Forays and Walks

Does the MST have organized walks?

The MST organizes a series of members-only walks called forays into the greenbelt around Toronto during the spring and fall…

The MST organizes a series of members-only walks called forays into the greenbelt around Toronto during the spring and fall of each year, to gather and identify mushrooms.

Forays are held in the earlier part of the day on Saturdays and Sundays. Each foray has a designated foray leader who provides guidance to the participants.

Our scheduled spring forays usually take place from early May to the beginning of June, and fall forays from early September to the end of October.

The complete schedule of forays is available at https://www.myctor.org/forays/current.

Can I arrange a private guide or walk?

The MST offers group forays for members only. Please see the Help section on Forays and Walks for details. The…

The MST offers group forays for members only. Please see the Help section on Forays and Walks for details. The MST does not offer guide services or private walks for individuals. 

If you represent an education or ecological organization, please use our general enquiry form to ask about leading a walk for your group.

Where are the MST's forays?

Our forays take place mainly on public lands such as county forests and conservation areas in the greenbelt around Toronto,…

Our forays take place mainly on public lands such as county forests and conservation areas in the greenbelt around Toronto, usually within an hour's driving time. More information is available at https://www.myctor.org/forays/foray-info-locations.

MST members have access to a detailed map of foray locations and driving directions when they sign in to the website. The map is available at https://www.myctor.org/forays/locations.

Does the MST provide transportation to forays?

The MST is unable to provide transportation to forays. Members are responsible for arranging their own transportation.

The MST is unable to provide transportation to forays. Members are responsible for arranging their own transportation.

When is the next foray?

Our foray schedule can be found at https://www.myctor.org/forays/current or on our event calendar.

Our foray schedule can be found at https://www.myctor.org/forays/current or on our event calendar.

How do forays work?

When you arrive at the foray location, find the group of people with baskets and sign in with the foray…

When you arrive at the foray location, find the group of people with baskets and sign in with the foray leader. The foray leader will give a short introduction and safety talk and specify a time to be back at the parking area. The foray attendees will split up into small groups and go out in to the forest to gather specimens. When you get back to the parking area at the time the foray leader specified, there will be tables set up for you to put down the specimens you've gathered. The foray leader and other knowledgeable members will then try their best to identify what everyone found, and to help you identify your specimens. Afterward, the specimens are returned to the forest. 

What do I do when arrive at a foray location? How do I find the group?

Look for the group of people holding baskets! Traditionally someone will put a basket on the roof of one of…

Look for the group of people holding baskets! Traditionally someone will put a basket on the roof of one of the cars as a signal. When you arrive, please make yourself known to the foray leader, who may be holding a white MST clipboard.

What time do forays start?

Forays depart from the gathering area at 9:45am. It's best to arrive 15 minutes early to sign in.

Forays depart from the gathering area at 9:45am. It's best to arrive 15 minutes early to sign in.

How long do forays last?

Forays last 3-4 hours.

Forays last 3-4 hours.

Is there a guide?

Each MST foray has a volunteer leader. Foray attendees generally split up into small groups at the beginning of the…

Each MST foray has a volunteer leader. Foray attendees generally split up into small groups at the beginning of the foray. The leader doesn't function as a guide, but is often happy to allow new members to stick close to them.

Can I pick mushrooms to eat on a foray?

Picking for the table is not allowed or sanctioned at MST forays for several reasons. The permits we have with…

Picking for the table is not allowed or sanctioned at MST forays for several reasons. The permits we have with the various properties which host our forays do not allow foraging for the purpose of consumption, and the MST runs the risk of losing access to these areas if foray attendees harvest edibles.

Also, there are several toxic species in our area and several of them very closely resemble edible species. It's often difficult to distinguish between them, and so the MST strongly recommends never eating a wild mushroom without the guidance in person of a professional mycologist. The MST is a volunteer-run organization and all our foray leaders are volunteers, not professional mycologists. Expecting them to bear the responsibility for identifying edible species for foray attendees wouldn't be fair or safe, so foraging for edibles at MST forays is not allowed.

Do I need to be a member to attend a foray?

Unfortunately the permits we have with the various properties which host our forays require the MST to provide insurance coverage…

Unfortunately the permits we have with the various properties which host our forays require the MST to provide insurance coverage for all foray attendees. Only MST members are covered by our group insurance policy, and so only MST members in good standing can attend forays.

MST memberships are family memberships and cover up to 2 adult immediate family members and children of those adults living at the same address.

Yearly memberships are not expensive, and you can join online at https://www.myctor.org/join.

Can I attend a foray to try it out before I join?

Unfortunately the permits we have with the various properties which host our forays require the MST to provide insurance coverage…

Unfortunately the permits we have with the various properties which host our forays require the MST to provide insurance coverage for all foray attendees. Only MST members are covered by our group insurance policy, and so only MST members in good standing can attend forays. 

MST family memberships are not expensive and you can join online at https://www.myctor.org/join.

I don't know how to identify mushrooms, can I still come to a foray?

Absolutely. One of the reasons for coming to a foray is to learn identification skills. At the end of each…

Absolutely. One of the reasons for coming to a foray is to learn identification skills. At the end of each foray all members gather and lay out the specimens they found on tables, and the foray leader and other experts will attempt to identify them by species.

Can I bring a family member to a foray?

MST memberships cover up to 2 adult immediate family members and children of those adults living at the same address.…

MST memberships cover up to 2 adult immediate family members and children of those adults living at the same address. Anyone covered by your family membership can attend a foray. 

Can I bring a friend to a foray?

Unfortunately the permits we have with the various properties which host our forays require the MST to provide insurance coverage…

Unfortunately the permits we have with the various properties which host our forays require the MST to provide insurance coverage for all foray attendees. Only MST members are covered by our group insurance policy, and so only MST members in good standing can attend forays. 

How do I prepare for a foray?

More information on preparing for forays is available here: https://www.myctor.org/forays/foray-etiquette

More information on preparing for forays is available here: https://www.myctor.org/forays/foray-etiquette

Do I need to register for forays?

Some MST forays require pre-registration to attend. This may be due to limited parking space, a landowner who wants a…

Some MST forays require pre-registration to attend. This may be due to limited parking space, a landowner who wants a small group, or a lack of volunteers to handle a large group. These forays will be clearly marked on the Current Forays page.

Note that due to COVID-19, all forays in the 2020-2021 seasons will be open to pre-registered participants only.

For forays that don't state on the Current Forays page that they require pre-registration, you can just show up at the foray location at the right time, find the foray leader and sign in.

How do I register for a foray?

Some MST forays require pre-registration to attend. This may be due to limited parking space, a landowner who wants a…

Some MST forays require pre-registration to attend. This may be due to limited parking space, a landowner who wants a small group, or a lack of volunteers to handle a large group. These forays will be clearly marked on the Current Forays page.

Note that due to COVID-19, all forays in the 2020-2021 seasons will be open to pre-registered participants only.

Instructions on how to register are on the help page How to Register for a Foray.

How do I check in at a foray?

For safety reasons, the MST needs to know which of our members are present at a foray, both for safety…

For safety reasons, the MST needs to know which of our members are present at a foray, both for safety and for contact tracing.

Instructions on how to register are on the help page How to Check in to a Foray.

Login