Ripe for the Picking

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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

Betsy Bradley

Elizabeth L. Bradley writes about New York City history and culture. She hopes to find Tiffany blue dragees in her Christmas stocking this year.

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