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Photos: Berry picking at Arctic Valley

  • Author:
  • Updated: June 30, 2016
  • Published August 5, 2014

I admit it: I buy supermarket blueberries in the off season. But this time of year, there's no need to because a little time and effort is all it takes to harvest your own wild blueberries. Aside from a little gas money and the occasional parking fee, the most delicious berries you'll ever taste are completely free for the taking.

And they're not alone. Although blueberries are among the easiest berries to find and identify, there's a long list of other plentiful berries to be had across Alaska: salmonberries, raspberries, high-bush cranberries, lingonberries, crowberries and currants are among those easiest to find in Southcentral Alaska.

Still, blueberries are the easiest "starter berry" in Alaska because they're easy to find, easy to identify, and don't have any lookalikes that will harm you. When you pick berries of other colors, though, careful identification is essential -- especially when it comes to avoiding the poisonous baneberry, which comes in both red and white.

READ MORE: Buckets in hand, berry lovers take to Alaska hills to reap nature's bounty

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