I spent much of Thursday at the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve. What an interesting place. It contains 12,000 acres of privately owned forest including a network of very high quality trails, a number of lakes, wetlands and a variety of forest types. Limberlost offers accommodations and as well they are open to the public most days from 9:00 to 5:00.
When you arrive at Limberlost, you face an imposing iron gate with a nice sign announcing the reserve. There is a little sign with the open to the public hours (closed Wednesdays), and a button to press for assistance. I stopped and pressed the button.
Hi. Um, can I come in.
Of course. Just drive up to the gate and it will open (I think I was supposed to know that).
I drove up and the gate opened. I continued to the next sign which said Office. I knew from reading the website that I was supposed to stop in there, so I told the dogs to be good in the car and went in. There, a friendly lady asked me what she could do for me. I told her I studied mushrooms and Limberlost had forests so I thought I ought to visit.
She had me sign a waiver that basically reminds me that safety is important and I’m responsible for anything that happens to me on their property. Then she gave me a pass I had to display in the car, and another one to wear around my neck.
Keep the pass visible in the car and no one will bother you. She suggested a few places I shouldn’t go, since I wasn’t driving a 4X4 and another place where some work was going on. Beyond that, I had the place to myself.
Back in the car, I headed to Buck Lake Landing. On the way I was passed by a fellow in a Limberlost Security truck who slowed down to check out my pass.
Good morning. I see your pass. Just checking. Have a good day.
Wow. I kind of felt like I had walked into a James Bond film and Dr. No was working on something nefarious deep below the property. That feeling disappeared quickly though, and Limberlost is a fantastic place, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy it.
At Buck Lake the dogs jumped in for a swim and another and another and another, as we started down the trail. There were a lot of mushrooms around, and right away I found a number of perfect specimens of Lactarius thyinos, an orange-coloured mushroom that happens to also be a tasty edible.
When you break a piece of this mushroom, it exudes a bright darker orange juice or milk (Lactarius are also called the milk cap mushrooms because of this quality). This mushroom does not stain green and it has a nice fresh smell. I started putting together a dinner menu in my head.
We explored around part of the Buck Lake trail then returned to the landing for a bite to eat and a break. What a lovely spot. The picture below shows the landing from the other side of the lake.
There’s even a floating gazebo at the landing. Very nice touch.
We drove up the road to Clear Lake and Turtle Lake, and I decided to take the Turtle Lake trail from the east. This trail goes way around a wetland at the north of the Lake, follows two lovely streams, then continues around the lakeshore at the west of the lake.
Here’s Memphis at a rest stop at an unusual rock formation in the forest.