Here is a photo of adequate "sang" habitat where ginseng plants are now growing. This site is a mature hardwood stand where the terrain is sloping to the north and east. Panax quinquefolium loves a moist but well-drained and thick litter layer with more than just a tad of undergrowth. You will find yourself looking at a lot of other species of plants for the prize. A young hickory or Virginia creeper will confuse the beginner.
Since you have stayed with me this long, I will reward you with a video that will show some very productive habitat and tips on identification and harvest - How to Find Wild Ginseng.
So, American ginseng grows in shady woodlands with rich soils. Ginseng is found predominately in the Appalachian region of the United States that provides the natural cold/warm cycle so important in preparing the seed for germination. Panax quinquefolius' range includes the eastern half of North America, from Quebec to Minnesota and south to Georgia and Oklahoma.