Backpacker Magazine – May 2009
Top 3 Glow-in-the-Dark Trips
Fireflies in action (Judd Patterson)
Porcupine Mountains, MI
Link a path of glowing mushrooms.
Known as foxfire, bioluminescent fungi is found throughout temperate zones in wet, rotting bark. Scientists don't know why some fungi glow and not others. One hypothesis: The glow attracts insects, and they spread the mushrooms' spores. Bring a headlamp (with a red filter, if you have one, to preserve your night vision) and head north from the Pinkerton trailhead through old-growth conifers toward Lake Superior on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Look for soggy, downed trees on this 5.2-mile out-and-back, and agitate chunks of bark to oxidize the mushroom's enzymes and reveal a light blue glow. (906) 885-5275; michigan.gov/dnr
Recharge with BBQ ribs and bread pudding at Foot Hills Restaurant (906-885-5246) in Ontonagon (five miles from Silver City).
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From Silver City, MI, drive west 2.6 miles on MI 107. Turn left onto South Boundary Rd. and drive 20.5 miles to the Pinkerton trailhead.