* This post may have affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure.*

Foraging for Wild Cranberries

This is my favorite time of the year. It’s cranberry season. Over the past 7 years, I have been foraging wild cranberries. It has become a tradition for a few friends and me. Every year, I make wild cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Wild cranberries grow all over the Northeast and Canada. They like to grow near lakes, bogs, swamps, and shores of cold lakes. September and October are when they are at their ripest stage.

Identifying Your Wild Cranberries

How To Get Started Foraging

It took some time for me to find and identify the patches I now frequent every year.  It took many months of hiking around different lakes to discover where wild cranberries grow. This year, the cranberries are the best I have ever seen since I have been foraging. They are large, abundant, and better than any store-bought ones.

Foraging for Wild Cranberries

Wild cranberries like to grow low to the ground, like a small vine. The berries are easy to identify. They are oval in shape, whitish-green when unripe and deep red when ripe. The nice thing about these cranberries is they are not treated with any pesticides. Just make sure not to over pick. Leave some for the animals and a stronger crop next year.


On The Lake

My Guide to Essential Foraging Gear

It was a great day to be out on the lake. It was nice and quiet, just me and nature—what a good way to spend the day foraging for wild cranberries. I will take this overwork any day! Foraging is a good way to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer.  After I was done with the picking, I went home to clean and preserve my wild harvest.


It’s important to discard any bad or broken cranberries and clean any stems or debris. I placed the cranberries in a sink and washed them.


The FoodSaver V2244 vacuum sealing system comes in handy for preserving a variety of foods. This device is awesome for freezing produce for the long term. I use it for storing all my wild edibles and garden produce. This system will eliminate freezer burn. It will keep your food fresh up to 5x longer. Highly recommend.

Storing Your Wild Cranberries

I shake off any excess water with a strainer before preserving with my FoodSaver. Wild cranberries freeze very well. They also are great cooked or made into juice. I like to make wild cranberry compote and then jar them in a water bath canner. That is something I will share in a future post. It goes very well with oatmeal in the morning with wild blueberries and local honey.

Foraging for Wild Cranberries on Punk Domestics

Check out my foraging page for more information.

Here is the book I use to identify wild cranberries:

Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide

Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide is a must-have field guide. It has nearly 400 color photos and detailed information on more than 200 species of edible plants all across North America. With all the plants conveniently organized by season, enthusiasts will find it very simple to locate and identify their desired ingredients. Each entry includes images, plus facts on the plant’s habitat, physical properties, harvesting, preparation, and poisonous look-alikes.

Have you ever been foraging for wild cranberries?

More Articles You May Like

June 17, 2018 0

How to Make Simple Cranberry Juice

Last updated: Thursday, February 18, 2021Making your own cranberry juice is a great way to use up any extra cranberries you may have laying around. If you are a forager like me, you have a stash in your freezer ready to go. Cranberry juice is relatively easy to make; it also cans and freezes very well. The best part about making your own cranberry juice is that you can control what type of sweetener and how much you want to add. The juice I am going to show you how to make is quite versatile. It can be used as a base for many different types of drinks or by itself over ice. Health Benefits of Cranberries We all know about the many health benefits of cranberries. Cranberry juice can help relieve [...]

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About Financial Forager
I enjoy canning, preserving, foraging and growing my own food. It’s become a way of life. When you grow a vegetable garden, you eat with the seasons. Foraging is the same way. I forage for many types of wild berries and edible plants. Preserving is a great way to store and maintain your garden and foraged finds.


  1. Great post – I’ll have to keep an eye out next time we go hiking near the lake.

  2. Interesting article on foraging cranberries. I have some growing here and there along the driveway but not enough to yield even a handful. I’ll have to see if I can find some near some of the wetlands around us.

  3. I wish I knew were some wild cranberries grew. I’ve never seen them in the wild. Just in the man made bogs around here. I’m sure they exist.

  4. I’ve never lived in a place where one could harvest cranberries. On the other hand, I’m collecting pineapple guavas at the moment

  5. This post simply reminds me of all the things we can do for “free” and enjoy. I know many of us are dividend income investors and we seek FI but sometimes a blog post like this simply highlights that life isn’t about dividend increases or stock buybacks. Rather, taking pleasure in the simple joys that life affords. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I haven’t seen any wild cranberries in Eastern Ontario, but I will continue to search. Thanks also for the info on the book. It sounds like one I could really use.

    • Nice to meet a another forager. I am sure if you looked around some of your local lakes up there you may find some. That book has been very helpful for me, hopefully you can find it useful. Thanks for stopping by and happy foraging.

  7. I live in Windsor ON. do wild cranberries grow in southern Ontario? I heard they like bogs.

    • I do know that some parts of Canada have wild cranberries. Search your local lakes and bogs. They like to grow near the shoreline. It may take some time to find. You may find small patches that will lead you to larger ones. Good luck!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.