Ripe for the Picking

Here’s a pleasure that’s even better: wild blueberries you’ve picked yourself, for free, in a breathtakingly beautiful nature preserve.

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Summer blueberries are tough to beat, but here’s a pleasure that’s even better: wild blueberries you’ve picked yourself, for free, in a breathtakingly beautiful nature preserve. That’s exactly what’s on offer at Minnewaska State Park, up outside New Paltz, each July (mark your calendar).

A 90-minute drive from the city, Minnewaska features hardwood forests, mountain streams, dramatic waterfalls, crystalline lakes, world-class rock climbing and a veritable carpet of wild blueberry bushes. Sure, most hikers know the old adage “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints,” but at Minnewaska, the staff leads berry walks and recommends the best places to pick. Entire swaths of the park are covered in high- and low-bush blueberries, enough to make even the most grizzlied urbanite feel as at home in the woods as a bear. The big-flavored berries are tiny, so it’s tough to fill a bag, but eat until your mouth is purple, then head down to Lake Minnewaska to swim under the spectacular sky.

Photo Credit: Facebook / Wild Blueberries Association of America

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Gabrielle Langholtz is the former editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.