Hikes, mushroom, plant programs set at Giant City
Early morning hikes and programs about wild mushrooms and rare plants are planned at Giant City State Park near Makanda.
The upcoming events are free. Registration is required. Registration and more information are available by calling the visitor center at the park at 618-457-4836.
Early Morning Hikes
The park naturalist plans to lead early morning hikes on Friday, July 8, and Friday, July 22. The hikes will be at 6:30 a.m. each day.
The hikes will be on one of the eight trails at the park.Trails will vary in length from 1 to 3 miles and will be moderately difficult, with some steep stair climbing.
Local naturalist and wild food enthusiast Alex Holmes will give an introduction to edible summer and fall wild mushrooms in a program which is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10.
Holmes will discuss identification, foraging and preparation of mushrooms. A simple sampler of mushrooms will be prepared after the presentation, which will be mostly indoors.
Botanist Chris Benda will discuss the identification of rare plants and explain how to differentiate them from their related counterparts in an upcoming program.
The presentation is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 24.
More than 400 species of rare plants are known from Illinois, but many of them look similar to more common species.