Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park: Suburban Mushroom Heaven
Located 30 miles west of downtown St. Louis, Babler State Park is home to an impressive 2,400-acre old-growth forest ecosystem. Despite the park's proximity to the suburbs of the city, Babler offers a lovely network of trails and one of the better foraging opportunities in the area. If you are looking for a good leg stretcher, but can't commit to a day-long hike or one of our excursions, Babler is a wonderful option.
Centerpoint to Goat Trail: A View Worth the Hike
Four months ago, Eric and I took a weekend trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for one last hurrah just before his knee surgery. The surgery would leave him unable to walk for two months and unable to hike for even longer. We had our hearts set on the well-known Centerpoint to Goat Trail, a 5.9 mile out and back trail whose destination is a famously breathtaking view of the Buffalo River.
Why I Mushroom Hunt: A Scientist’s Perspective on Foraging
Fungi are amazing. Not only are they an incredibly diverse kingdom of organisms, but many are also very delicious. And you don't have to cultivate them in your garden to enjoy these scrumtuous morsels -- you simply have to get outside and have keen eyes. You can even find edible mushrooms in your backyard! For many foragers, the possibility of a fungi-filled dinner is what motivates them to get out in the woods. But for me, even though I do get excited about discovering a patch of chanterelles (my favorite), its something different.
Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Wild Mushrooms
Many people love mushrooms. Others don't. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, there are compelling reasons to add wild mushrooms to your diet because of their unique nutritional and medicinal benefits. In this post, we will introduce you to the health benefits of eating wild mushrooms.
Sustainable Mushroom Foraging, and Why it’s so Important
When confronted with a patch of edible mushrooms in the woods, especially rare and delicious ones, we are often overcome with excitement. As foragers, we often pick each and every delicious mushroom in sight, not out of greed, but out of glee. However, these tendencies are detrimental not only to the local ecosystem but to our future foraging prospects as well. As mycophiles, it behooves us to be sustainable foragers.
White’s Creek Trail: An Incredible Hub of Biodiversity
A couple of weekends ago, Eric and I, accompanied by friends John and Sammy, drove four hours southeast to explore the Irish Wilderness, Missouri's largest wilderness area. We hiked White's Creek Trail, starting from the Camp Five Pond Trailhead, over two days. Although the loop is listed at 17.4 miles, most travelers have clocked it at closer to 20 miles. And, if you take the few spurs off the main loop to visit the Eleven Point River and springs, you might hike closer to 22 miles, as we did.
Big Spring, Blue Spring, and Falling Spring
While Eric was hiking on Memorial Day Weekend, I was spending some more relaxed time outdoors with my family. Although we have owned property near Ellington, MO for almost a year now, we have been so busy spending time on the property that this was one of our first forays into the surrounding community. We checked out three springs near Van Buren, MO: Big Spring, Blue Spring, and Falling Spring.
Bell Mountain Loop Trail: Missouri’s Best Sunrise
For Eric's birthday, we decided to check out the 11.6-mile Bell Mountain Loop Trail, which had been on our list to check out for a while. Eric was off work on Friday (state holidays are great) but was moving slowly that morning; so, after the three-hour drive and an extremely curvy road, we pulled into the parking lot around 2 pm. The parking lot is a bit easy to miss since it's on the other side of the road from the Bell Mountain Wilderness sign.
Ozark Trail Current River Section: A Surprisingly Dry Excursion
Over Memorial Day Weekend, my cousins, John, Alex, and Phillip, and I decided we wanted to hike the Current River Section of the Ozark Trail: an ambitious, 30-mile excursion through true Ozark wilderness. This noteworthy section of the trail provides several opportunities for adventure and recreation along the way. Although the maps on the Ozark Trail Association website and other sources say this is a 30-mile trail, the mileage is understated. If you decide to hike this section, you can reasonably expect to walk 35 miles or more even if you skip out on side adventures, such as the half-mile spur trail to Rocky Falls. In other words, this should…
Three Creeks Conservation Area: A Columbia Favorite
Located just south of Columbia, Three Creeks Conservation Area offers a nice escape from the city without a long drive. Three Creeks is comparable to the nearby Rock Bridge State Park, but with the benefit of significantly fewer visitors. If you visit Three Creeks on a Monday after the weekend rush, you're liable to have the area to yourself. Despite the proximity to Columbia, MO, it is a beautiful natural area with an abundance of wildlife, unique stream ecosystems, and (our favorite) prime mushroom foraging areas.