Living in harmony with the land and foraging for berries has been a part of Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve since time immemorial. Berries are abundant at various locations throughout the Park Reserve. Whether your goal is to make some homemade jam or to simply have a snack on a hike, you may find what you are craving (if the season is right).
There are a wide range of berry types found within boreal forest and tundra ecosystems. Three of the edible berries include cranberries, cloudberries and blueberries.
- Cranberries are bright red and grow close to the ground. The best time to gather them is from August to mid-October. They are sweeter after the first frost.
- Cloudberries are amber-coloured and rich in Vitamin C. If you’re lucky you can find them growing in bogs and moist forests.
- Blueberries grow in both open and wooded areas, depending on the variety. They are ripe for picking in late summer.
Berry growth occurs seasonally and may be affected by changes in weather and soil conditions throughout the park. Years with too much rain or sun can cause berry crops to fail. Do not count on berries as a replacement for backcountry food and supplies.
For more details about berries, consult a field guide. The Boreal Herbal is popular with harvesters.
- Berries are an important food source for a wide variety of wildlife, including black bears and grizzly bears. Ensure you are practicing good bear awareness and avoidance techniques. Remember that many animals depend on berries for their survival, so make sure to leave some for them!
- There are several local guides who can take you out on the land if you would like to learn more about berries.
- Make sure you know what you are picking – not all berries are edible.
- Harvesting berries for personal use is ok, while harvesting berries for sale or commercial purposes is not.
- Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve is unique; some activities are allowed here that are not allowed in other national parks - berry picking is one of them.