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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Free Places to go Berry Picking

For the first weekend in months, I actually do not have any social activities planned - at all. It's kinda weird, but I'm looking forward to having time to get things done that need to get done (like unpack in my new apartment in Troy) and then there are a couple get togethers on July 4th that I'll attend.

But, for the rest of you, this is looking like primetime berry picking season.

At the grocery stores, the berries are plump, juicy, and not super-expensive like they usually are. Well, there's a way to get them even cheaper - picking them yourself.

There's, of course, a lot of local places to purchase berries that you pick but you could also go on a little berry adventure into the unknown and come out wiser, maybe a little sunburned/bug-bitten, and pleasantly-plump with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and mulberries.

As a kid, my parents would take us berry picking every year. Sometimes we would pay to go to a place but usually we would go to one of the spots my parents found when they first moved to the area.

I'm all about sharing information and knowledge, so I'll share some of these places with you.

Around Troy

If you go to the Mount Ida Cemetery on Pawling Avenue, check out the wooded area along the Poestenkill (especially near the front green/white house, near the pond, and then near the little waterfall in the back of the cemetery). There's quite a few blackberry and raspberry bushes.

At Frear Park, there used to be tons of berry bushes on the hill not far from the tennis courts and across from the picnic pavilion, near the road when you came in. I know I've seen bushes around the outskirts of the park too.

At Spring Little League, across the street from the concession stand, check out some of nature's candy instead of the Sour Patch Kids at the park (though, you can't beat the prices at the concession stand for candy).

Around Grafton

I've been told, by some very reliable sources, that the wooded area across from the Grafton Lakes State Park entrance has some amazing blueberry bushes - that is, if you get to them before the local residents.

Around the Berkshires

The Berlin Mountain hike from the Petersburgh Pass area, on Route 2, has some great mulberries and blueberries. There's been some nice, sunny days this time of year that I would hike that route and fill up my belly on sun-rippened berries. You can't beat that.

Around the Adirondacks

Hikes I know of that have berry bushes: Buck Mountain on Lake George has blueberries, Hadley Mountain has blueberries and mulberries, Shelving Rock near Sleeping Beauty had mulberries and raspberries (but A LOT of mosquitos too), and I seem to remember getting some raspberry stains on Giant Mountain but not getting to enjoy actually eating the berries.

I'll add to the list as I think of and discover more. Feel free to share as well.

Happy berry picking - watch out for the prickers and berry stains (they're a bitch to get out).


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