Winter Mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest

Call of Duty

We love Oregon so much we can’t help but leave our dry CO winter behind to visit often. Recently we visited friends in Eugene along with a quick trip to Florence and Reedsport on the coast. With any obsession comes a personal call of duty – doesn’t matter where we go, we always look for mushrooms if they are in season. One of the things we absolutely love about the Pacific Northwest is that there always seems to be something fruiting – any time of the year.

While the coastal dune mushrooms are definitely over for now, we dutifully visited our rainforest trails in hopes of finding winter chanterelles and hedgehogs. Unfortunately all we found on the coast was the beautiful flora and fauna that we love so much. Nothing wrong with an invigorating and beautiful rainforest hike!

Just Keep Hunting

We don’t give up so easily however. With a few well laid plans, we headed back to Eugene a day early to check out the scene there. Just outside the city, you’ll find temperate rainforest on National Forest land. It was a beautiful day – to us it felt like spring. Colorful flowers dotted the landscape and fruit trees everywhere were a bloom – a perfect setting for another mushroom foray.

Somehow we are blessed with mushroom friends who are brimming with knowledge and who are always so kind to push us in the right direction. They also happen to be amazing cooks! There is nothing better than sharing the fruits of your labor with good friends. So off we went with a secret spot well in our sights. 

We located the first hedgehog about 10 minutes into the forest. It was a bushwhacking kind of day – dense mossy covered trees and lots of undergrowth to kick through. We also encountered native blackberry brambles which are truly awful. A day with the brambles will beat you mentally and physically.

Despite these few initial challenges we had an awesome day – plenty of winter chanterelles, firm hedgehogs and even a few surprise black trumpets. The second half of our foray was much easier as we encountered a magical, open forest with mossy floors and big old trees. The mushrooms loved it!

It is always such a treat to visit nature in these coastal climate zones. Fruits from the rainforest are some of my favorites. If you are lucky enough to live nearby or visit the PNW, get on out there and enjoy! 

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