Yesterday we took a family walk around the Karst Creek Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. It’s a 1.2 km loop to a beautiful waterfall through an interesting karst, or limestone, landscape. Streams appear on the surface and then disappear back down underground into sink holes. In the fall, however, the highlight of the Karst Creek Trail is definitely mushrooms.
We saw many different kinds of LBMs (Little Brown Mushrooms) on our walk but weren’t able to identify them – with a 2+ year old and a 6 month old just completing the trail and squeezing in some time to take photographs was enough of a challenge!
In the summer the creek bed is dry since most of the water falling over the falls is channeled into a sink hole at the base of the waterfall. In the fall and winter there is enough water flowing that the creek is full from the waterfall right down to the trailhead. In the summer it is possible to do the entire loop. Yesterday we had to turn back at the point where the trail crosses the creek and retrace our route. Years ago BC Parks had a bridge at the crossing – it has been washed out and there appears to be no plan to replace it. Makes it challenging for seniors or families with small children to enjoy the trail.
Next time we head out I think I’ll collect a few of these difficult to identify mushrooms and try to sort them out at home. Taking a few spore prints will make that a little easier! Fortunately, I’m not really interested in eating them – I’m content to enjoy these magnificent mushrooms just as they are.