Some Of The Best Places in Michigan To Hunt For Morel Mushrooms
You can get much more "Pure Michigan" than some butter-sauteed morel mushrooms and it's time to find them. Here are some of the best locations to get you started.
What Does a Morel Mushroom Look Like?
Knowing what morel mushrooms look like is essential because sometimes you will find them in random places in your yard and you don't want to mow over these little delicacies. Plus, you don't want to pick the wrong mushrooms because some can make you sick if you eat the wrong ones.
The pair in the picture above are white morel mushrooms and they are some of the most common you will find.
The picture above is a black mushroom and they are just as tasty as a white morel. When I lived in Indiana occasionally I would find grey morels but have yet to find one of those in Michigan.
When Do You Find Morel Mushrooms in Michigan?
Morel mushrooms can be tricky because they pop up quickly and the shelf life isn't that long so the sooner you find them the better. That being said, sometime in late April you may begin to find them but for Michiganders May is the big month. Yes, you will find some up until late June those tend to be found further north in the state.
Where to Find Morel Mushrooms in Michigan
The mushroom above is technically a third type of morel mushroom called a burn-site morel. These are found in one of the best places to find morels and that is in large burn sites in forested areas of Michigan that have burned in the last couple of years.
The above map shows where burn site forests are all across the state of Michigan. As you can see there are a few of those locations in West Michigan. Click on this link to pinpoint map locations to zero in on where you would like to hunt. Those locations are some of the best places in the state to find morels.
The good news about morel mushrooms is they are in every county in the entire state. The one thing I have learned is once you find a morel, stop and look around, you may see more. I just got done cutting some trees yesterday and was walking from the barn to the house and I spotted a white morel, I stopped and there were five more not too far away. I am going to have to search the woods near my house.
The picture above really gives you a good look at all the different kinds of morels and what to look for while in the woods in Michigan. Usually, you will find morel mushrooms in wooded areas, especially around dying or dead trees but check your landscaping mulch and if you live near an old orchard and can get permission to look for morels it is definitely worth the ask.
The best thing to do is walk slowly because it is so easy to walk right by morels. Once the weather is around 50 during the day and no lower than 40 at night, it is on. Look for morels a couple of days after some rain in the spring. The best trees live or dead to look around are oak, elm, ash, and aspen trees. Look near the base of dead trees. Also, pay attention to the south and southwest sides of the hills early in the season. They get a bit more spring sun and those usually pop first.