Help me remember a morel hunting location?
May 11, 2011 2:25 PM   Subscribe

I either need help remembering the exact location of a very productive morel hunting location in southern IL, or else some tips on other good locations in or near western KY.

I used to go morel hunting every spring with a friend of mine in the area in and around western KY. The most productive place we visited was a tip from his father, who hunts in southern IL, not too long a drive from my location in western KY. We found bags and bags of morels, and the spot is fairly popular: it produces well each year, is easily accessible, and many hunters go there.

However, after applying the full force of my google fu, I can not locate this spot, and contacting that friend or his family is impossible. I had hoped mushroom hunters were less cagey in online communities than in person. Not so. Even a fairly well-known spot like the one I remember seems impossible to nail down. Here are the few things I remember.

The spot was definitely in the Shawnee National Forest.

The spot was easily accessible by a paved walking trail. I only need to find the trail. It was a short loop through the woods... no more than a couple miles long, I'd say, and probably shorter. It had a little, gravel parking lot. I think it may have been near a small lake.

That's all. I realize that's a long shot, so my broader question is: are there any morel hunters familiar with this area who would generously share the location of a good spot? Even just a general area? Feel free to memail me if you don't want every hunter with an internet connection flooding your favorite spot. I only hunt once a year and never take much.

My girlfriend and I want to mushroom hunt this weekend. The weather will be great, and the conditions are right for morels in this area. Incidentally, this area also has a lot of chanterelles. If morel advice is too secret, feel free to offer chanterelle locations! We love both.
posted by gilrain to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: The trail was probably near Eddyville, maybe within 20 miles of there.
posted by gilrain at 2:36 PM on May 11, 2011

Well, just look for the spot where "the oak leaves are as big as a squirre's ear, and the lilacs are in bloom." That's where you will find your morels.

While I can't help you find that particular spot, the anecdote about about "bags of morels" brought back so many memories to me of gathering hefty bags full of morels when I was a kid too -- good luck in your hunt!
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 2:52 PM on May 11, 2011

Best answer: The Shawnee National Forest Information Desk at (618) 253-7114 should be able to identify the trail based on your description. There do not appear to be many paved trails in the forest.
posted by ChrisHartley at 3:18 PM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've just remembered (yeah okay, it was my girlfriend) that we were actually around Rend Lake, significantly farther north than I had guessed! Using this, we've figured out that we stopped at the Rend Lake Visitor Center before hunting, to buy a parking pass. The trail was then relatively nearby, no more than ten miles.

This is a lot better than we did last year when we tried to find it. Maybe we'll remember the way when we get to rend lake. Still a lot of options around there, though.
posted by gilrain at 3:21 PM on May 11, 2011

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