How to Find Wild Berries

Wild berries can be a delightful snack or a deadly mistake. If you are ever lost in the woods with nothing to eat, being able to locate and correctly identify wild berries can be the difference between life and death. Know where to look to find them.

Wild berries can be found in meadows, overgrown fields, marshes and along rivers and ponds. They may be in low-lying berry bushes or fruit trees. Generally, berries grow the best in full sunlight. You'll often find berry bushes and trees at the edges of woods and trails, where the sun can easily reach. Remember that birds eat berries, so if you're lost in the woods, follow the birds.

Look for acidic soil when trying to find wild berries. Blueberries, for instance, flourish in acidic soil. Another signal that there may be blueberries nearby is oak trees. Oak trees thrive in the same soil as blueberries do.

Huckleberries can also be found in acidic soil (and they taste quite similar to blueberries). Cranberries can be found in acidic areas, but they grow in bogs instead of woodlands.

You may find berries that grow on vines, but it is best to avoid eating these berries unless you are absolutely certain of what they are. Vine fruit is often poisonous and sometimes resembles a fruit that is edible.

Other berries grow close to the ground, such as snowberries. Look for these underfoot. You may see birds hopping through the underbrush to locate berries that grow low.

Until you are experienced at locating and identifying wild berries, you may want to carry a field guide and a handful of dried berries with you whenever you enter the woods. A field guide will be able to offer you advice on finding wild berries and can tell you which ones are edible and which should be avoided at all costs.

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