pollen and nectar. Wanna say the flowers are sochan, or cutleaf coneflower. In the early spring, the Cherokee collected this as a spring green. In fact, the Eastern Band still does; they’re the only ones permitted by the National Park Service to do so.

Puffballs-in-aspic (Calostoma cinnabarinum)

Oh, and right, it was, after all, a mushroom foray! These are just one of my favorites. They’re also know as gelatinous stalked-puffball. So cool.

You can find out more about the Asheville Mushroom Club from their website. You can find out more about the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center from their website. You can find out about the Peakfinder app from their website. And as always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.


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