|Image courtesy of www.themushroompatch.com|
According to Chris Theobald, owner of the Honor Motel in Honor, Michigan and an avid follower of morel mushroom sightings, “Morels have started showing up in Benzie County. The first ones to pop up in our front yard are here. What that says to me is that morel hunters will have about two to three weeks to find them while they’re still popping up."
Lodging is abundant in Benzie County and visitors can experience the beauty of spring in Northern Michigan during their morel mushroom hunting getaway. According to the President of Benzie County Visitors Bureau Mary Carroll, “We are always happy to help visitors with their travel itineraries to visit Benzie County. And even if these tasty gems elude you in your search, Benzie County will charm you with its natural beauty. We have extensive information on our website – www.visitbenzie.org - including “things to do” and many “places to stay”. Of course visitors can also call us at 800-882-5801.”
To take part in Mushroom hunting in Benzie County, the Benzie County’s Visitors Bureau website offers a handy morel mushroom hunting guide for finding the springtime treasures – www.visitbenzie.com/spring-85/.
From Benzie County’s Morel Mushroom Hunting Guide, here are a few tips for locating morels:
- “You’re best likely to find morels in the woods (and there are plenty of those in Benzie County!) Mushrooms tend to want to grow around trees like old Apple trees and dead Elm trees and logs. Living White Ash and Maple are also common areas where they can sometimes be found. Morels tend to like places where wood has burned, under leaves, moist areas etc. Old stumps and fallen trees are popular harvesting areas. Morels like rich black or sandy soil and not clay. You may find them next to a river or along streams. However, some morel mushroom hunters have found them in tall grasses and areas with just black dirt."
- "The hardest thing is to adjust your eyes to see a morel as they are the same color as the ground and the leaves, twigs, and branches that surround them camouflage them from plain view. We have heard of someone who has taken a morel with them on their hunt just so they can adjust their eyes to be looking for the shape and color of the mushroom. It’s usually hardest to find your first morel, but after that there are often others that congregate in the same areas in flushes because often their roots systems are connected and spread over an entire area."
- "Expert mushroom hunters agree that if you know your trees you’ll be a lot more successful in hunting morels, so learn your trees….”
Even if you have trouble finding morels on your own, morels can often be purchased along side the road in different areas in and near Benzie County once the locals start finding a lot of them.
Benzie County is a great place to hunt for morel mushrooms in Michigan due to its natural habitats that include forests, riverbeds, fields, and natural paths along old railroad tracks that are now used for hiking and biking. Benzie County has almost 30 miles of Lake Michigan coastline, over 50 inland lakes, and includes the southern portion of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The forests, dunes and bluffs of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pere Marquette State Forest offer over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails and wildlife habitats for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. For this reason, in spring, morel mushroom hunting is a passionate activity in Benzie County. Benzie County is the perfect spring escape to experience innovative events and relaxation.
Visitors who book two or more consecutive nights at one of many participating lodging locations in Benzie County can sign up for the Passport to Fun which is being offered from May 11 – October 31, 2012 and includes over fifteen free or discounted food, restaurant, sightseeing, kayak and golfing opportunities. See www.visitbenzie.com for more information and to sign up for the promotion.
For a complete lodging listing and more information about other spring activities and locations in Benzie Country see www.visitbenzie.com.
Other upcoming Spring and Early Summer Events in Benzie County:
Michigan Beer & Brat Festival
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Thompsonville
Kick off the summer with this Memorial Day Weekend tradition at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa. Enjoy live entertainment by the Outer Vibe while sampling over 50 of Michigan’s finest microbrews, local hard cider & mead, and gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets. Admission is $6. Food and Beverages are $10 for 10 tokens.
Frankfort Craft Fair
The annual Frankfort Craft Fair starts the summer season in Frankfort with unique craft art of over 80 artists
Michigan PGA Women’s Open Pro-Am
Thompsonville – Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa
June 22 – 24
One of the premier Michigan golfing events, The Michigan PGA Women’s Open, returns to Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa for a ninth straight year featuring some of the best professional and amateur women golfers from around Michigan and across the country.
Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship
Thompsonville – Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa
June 25 – 27
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa is pleased to once again welcome some of the top players in women's golf from throughout Michigan and around the country to the Mountain Ridge course for the Michigan PGA Women's Open