I find most of my ginseng on very big (and steep) hills. I would mainly concentrate on shaded areas. (Fern beds are a great place to start)
For many reasons, the hills that haven't been logged in a while are best. Mainly, because they are easier to walk when it is hot and also because the plants don't get burnt off too soon by the sun. Staring from the basics, here are the things to look for as a beginner. This time of year most of the plants will be completely green. A good portion of the plants should have red berries on them as well. Ginseng is one of the only plants out there that has 3 branches coming off the main stem and each branch has 5 leaves on it. (Bigger plants can have an extra branch that will have 3-5 leaves on it). The thing that makes ginseng unique is that the 5 leaves on each branch come out of the same spot. If you are not having any luck on north or east facing hills right now it could be that the berries aren't red yet (which makes them harder to find because every plant out there is green). I would go over to a south facing hill and try there. If you don't have anyone to help you get started, you are better off just going out there and looking for red berries. I would take a few pictures of the plant with you and compare them to any plants that you find with red berries on. After you find one that you are sure is ginseng, I would keep the plant that you have and carry it with you to help find the next one. There are hundreds of tips that could be given, but unless you have someone to help you get started, that is about the easiest way to do it.
Also, it is easier to spot ginseng (most of the time) when you are walking uphill. A lot of the plants get top heavy from the berries and they tend to lean downhill.
[ame="http://www.themidwesthunter.com/forum/showthread.php?t=566"]Ginseng Photos - TheMidwestHunter.com Forums[/ame]
"A bad day of shed hunting is better than a great day at work"