101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Back 40 Story November hike: Mushrooms

Join us in the woods to hunt for and identify different types of mushrooms on the last of 2019’s Back 40 Story guided hikes.

The hike will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, meeting at the parking lot of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, 1 Lambeth Dr. Hikers will follow the Back 40 Loop trail to Blowing Springs and then back, hunting for edible, poisonous and medicinal mushrooms. Participants should bring their own containers if they plan to collect mushrooms along the way for identification.

The hike will be led by mycologist Jay Justice, a retired epidemiologist who has studied for more than 35 years the macrofungi found in the Southern and Southeastern regions of the U.S. He is a co-founder and scientific advisor for the Arkansas Mycological Society, a scientific advisor to the Cumberland Mycological Society and a chief mycologist for the Missouri Mycological Society.

Justice was the 2011 recipient of the Gary Lincoff Award for Amateur Mycology given by the North American Mycological Association. He has recently participated in several conferences associated with the study of the macrofungi that occur in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His special interests in the macrofungi include the group of fleshy poroid fungi known as Boletes, as well as the genera Amanita and Cordyceps.

This hike will be approximately 1.5 miles round trip and is moderately strenuous. Appropriate clothing and shoes are required. Participants should also bring insect repellent, sunscreen and water. The Back 40 Trails are singletrack, which means they are dirt, narrow and sometimes rocky or have exposed tree roots. The trails are not appropriate for strollers. Friendly dogs are welcome on a leash.

There is no cost for these hikes, presented by the City of Bella Vista.