Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Fungal Foray,  Lake Winfield Scott, Union County

Posted under: North Georgia .

 
Trip Leader:  Bill Sheehan
 
Description:
 This is an easy to moderate walk with some easy off-trail walking in and about Lake Winfield Scott National Recreation Area.  We will be looking for fleshy mushrooms and any other fungi we come across, both large and small.  Our emphasis will be on diversity and ecology. We have permission to collect one or two samples of what we find, which we will bring back to a central location, spread out, and review at the end.  Fungi are the primary decay organisms that cycle plants back into plants.  Other fungi – most of the mushrooms growing on the ground in the woods — are critical enablers of plant nutrition through roots.  With perhaps 4,000 species of fungi (not to mention slime molds) in the Georgia mountains, we’ll have lots to work with!  For botanists, come learn about “the rest of the story…”

Directions:  From Atlanta, take GA 400 north for about 60 miles, until it ends just south of Dahlonega.  Turn left there onto Ga Hwy 60 and take GA 60 toward and around Dahlonega.  Continue for about 15 miles on Hwy 60, heading toward Suches through the National Forest.  You will drive through Stone Pile Gap, bearing to the left at the pile of rocks to stay on GA 60. Continue uphill, crossing Woody Gap, then going downhill, passing Woody Lake on the right.  Shortly after the lake, watch for Ga Hwy 180 on the right (there is a service station/convenience store at that corner).  Turn right on Hwy 180 and go for about 4.5 miles.  Turn right into Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area, stop to pay the $5 entrance fee, then continue to the parking area above the lake. 
 
Meet At:  Park in the parking lot above Lake Winfield Scott bath house and walk back downhill to meet at the trailhead by 10:00 AM.
 
Facilities:  At the convenience store and at the bathhouse on the lake near the meeting site.
 
Walking:  Mostly easy to moderate, slow, poking about in the woods. Total distance about 1.5 miles, about 4 hours.
 
Lunch:  Bring lunch to eat when we review our “haul.”
 
Bring:  Five dollars per vehicle for entrance fee to Lake Winfield Scott (less with federal senior pass), sturdy shoes for walking, rain gear (you never know!), lunch, extra water.  A hand lens and small basket would be useful.
 
Contact:  Bill Sheehan, bill@productpolicy.org, 706-247-2500