Safe Paddling



Trip Tips

Gifts & Reviews

Wilderness Trips

Related Links

Other Links



info at wilds.mb.ca

Copyright © 2014
WILDS of Manitoba



2016 April 09

On WWW since
2015 February 25



Mantario Summer Specialty Program Week

2016 August 15 to 19

Specialty leader Donna R. Kurt

to be held at Nature Manitoba's

Mantario Wilderness Education Centre

in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba

Welcome! This page describes the Mantario 2016 Mycelium Canoeing Program week.

  • This specialty week will expand your awareness of fungi and mushrooms in the wonder of the Mantario wilderness. Mycelium is the vegetative structure of fungi, growing in or on soil, leaves, trees and other organic matter. A sexually active mycelium forms after two compatible mycelium join. If conditions are right, mushrooms may rapidly grow from the mycelium for the purpose of producing spores in order to propagate the species. We will search for edible mushrooms and will also learn about toxic or poisonous species, fungal relationships with the natural world and their benefits to humans. There will be time to practice canoeing, qigong and sauna skills between forays.
  • I have lead about 25 canoe trips to Mantario on Thanksgiving weekends since 1989 as well as several Mantario program trips focussed on canoeing instruction and have participated in many Mantario work parties
  • During most of these canoe trips, I have photographed and collected numerous species of mushrooms in the area
  • The first word in the title for this program is "Mycelium" which is the name of the primary fungi organism that generates "fruiting" bodies we call mushrooms
  • Most fungi species are integral to the existence of most plant and animal organisms, the relationships are often of mutual benefit between plants and fungi, but some fungi are parasitic; in any case, if fungi did not exist, life would not exist
  • The varied habitat in the Mantario area provides opportunities to find many mushroom species
  • In addition to learning more about fungal relationships with ourselves and other organisms, there will be opportunities to find and perhaps cook edible species
  • Participants are requested to review my Discovering Mushrooms workshop presentation prior to the trip, many of the photos of mushrooms in this presentation were taken in the Mantario area
  • The second word in the title is "Canoeing" because I enjoy sharing knowledge of canoeing skills, having instructed hundreds of paddlers over the years, so there will be opportunities to practice and improve your paddling skills
  • "Mycelium Canoeing" is also a play on "Mycelium Running", an excellent book on mushrooms and fungi authored by Paul Stamets
  • If participants wish, there will also be an opportunity to learn and practice 18 posture qigong and perhaps explore development of affirmations (which aid in resolving personal issues)
  • Participants are encouraged to review the Mantario trip details shown at Charles Burchill's excellent website about Mantario, he provides an excellent overview of flora and fauna of the Mantario area based on numerous Mantario program weeks he has been a specialty leader for over the years
  • The trip to Mantario cabin starts at Big Whiteshell Lake and includes paddling via Ritchey Lake, One Lake, Two Lake, Three Lake and then Mantario Lake with a portage between of each of these lakes over which the canoes and personal and shared gear must be carried. From Big Whiteshell Lake to Mantario cabin there is a total of about 18 km paddling and about 4 km portaging over Pre-Cambrian shield terrain which is rugged, boggy or muddy. Therefore the trip requires a reasonable level of fitness and is a challenge, even for seasoned canoe trippers. Thankfully, there is a sauna and a cabin available to recoup from the typically 5 to 7 hour trip. The trip back to Big Whiteshell Lake is easier, as the portages are generally more downhill and familiar and also the packs are lighter as the fresh food has been used or left at the cabin.
  • The Mantario cabin is equipped with composting toilets and outhouses and Katadyn 0.2 micron water filters to treat the lake water. There is no electric power but the cabin does have solar powered lights, propane range/stove and wood stoves. There are 4 rooms with 4 bunk beds in each room.
  • If you require more information about the Mycelium Canoeing trip please contact fun.gal at mtsmail.ca
  • To register for the Mycelium Canoeing specialty week learn more at Mantario Wilderness Education Centre
  • Four participants enjoyed the inaugural Mycelium Canoeing program week from August 24 to 28, 2015. The very first night we sampled fresh wild chanterelles found on the first portage trail. On several forays we found over 120 species and brought over 60 species back to the cabin for further identification. Nightly we practiced qigong on the sauna dock under shoosting stars and most amazing displays of Aurora Borealis. Three of the participants also achieved a Paddle Canada canoeing certificate and were very pleased with their improved paddling and portaging skills.

Following is a list of links to trip reports and videos about some of the trips I have lead to Mantario:

Following are two videos that are converted from a video produced by Christine Mazur about the Mantario Wilderness Zone, these videos includes footage from the Mantario 2008 Thanksgiving Canoe Trip:

Following is a partial list of Kingdom Fungi species I have foraged, photographed and/or identified in the Mantario area:

  • Amanita pantherina The panther (poisonous)
  • Auricularia auricula Wood ear (edible)
  • Boletus piptoporus Birch conk or birch polypore (cure for worms, not edible)
  • Boletus spp Boletus (mostly edible)
  • Chanterellus cibarius Chanterelle (edible)
  • Clavariadelphus pistillaris Pestle-topped coral (edible)
  • Clavariadelphus truncatus Flat-topped coral (edible)
  • Clavulina amethystina Violet-branched coral (edible)
  • Collybia tuberosa Tuberous collybia (not edible)
  • Coprinus atramentarius Inky Cap (edible with caution, avoid alcohol)
  • Crepidotus mollis Jelly crep (not edible)
  • Fomes fomentarius Horse's hoof, amadou (not edible, good tinder)
  • Ganoderma apllanatum Artist's conk (not edible)
  • Gyromitra esculenta Brain mushroom (not edible, morel look-alike)
  • Gyromitra infula Saddle-shaped False Morel (not edible, morel look-alike)
  • Helvella elastica Smooth-stalked helvella (not edible, morel look-alike)
  • Hypomyces lactifluorum Lobster Mushroom (edible)
  • Lycoperdon Gemstudded Puffball (edible)
  • Lycoperdon pyriforme Wood Puffball (edible)
  • Lycoperdon Ochre Puffball (edible)
  • Macrotyphula juncea Fairy hair (not edible)
  • Morchella esculenta Yellow morel (edible)
  • Omphaltous illudens Jack-O-Lantern (poisonous)
  • Pholiota aurivella Golden pholiota (poisonous)
  • Piptoporus betulinus Birch polypore (not edible, medicinal)
  • Rhizopogon ochraceorubens False truffle (edibility not known)
  • Royoporus badius Black footed polypore (not edible)
  • Russula emetica The sickener (not edible/poisonous)
  • Schizophyllum commune Split-gill (not edible)
  • Urnula hiemalis Black urn fungus (not edible)