One thing we’re not short of here in the South Downs of the UK, is mushrooms. Especially at this time of the year. I enjoy spotting new mushrooms popping up on the trails I run, and get a kick out of finding super massive trail running fungus!
I’m no expert when it comes to their identification, so please take my guesses in this post with a pinch of salt.
Common Trail Mushrooms
These mushrooms are the common ones I find, usually off to the side of the trail, growing in thickets of wild flowers and brambles, or scattered amongst the beds of fallen pine needles.
They seem to accelerate growth in the month of October and sometimes appear to have seemingly manifested overnight.
Fly agaric Mushroom
Scientifically named Amanita muscaria, these are relatively common in the woods around where I live. They’re easy to spot of course, with their bright red with white spotted appearance. Also toxic!
It’s a shame that often times I’ll find these kicked over and broken apart before their time is up. My guess is that people walking the trails tend to destroy them because of their toxic nature. (Not that kicking them over really does any good).
The Great Wood Mushroom (Possibly Not)
The closest match I can find to identify this mushroom, is the Great Wood Mushroom, aka Agaricus langei. I might be way off though, as there are others that look similar to me.
I have found quite a number of these though. They tend to grow at the tops of banks amongst pine needles, overlooking larger sections of sparse woodland.
As we head into colder weather, it gets more and more difficult to leave the comfort and warmth of home for those trail runs.
I find that having a bunch of running goals or interests whilst out there helps me with motivation. One of those interests is seeing what weird and wonderful things I can find, just like trail running fungus!
Other goals that help me with motivation are maintaining weekly or monthly distance or time goals. Strava’s weekly goals are a great feature to help out here, though you can easily set your own goals elsewhere.
Lastly, if you’re into finding mushrooms or identifying them while you’re out running or walking in nature, this is a great site for helping identify those mushrooms.