Intro to Wild Mushroom Foraging & Kawartha Highlands Hike
Learn how to identity and safely forage wild edible mushrooms with an Ontario mushroom expert
- Participant Ages 13+
We’re so excited to offer this limited edition outdoor workshop – now is your chance to learn all about the curious world of wild mushrooms!
This immersive wilderness workshop brings you into the forest with a single delicious goal in mind: teaching you how to find, safely identify, and sustainably harvest wild edible mushrooms! Popular outdoors educator and avid forager Stephan Lukacic takes you deep into science, ecology, and methodology of modern mushroom hunting.
Did you know there are are thousands of mushroom species in eastern North America? Some have strange alien-looking shapes that don’t resemble the mushrooms you find in the grocery store at all. Some look like heads of cauliflower, beautiful corals you’d find under the sea, others like soccer balls, bird’s feathers, or dangling icicles that hang from tree trunks, dead stumps and logs, or that burst up from the forest floor through leaves and dirt.
Wild mushrooms have curious folk names like “Dead Man’s Fingers”, “Shaggy Mane”, “Witch’s Butter”, and “Bear’s Head Tooth”; but their scientific names are far more accurate and important. Some turn colours when they’re cut or bruised, others smell like common fruits, taste acrid or bitter, or even glow in the dark at night. Many wild mushrooms are delicious; others are toxic. Most are unpalatable, flavourless, or too tough to eat. A few are even deadly. But how do you know which is which?
This short, intensive “course” is designed to demystify wild mushrooms, giving you a solid foundation on which to build future foraging skills. The workshop begins with an engaging 90 min seminar that takes place in a beautiful outdoor classroom. You will receive a 6-page handout covering all the basics of mushroom hunting methodology, and read and discuss its contents thoroughly. Then you’ll do a deep dive right into the forest—putting the knowledge you’ve acquired directly into practice by identifying any wild mushrooms the group encounters in their natural habitat. There’s always tonnes of time for questions and conversation, and usually a bunch of laughs!
Note: You will not be foraging for wild mushrooms to take home. This workshop focuses on teaching you how to find and identify wild edible mushrooms. This is not a standard foraging walk where a guide identifies mushrooms for you, which you then take home—having learned very little about how and why those mushrooms are safe to eat, where they like to grow, or how to properly harvest them!
After the workshop, we will begin to drive back towards Toronto but not before stopping at Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park for a quick, scenic hike along the a river: the Mississauga River Lake Loop
Check out Steve’s Instagram, where you can read articles he’s written about foraging and mushroom hunting for Outdoor Canada and other publications.
Important Tour Note: ALL TOURS ARE FINAL SALE. Tickets can be transferred to another person. Please contact us at least 72 hours before your purchased tour date to reschedule, and we will do our best to accommodate you. We cannot guarantee availability in the event of rescheduling. We do not offer refunds. No-shows will be charged the full price.
7:45am – Departure from Christie Station. *If your tour is on a Sunday and you are taking public transit, the subway does not start running until 8 am, shuttle busses run down Yonge Street and Bloor Street, increasing your travel time.*
10:00am – Washroom Break/last minute food or drink
11:00am-2pm – Arrive at Stephan’s property and start the foraging course
2:15pm – Depart Stephan’s property and head toward Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park
3:15pm – Arrive at Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and begin the Mississauga River Lake Loop (1.6km, rated Easy on AllTrails)
4:00pm – Depart the park and head to Peterborough for dinner. Location decided as a group, there are many options!
5:00pm – Dinner in Peterborough
7:45pm- Expected arrival time to Toronto, Christie Subway Station
Transportation there and back in a comfortable minivan, a 3 hour outdoor workshop with Ontario mushroom expert Stephan Lukacic, guided hiking/parking/park reservation fees.
Bring snacks, lunch and enough water for the day. Wear appropriate/comfortable clothing and footwear for hiking and being in nature, sunscreen and bug spray. Please check the weather for the region beforehand. You can leave unnecessary items in the van if needed.