Berry Pickers Having Great Success in LOTW

It’s berry picking time in Lake of the Woods. Morel Mushrooms and wild asparagus have come and gone. Locals and tourists alike have turned there eyes to the numerous wild berries that grow all over our beautiful terrain. Whether you are up at the NW Angle or down at the south shore there are berries close by.

Whether you do this as a sideline to your fishing trip or make this one of the focuses of your Lake of the Woods adventure, picking wild berries around Lake of the Woods is fun, gets folks out exploring the area and has delicious benefits!  It is berry picking time around Lake of the Woods.

Although times can vary based on weather patterns, approximate harvest times for local berries: blueberries, mid-to-end of July; chokecherries, mid-August; Juneberries, mid-July; high bush cranberries, September; huckleberries, mid-to-end of July; pin cherries, mid-July; and raspberries, July.

Fresh pie, crumble, or just fresh picked; blueberries are a favorite past time for Lake of the Woods. Mid-late July through the middle of August are prime “hunting” weeks for visitors and locals looking for a great outdoor activity. Hiking through some of the most beautiful areas of the county bring you to secret spots even the locals haven’t found.

The Blueberry Pickers Drive – The blueberry is a favorite wild summer fruit. It is found as part of the plant community growing on the sandy beach ridges that glacial Lake Agassiz left behind as it retreated northward 10,000 years ago. Look for blueberry bushes where jack pine trees are found. The best picking is usually along roadsides, in small forest openings, and any place the jack pine trees grow thinly enough that sunlight dapples the forest floor. The heaviest berry crops occur on years with ample rainfall and no early June frosts while the berry plants are blooming. Look for the first ripe berries around the 4th of July. Berries will ripen continuously until about the first week of August.

Zippel Bay State Park has miles of groomed trails for pickers to walk and pick as they please without even leaving the beaten path. Blueberry Hill in Williams speaks for itself. This park is dedicated to the months of blueberries. This spot gives a little more freedom and terrain to explore while picking buckets of berries. Blueberry Hill State Forest is located 3.5 miles west of Williams on the south side of Highway 11 and is one of the highest points of elevation in the county.

Miles of Beltrami State Forest, the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area, and the Baudette School Forest are also available for pickers to explore. Franz Jevne State Park to the east of Baudette also has lots of areas to forage. A couple of farms are also available for pickers.

The time is now to get out and pick berries.  I don’t know about you, there is something special about the berries we pick ourselves.  Nature creates wonders and the berries around Lake of the Woods are certainly a few of them.  Get out and enjoy!


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