As the flavors of fall arrive in Northern California’s Mendocino County so does the annual crop of coveted candy cap, chanterelle, porcini and morel mushrooms.
Straddling historic Highways 1 and 101 with nearly 2,500 sq. miles of live oak, pygmy forests and stately redwood groves, the region is a natural hotspot for some 3,000 mushroom varieties.
The annual haul is nothing short of historic, nurturing nirvana for local mycologists, chefs and fungi foragers. Add to the mix a cache of artisanal chefs, 95+ wineries, a formidable craft beer and hard cider scene and the annual salute to Mr. Fungi sprouts into action November 7-16, 2014 www.visitmendocino.com/mushroom-wine-and-beer-festival; 866.466.3636.
Visitors can tap into a variety of adventures from mushroom hunts by horseback, foraging excursions, Pinot and porcini menus, educational seminars, art exhibits and the annual Skunk Train trek and cook-off deep in the depths of the Noyo River forest. To cap the event, regional hotel properties and restaurants are offering special menus and packages throughout November.
Pack a pair of boots and a sense of adventure as mushroom foraging season hits full stride this fall. During the festival, guests can track and taste Mr. Fungi in a variety of formats. Top excursions include:
Ride with the Hunt – Mushroom Hunt at Richochet Ridge Ranch
Hunt for the Wild Mushroom Mountain Bike Ride
Put the fun in “fungi” with daily bike tours through the local forests in search the magical mushroom. All levels, rentals available. Nov 8/9 and 15/16. Mendo Bike Sprite, Fort Bragg; 707.962.4602;www.mendobikesprite.com.
Mushrooms at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Pygmy Forest Ecological Staircase Hike & Educational Hunt
Daily tours from beach to bluffs traversing 100,000 years in geology on each of the five terraces. Forage for fungi enroute. Jug Handle State Reserve, Caspar; 707.937.5804; www.jughandlecreekfarm.com/staircase-trail.
Mushroom Exploration Tours
Join local mycologist Adrienne Long for all things mushroom at the Stanford Inn before heading out to the forests and meadows for a full immersion. Daily. Stanford Inn, Mendocino; 707.937.5615;www.stanfordinn.com.