They say that blueberries are a super food, packed with nutrients to keep our brains healthy and bodies happy. Champaign-Urbana blueberry fans will be pleased to discover several places within roughly an hour’s drive to pick your own blueberries. (If you’re looking for strawberry picking resources, here is our story on Where to Pick Strawberries Around Champaign-Urbana; there is some overlap in the two articles.)
In Central Illinois, blueberry season generally starts around mid-June and goes through mid-July – if we’re lucky.
To be sure that there are blueberries ripe for the picking, we recommend that you call ahead before you go to any farm (some also put up information on their Facebook pages and/or websites). Some farms have limited quantities, and the seasons can be short.
Oh, and a few other tips:
1) Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen; sunglasses and hats are also helpful. Remember, there is no shade while berry picking.
2) Where there is fruit there is often bugs. Go early as possible; be prepared to do sunscreen and bug repellent.
3) We recommend that you bring cash to pay for berries.
4) Watch the weather. You don’t want to be picking with any threats of lightning.
5) Remember, berry season is short!
U Pick Blueberry Locations Near Champaign-Urbana (organized by distance)
Goosecreek Blueberries, Monticello
This relatively new blueberry patch opens for 2017 on June 16 at 10 a.m.
Location: About 20-25 minutes from Champaign-Urbana, depending on where you live. Northwest of Monticello (map). Directions available on the Facebook page, too.
Notes: Picking and paying is on the honor system. Prices for U Pick Blueberries are $2.50 per pound. Buckets and take home bags are provided. There is a very short window for picking blueberries, see our review here.
Phone: People are advised to call before coming out to u pick, to check on picking conditions. (217) 519-0531
Prairie Hill Blueberry Farm, Bethany
Five varieties for early, mid, and late fruit from mid June through early August. In 2017, prices for U Pick Blueberries are $3.50 per pound.
Location: Bethany, Illinois – west of Arthur. (1 hour, 15 minutes from Southwest Champaign)
Notes: Closed on Sundays and Mondays; Tuesday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jeffries Orchard, Springfield
Our family went to Jeffries Orchard in Springfield last summer, and you can read all about this no-frills experience on the website. Blueberry u pick generally opens in late June. They have a roadside stand and sell produce all summer long.
Location: A great advantage for this place: it is close to Springfield and therefore close to other attractions, food, etc. About 75 minutes from southwest Champaign.
Notes: Open 7 days a week. Takes credit cards. Posts regular updates on its Facebook page. A
Just Berries, Stewardson, Illinois
Currently no u pick available for blueberries, but we’re keeping this farm on the list in case they do open up picking in the future.
Location: About 75 minutes from southwest Champaign, straight south between Mattoon and Effingham.
Notes: Posts regular updates on its Facebook page.
Did we miss your favorite blueberry u pick near Champaign-Urbana?