Mushroom Lovers Make Plans Now for Fall in Long Beach, WA

As a Western Washington resident, mushrooms are part of the forest landscape. In Long Beach, WA they are in the forest, next to the beach, well really, just about everywhere you look. You’ll see inedibles like Fly Amanita (above), and edibles like boletes, milky caps, and chanterelles.

In the fall, Long Beach is an explosion of mushrooms, and I highly recommend mushroom lovers to take advantage of their edible adventures and guided hikes.

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There are plenty of ways to get the local travel scoop. Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about Long Beach, WA at TripAdvisor, TravelocityHotels.com, and Expedia.


Long Beach is for Mushroom Lovers

The best time to visit Long Beach is during the Wild Mushroom Celebration, which takes place from October 1 to November 15. During the six weeks, there will be expert-led mushroom foraging hikes, mushroom inspired menus and dining events, and, of course, you can forage for mushrooms on your own. Plus, there are many mushroom lover lodging specials.

Wild Mushroom Celebration Planning Tips

The best place to start is the Wild Mushroom Celebration page, which announces events at restaurants and deals for accommodations, guided foraging in nearby Fort Stevens State Park and foraging with a local expert, mushroom-inspired recipes, photos of locally found mushrooms and a map.

Long Beach Edible Adventures

Before you select a date, review the events, as there might be a mushroom event you’d like to experience.

As an example, in 2016 The Depot Restaurant had their 13th Annual Wild Mushroom Dinner on October 7, 42nd Street Cafe & Bistro had a four-course Wild Mushroom Dinner on October 28 – 29, the Boreas Inn offered an all-inclusive room and dining, which included a five-course Wild Mushroom Brunch with a local expert on November 11-13, and the Shelburne Inn offered foraging tours and cooking classes with their resident chef and mushroom specialist.

Other locations have mushroom specials throughout the six weeks like [pickeled+fish] and The Lost Roo.

We stayed at the Adrift Hotel and Spa and our mushroom foodie stops included indulging in a wild mushroom scramble at the Shelburne Inn, King Boletes with sauteed onions and a red wine reduction at 42nd Street Café & Bistro, and salmon with a wild mushroom sauce at The Depot. Needless to say, we were in mushroom heaven.

Guided Mushroom Foraging Hikes

If you are a beginner, I highly recommend a guided hike with an expert who knows mushroom regulations and identification. Their knowledge is priceless. As I mentioned above, the Shelburne Inn offers paid foraging tours. There are also FREE tours at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon, which is a 45-minute drive from Long Beach.

Mushroom Foraging on Your Own

If you want to forage on your own, or even if all you want to do is see patches of mushrooms, there are plenty of places in the Long Beach area. On our first day, we rode bikes down the Discovery Trail and saw hundreds of mushrooms tucked into the wooded areas near the dunes. We didn’t pick any that day, but it was fun to see so many.

There are also nearby State Parks:

  • Fort Columbia State Park – 20-minute drive
  • Leadbetter Point State Park – 30-minute drive
  • Pacific Pines State Park – 18-minute drive
  • Loomis Lake State Park – 9-minute drive

Tip: Mushroom foraging #1 rule “When in doubt, throw it out.” Don’t take any risks, its not worth it.

Tip: Don’t ask a forager where his mushroom patch is.

Tip: It is illegal to forage for mushrooms in Cape Disappointment State Park.

Tip: Mushrooms can be collected in Washington State Parks for personal use only (2-gallon max per person per day).

Tip: It is illegal to forage for psychedelic mushrooms. 

Bolete

This bolete was around eight inches long.

Mushroom Identification Guides We Like

Whenever we go mushroom hunting, we always have on hand a range of identification guides. There are particular types of mushrooms we can identify easily and others we have to research. And, if there is any question we always live by the first rule of mushrooming “When in doubt, throw it out.”  

These are the books we carry.

 

 

 

All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (A Timber Press Field Guide)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Some of our favorite mushrooms are:

  • Oysters
  • Shaggy Parasol
  • The Prince
  • Blewit
  • Fairy Ring
  • Shaggy Mane
  • Chanterelles
  • Morels

Mushrooms I want to find:

  • Candy Caps
  • American Matsutake
  • Cauliflower
  • Morels

Shaggy Manes

Shaggy Manes need to be eaten soon after they are harvested.

Mushroom Foraging Gear

Besides your mushroom identification guides, you’ll want to dress appropriately, and mushroom foraging can be a very unglamorous affair. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, ones that are comfortable and can easily be cleaned as the ground is often wet, muddy or boggy. I prefer the Bogsº line of boots, rain shoes, and hiking shoes. And, if you have a Costco card, they sell rain boots in the winter months for $20-$30. The closest Costco is in Warrenton, Oregon, which is a 36-minute drive from Long Beach.

Even if it is a sunny day you’ll want to wear rain gear as the woods will most likely be wet, and if you are ducking under and in between trees the water on their branches will rub off on you. The fabric in water resistant gear will shed that more easily. I also suggest not wearing sweaters or jackets that have material that could catch on branches like threads or rougher fabrics. Think sleek, smooth and comfortable materials that will easily move with you.

Mushroom collecting basket and foraging knife

You’ll also want to bring a basket and a mushroom foraging knife. I suggest going to a resale shop or garage sale to find a basket. If you don’t have a basket, a plastic bag or mesh bag will also work. For mushroom foraging knives, you can find a selection on Amazon. We have the Folding Mushroom Pocket Knife with a Wood Handle and Bristle Brush.

Mushroom Cleaning and Storage

Once you’ve gathered your mushrooms, you’ll want to sort them and brush them off (some might have more forest debris than others). Also, check for small worms. I find they are more prevalent the wetter the ground is. If there is a lot of debris you might want to rinse them under cold water and then lay them out on a paper towel or a dry cloth. Sometimes rinsing with water is best to do once you arrive home as wet mushrooms don’t always travel well.

In your hotel room, store them a paper bag in the refrigerator or a cardboard box with lots of paper towels to put in between the layers of mushrooms. That should keep them fresh until you arrive home and decide how you will store or cook them up. We often eat them the day they are picked, or shortly thereafter, sauteed in butter.

Now you are ready!

HAVE FUN!

To find out more about Long Beach, WA visit:

To find out more about Pacific Northwest mushrooming visit:

Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

There are plenty of ways to get the local scoop. Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about Long Beach, WA at TripAdvisor, TravelocityHotels.comand Expedia.



Expedia.com

Long Beach is for Mushroom Lovers

29 thoughts on “Mushroom Lovers Make Plans Now for Fall in Long Beach, WA”

  1. I’ve only been mushroom foraging once, here in Michigan. It’s kind of like a fun treasure hunt. It would be cool to go on a guided tour though and learn about which ones are edible. Though I’d still be nervous on my own 😛 Also! I know that if you are foraging with a plastic bag, you want to poke holes in the bag. That way, as you walk and the mushrooms in the bag lose their spores, they will fall onto the ground and re-grow!

    Reply
    • Briana, Great tip on the holes in the plastic bag! It took me a couple of years to be confident to forage on my own. My husband knows quite a bit too, so if I bring something home that I’m not sure of, he helps me figure it out. We went on a guided hike in Long Beach and it helped boost my confidence for sure.

      Reply
  2. What a great, unique little guide, thank-you! I have to say, the only mushrooms I’ve ever collected have been puff balls in Scotland, which are awesome with a lot of garlic, but I would love to learn more. Thank-you!

    Reply
    • Katie, That is one mushroom we rarely eat, but I have seen them. Next time I’ll pick a few and sautee them with garlic as that sounds super yummy!

      Reply
  3. What a fun post, and a very unusual (but genius!) concept for a festival. I’d love to go foraging (although definitely agree if you’re not sure it’s best to leave it well alone), and adore mushrooms. A reason to visit in the fall alone!

    Reply
  4. Hello from a fellow PNWer. I’ve always wanted to try foraging for mushrooms but to be honest, I have no idea what to look for in terms of edible mushrooms. I definitely plan on giving this a try, with the help of a guide.

    Reply
    • Rebecca, Guides are a great way to start. When I first began it was intimidating. Now, I can identify a few kinds for sure and feel more confident identifying other kinds with the help of the guidebooks. It’s a fun hobby and hopefully this spring there will be lots of mushrooms to find out on my walks with the dog. Have fun on your mushroom adventures!

      Reply
  5. What a lovely variety of mushrooms – I don’t think I’ve ever seen ones that big in real life, the ones in the countryside in the UK are always small and somewhat suspicious looking! It would be so nice to pick these and be able to make delicious dishes out of them.

    Reply
    • Vicki, I definitely need to expand my mushroom recipes as we always tend to fry our mushrooms in butter and eat them that way, or with a steak. I’m putting that on my list of things to do this year.

      Reply
  6. As a kid, I had to participate in my family’s traditional mushroom picking outings. Frankly, most of the times I was not too happy to join. As it happened, for many years I lived in places where mushrooms were regarded as something you find on a supermarket shelf. Out of curiosity, I would try mushroom foraging one day. I absolutely agree with you that beginners should take a guided tour. Mushroom poisoning could be even lethal, so there is no reason to be careless.

    Reply
    • Elena, I hated mushrooms as a kid so I would have most likely not been into foraging either. How cool though to grow up in a mushroom foraging family! Guided hikes are so important!

      Reply
  7. Love love love mushrooms! This sounds awesome to go with a professional forager. Never knew there were that many types all to be found in one place! So cool

    Reply
    • Paul, My husband and I often forage for mushrooms where we live and only find small patches. So, I was really surprised at how prolific they were in Long Beach. It really jazzed us to see so many kinds all in one place. I hope you get to visit and experience it yourself.

      Reply
  8. Long Beach and its surrounds look like a great place for harvesting mushrooms. I would love to visit one of the restaurants for a special mushroom taster menu! I’d like to do it more at home but I don’t know any experts so I don’t dare pick any myself – so the foraging tour and cooking class would be perfect for me!

    Reply
    • Emily, I’m hoping to make it back down there for a coursed meal event. I learn so much about cooking mushrooms from tasting other chefs recipes.

      Reply
    • Emily, I’m hoping to make it back down there for a coursed dining event. I learn so much about cooking mushrooms from tasting other chefs recipes.

      Reply
  9. Chantarelles are my favourite mushrooms! Luckily they also grow where I live and all the restaurants make a huge fuzz about it and prepare the most delicious meals!

    Reply
    • Viki, I’ve found chantarelles, but unfortunately, they were in a no pick zone. We have a friend who goes out and forages for them during the season. They are a great tasting mushroom.

      Reply
  10. I saw the same type of colourful mushroom as in your lead photo here in New Zealand last year. I had never seen one before, and really love the colour and classic appearance. As for foraging, I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to eat a wild mushroom, even with a guide. However, cooked up and over my steak, it’s all go.

    Reply
    • Rhonda, Those are very classic fairy tale mushroom. So bright and beautiful and poisonous. I didn’t think I would be brave enough to eat a wild mushroom either, but my husband is a very confident forager and he has changed my mushroom habits. 🙂

      Reply
  11. As a vegetarian, I couldn’t be happier to find this post. I’d never heard of mushroom walks and you’ve just given me a reason to add Long Beach, WA to my bucket list! Will certainly look your post up again whenever I do plan the visit.

    Reply
    • Supriya, That’s great to hear. I hope you get to experience a guided mushroom hike. It is quite thrilling when you find a patch! I’m not a vegetarian, but I do eat vegetarian dishes and they often have mushrooms. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Okay, so I’m the biggest fan of mushrooms! This post makes me so happy and I’ll definitely bookmark for the future. I’ve never been mushroom foraging but it’s so on my list now! Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenn, Great to meet another mushroom fan! Yes, bookmark for future and go on a guided foraging hike! You’ll have a blast!

      Reply
    • Christine, It’s better to error on the side of caution, so it is a good thing you threw out the mushroom. Sometimes we end up bringing mushrooms home just to identify them. I hope you get to try it again!

      Reply

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