Fungus Fair at Point Reyes

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)
Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

The dates for the Thirteenth Annual Point Reyes National Seashore Fungus Fair in early 2018 have yet to be determined. The Twelfth annual Point Reyes National Seashore Fungus Fair was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 7, 2017, but had to be postponed until February 12, 2017, due to severe weather on January 7.

The Fungus Fair is an opportunity to learn about the fungi gathered by more than 100 volunteers who are helping to collect, identify, and catalog the species of mushrooms at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Amateur mycologists will be on hand to talk about mushrooms, their role in the environment, and more!

Volunteer citizen scientists are invited to gather at 10 am on the day prior to the Fungus Fair at the Bear Valley Visitor Center to collect fungi (rain or shine) for Sunday's Fungus Fair. Park visitors and local residents are welcome to participate! This is a collecting event for the fair, not a guided foray. Be prepared to learn, and be prepared to participate! Participants can then bring their finds to the Red Barn Classroom at 1 pm for identification.

For the 2016–2017 winter season, participants found dozens of species of fungi on Saturday, which were then displayed at the Bear Valley Visitor Center on Sunday. Since these scientific collecting forays began in 2005, the program has documented over 550 park species records, and several species new to science. In 2015, four new species—Tricholoma focale, Pleurotus dryinus, Pholiota aurivella, and Rhodocybe aureicystidiata—were found in the park for the first time.

During the Twelfth Annual Fungus Fair on Sunday, February 12, 2017, mushrooms and fungus were on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and visitors were invited to attend free lectures presented by area mycologists and to view informational displays about mushroom ecology in the park.

The 2018 Schedule of Speakers has yet to be finalized, but in 2017, the following talks were given:

  • 11 am "Truffles and Their Funky Friends" by Stephanie Jarvis
  • 12:30 pm "Introduction to Wild and Edible Mushrooms" by David Rust
  • 2 pm "Amanitarita's Freaky and Fabulous Fungi" by Debbie Viess

Check back here in late November or December to download the Thirteenth Annual Fungus Fair Flyer. To get a glimpse of the activities and lectures offered at the 2017 Fungus Fair, download the Twelfth Annual Fungus Fair Flyer (227 KB PDF)

For directions and a map to help you get to the Bear Valley Visitor Center, visit our Directions page. Parking is free, but please park your vehicle(s) in the gravel parking lot on the left (east) side of the access road close to the Bear Valley Trailhead, not in the paved parking lot adjacent to the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Go to the Bay Area Mycological Society's (BAMS) web site or contact the Bay Area Mycological Society, David Rust or Ben Becker for more details about the Point Reyes Fungus Fair. For more information about mushrooms at the Point Reyes National Seashore, visit our Mushrooms and other Fungi page.

There are specific legal guidelines for mushroom collecting. Please visit the Collecting section on the Park Regulations page.

Please note: employee housing as well as park administrative, maintenance, operations, and storage facilities, including, but not limited, to access roads, outbuildings, grounds, and docks, are closed to public use.

No mushroom should be eaten unless it can first be positively identified as edible. Learning to identify mushrooms in their many guises takes time, and reliable resources. The best way to learn about mushrooms is through local field guides and mushroom societies. Visit the Bay Area Mycological Society's Mushroom Poisonings page for more information on identifying the three most deadly mushrooms in California.

The Mycoblitz, which has been discontinued, was part of a major multi-year effort to document the fungi at Point Reyes. This event usually occurred at least once every winter and participants searched for mushrooms and fungi in Point Reyes for a few hours, and then reconvened to show what they found and to see what others discovered. The last Mycoblitz was held in 2007.

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Last updated: February 13, 2017

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1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
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