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mushrooms in ontario

Where Can I Forage For Mushrooms In Ontario?

The diverse and expansive forests of Ontario are an amazing place to forage for mushrooms. Chanterelles, Boletes, Morels, and many other choice edible mushrooms can be foraged in Ontario. You have to know where and when to look! Thankfully it’s not hard to find a good places to go foraging for fungi. Read this updated (04-27-2024) guide and begin to learn where you can forage mushrooms in Ontario.

best places to forage in ontario

1. Parry Sound North (Crown Land)

mushroom foraging in parry sound ontario, map

North of Parry Sound in Muskoka is a large parcel of crown land that stretches to the French River. This is the perfect place (not to far from Toronto) to forage for mushrooms in Ontario. Designated as an Enhanced Management Area which allows for general use, including foraging for mushrooms.

View Map to Parry Sound North Crown Land

Coffee The Uplifts You

2. North Of Bobcaygeon (crown land)

hwy49 ontario crown land

The crown land just North of Bobcaygeon off Hwy 49 is the perect plact to go mushroom hunting in Ontario. Not too far from Toronto, or Ottawa – Bobcaygeon is the seasonal home of many Ontario residents. No doubt, many of them love foraging for mushrooms in the crown lands just North of the town.

View The Map to Bobcaygeon Crown Lands

3. Kitchener (crown land)

kitchener hwy 7 crown land foraging map

This crown land is designated for general use which means you can forage for mushrooms here. Driving west on Hwy 7/8 you will find this foraging spot on the South side at Hwy 12 (east and west side). This hidden gem is within 20 minutes of Kitchener, Waterloo an Cambridge. Forage responsibly.

View Map to Kitchener Crown Lands

4. Copeland Forest (crown land)

copeland forest crown land map

A true hidden gem just North of Barrie off Hwy 400. Copeland forest is the perfect place for hiking, walking and of course, mushroom foraging. Be sure to pack a lunch because Copeland crown land is massive and you will have no problem spending the day here searching for fungi.

View Map to Copeland Forest Crown Land

5. Midhurst District (crown Lands)

midhurst district crown lands

North of Barrie on Hwy 27 (aka Bayfield St) you will find this crown land that’s designated for general use. Go ahead – forage for mushrooms here – it’s permitted and it’s located less than two hours from Toronto, Ontario and just a short drive from Barrie, off the 400.

Midhurst District Crown Lands Map

Other foraging spots

Did you know that more than 80% of Ontario is crown land that might be suitable for mushroom foraging?

More than 80% of Ontario is Crown Land, of which 95% is in northern Ontario. That makes crown land the best place to forage for mushrooms in Ontario – and it’s legal.

The Crown Land Use Policy Atlas can help you find areas where mushroom picking is permitted in Ontario.

is foraging mushrooms legal in Ontario?

While many places offer excellent mushroom habitats in Ontario, it is not legal to pick mushrooms anywhere. Many private and publicly owned lands entirely prohibit the removal of plants, mushrooms, or animals. Make sure to consult your local landowners and laws before picking mushrooms.  The best place to forage wild mushrooms in Ontario is on Crown Land. (keep reading to find some foraging spots)

ontario mushrooms

Why Go Foraging For Mushrooms?

Mushroom foraging is a creative way to spend time outdoors and uniquely connect with nature. At the very least, foraging for mushrooms brings out many of the joys of hiking with a bonus! Not only do you get the delicious and medicinal prizes that are wild mushrooms, but you also get the pleasure of finding them. For many mushroom hunters, the hunt is almost as important as the prize!

Can't forage? grow!!!

Perhaps you want to forage but can’t find the time or cannot for physical reasons. If you can’t forage for mushrooms, you could try a mushroom-growing made to grow with ease right on your kitchen countertop. In just two weeks, you will have a fresh crop of mushrooms, and these kits can produce 3-4 harvests of fresh mushrooms that you didn’t have to forage.

Get A Mushroom Growing Kit Now!

Places To Learn

The best way to learn about mushrooms and mushroom picking is to go out with an experienced forager. This may either be an experienced friend or a professional offering an educative experience. Alternatively you can find local mushroom communities such as the  Mycological Society of Toronto or the Canadian Mycological Associations to help get you started. Social media and facebook groups are also a great way to learn and meet of individuals interested in mushrooms.

Facebook for mushroom foragers
foraging Best Practices
  • Only take what you need and never more than you can use.
  • Always consult landowners and local first nations before foraging on any land.
  • Only harvest species that you have identified 100%
  • Do not dismember or alter all the mushrooms along the trail.
  • Only harvest mushrooms that are increasing in large numbers.
  • DO NOT harvest rare, endangered, or uncommon species.
  • Always bring water, GPS, map, and don’t get lost!
  • Cut mushrooms from the base with a knife.
What to expect on your mushroom hike?

You never know what to expect on your first mushroom hunt. You may get skunked entirely and out of season in the wrong place. Alternatively, you may be at the right place at the right time and find yourself overwhelmed by mushrooms!

If you’re not seeing many mushrooms, than have patience. Enjoy nature and keep your eyes peeled for any potential fungus. Sometimes there can be hidden gems even when the seasons are not the best! If you end up wholly skunked, you now know where not to look at this time of the year!

If you are overwhelmed by a vast diversity of mushrooms on your first outing, don’t worry! Try to forage mushrooms you feel comfortable with, such as Chanterelles or Boletes, which are easy for beginners. If you’re going at it alone with no experienced guide, you may not feel comfortable harvesting. That’s okay! If this is the case, take pictures and confirm the mushrooms’ identification with better resources or maybe the help of an expert.

Foraging Laws in Ontario

  • Plant and mushroom foraging is allowed on Crown Land where ever it is not explicitly mentioned otherwise. If a forager wants exclusive use, they must apply to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
  • Foraging is prohibited in provincial parks without proper authorization.
  • Commercial picking is prohibited in conservation reserves but harvesting for personal consumption is permitted.
  • The City of Toronto bans foraging in city parks, forests, and ravines.
  • Plants or mushrooms listed as threatened or endangered are prohibited from foraging anywhere in Ontario.
  • First Nations may prohibit foraging in their traditional lands. These include some regions where it may otherwise be permitted by state law. Please get in touch with your local First Nations representatives if you have any doubts on this topic.

Disclaimer

NEVER consume wild mushrooms that have not been adequately identified. An experienced mushroom forager should make an identification. Do not rely on instinct, intuition, or an electronic application. Mushrooms don’t just “look” or “feel” edible; you must confirm the exact identity of any mushroom you consume! It is also essential to understand how to harvest and prepare mushrooms to avoid any digestion complications properly.

1 thought on “Where Can I Forage For Mushrooms In Ontario?

  1. Looking where to find Chanterelles in Listowel Ontario, where I live, & what time of year pls.

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