Field trips and forays are led by more experienced members to various locations in the Bay Area and around Northern California, and offer opportunities to learn more about mushrooms, safely collect and eat mushrooms, and to enjoy good company. Forays are attended by many types of people with the connecting element being an interest and curiosity about our fungal friends. Some events are open to all, and some are MSSF member-only. See the the event calendar for forthcoming forays and the collecting equipment list for suggested items to bring on forays.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

Announcements of foray dates will be made approximately one week prior to the scheduled dates of the forays by general e-mail announcements to all MSSF members.

Forays will consist of: local, day trip, quick start educational, and pop-up forays. All forays will be dependent upon receiving sufficient moisture, (rain) prior to the forays.

All members attending a walk or foray should be fully vaccinated for Covid-19, and be prepared to show proof. It is also recommended that you receive this year's flu vaccination before attending a foray as well. However, since these are outdoor events, if you are unvaccinated for medical or religious reasons you may still attend but must wear a mask and maintain a social distance.

If you are ill, have a fever or a cough, please do not attend a foray.

Carpooling to foray locations is recommended.

Some forays will be posted on the MSSF website event registration page approximately one week before the scheduled foray dates; last-minute, pop-up forays might only be announced via email to members. All forays will be first-come, first-served for members in good standing with dues paid up-to-date. NO GUESTS will be allowed, and only two adult members from each household will be allowed to sign up. There will be no standby waiting list for these forays. Each individual attending must be registered for the event.

Any foray could be cancelled at the last minute due to conditions. If there has been no rain for a long period, there will be no mushrooms fruiting. If there are road closures due to wildfires or weather conditions, an event might be cancelled. Abundance and diversity of fungus that will be found is dependent on location and variable natural conditions such as recent rainfall history and temperature.

General information about types of forays organized by MSSF. Individual events may not be exactly as described below; these are general descriptions.


Local forays are often to a county or regional park, within a short drive of San Francisco, start about 9:00 am with a walk with the leader, who will help with mushroom identification and interpretation, and answer questions. Collection may or may not be allowed at these locations.

Day trips

Day trips are to locations that allow collecting, start a 9:00 am and often are a mix of more experienced forayers and newbies. They have a more loose structure, with the more experienced individuals wondering more widely. Beginners can walk with the leader or with one of the more experienced forayers. Interpretation includes insights by the leader as well as experienced participants.

We walk, break for lunch break in the field, then collect until 2:00 or 3:00. The group returns to the starting point, and review the collections.

Quick start forays

Quick-start forays are intended to be educational, for people new to mushroom hunting. They are not intended for hunting edible mushrooms, and are often conducted in locations that do not allow collecting for purposes other than education. They are announced on the MSSF Mailing List and MSSF online calendar. Location and time are up to the event leader.

Pop-up forays

Pop-up forays are usually urban forays in Golden Gate and McLaren Parks as well as other locations. These announcements will be made on short notice, just a few days before the event and there will be no restrictions on the numbers of members who wish to attend. (That means children can attend but must wear a mask if not yet vaccinated). Location and time are up to the event initiator. These allow us to react to changing conditions or reports of good fruiting.

Car camping forays

Car Camping forays involve the leader selecting an overnight camping location, a campground or primitive camp spot. We meet Saturday morning at 9:00 am and then drive or walk to the foray location. The foray is an all day event, with lunch in the field and returning for dinner. The participants create a potluck meal, hopefully with mushroom finds from day, or personally crafted dishes. Usually a fire and an exchange of elaborate tales of glory—mushrooms found that day or in the past—ensues.

Sunday there may be a potluck breakfast and forayers are free to explore nearby terrain to put to use the knowledge gained over the course of the foray.

Fungus Fair collecting forays

Fungus Fair collecting forays are on the day before the fair. The various leaders meet small groups of volunteers at locations where collecting is permitted. Mushrooms are collected to represent the local mycota that are in condition to display at the fair. Collections are returned to the fair site at or before 5:00 pm for identification and placement on the display tables.