Wilkie, Tower, and Twixt Trails, Dupont SF

Posted By on August 31, 2022

Wilkie, Tower, and Twixt Trails, Dupont SF

3.93 miles; 365-ft. total ascent; Cedar Mountain, NC

So if you read my last post about how I never get out into the woods unless it’s on a mushroom foray… Today I went hiking with my new friend (she of the Ferguson Peak trail). I’ve been wanting to go to the Dupont State Recreational Forest ever since, yes, a mushroom foray I went on there last year, and my friend indulged me.

Curtiss’s Milkwort (Polygala curtissii)

Saw these little beauties right at the parking lot. Dupont State Recreational Forest is a very popular and well-maintained forest with TONS of hiking trails and a lot of waterfalls, which are what draws the crowds. I’m not all that “destination-oriented,” and I just wanted to walk a nice loop in the woods. I think my friend picked these trails mostly because she liked the name “Twixt Trail.” Also, she had hiked here before and knew what to expect.

Signage

Love me some excellent signage, and Dupont doesn’t disappoint in that regard.

Rock outcroppings

These trails were kind of not what I’m used to seeing here in Western North Carolina. They were sandy, and there were granite outcroppings galore. You can tell from the shape that there is even a quarry nearby.

Wildlife!

My hiking companion spotted this little guy, I have no idea how. He blends in almost seamlessly.

Young “Old Man of the Woods” bolete (Strobilomyces strobilaceus)

This isn’t a mushroom walk so of course what caught my eye? ‘Shrooms! I am told this is variety is edible, but not particularly choice. I’ll pass, thanks.

Hypomyces completus parasitizing a Suillus spraguei mushroom

I noticed a lot of hypomyces fungus on this walk. Hypomyces is a fungus that parasitizes other mushrooms. The more famous Lobster mushroom is a kind of hypomyces. I’ve never tried it, but I’m told that the reason it’s called Lobster is that it tastes like lobster. Huh. This one, is alas, not that.

Yours truly

 

Cinnabar chanterelles (Cantharellus cinnabarinus)

At last! An action photo of me and Lambchop documenting our hike.

Black Trumpet JACKPOT!!!

Shortly after I took the photo of the cinnabar chanterelles, I hit the jackpot of a big, lush patch of black trumpet mushrooms. These are my favorite wild mushroom… well, except for hen-of-the-woods, but it’s too early for them down here in NC. I plan to dry them and grind them into a powder to make this recipe from the Three Foragers. Well, I will when I get my pasta maker back from storage in Connecticut. 🙁

You can find out more about the Dupont State Recreational Forest from their website. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track. Note, many of these photos courtesy of Jan Hines.

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