Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park

Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park
Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rogue River National Recreational Trail


Rogue River at start of the trail

Hike while the sun shines.......and so we did.  On Friday I left work early and we took Katie along for an hour-and-a-half  hike on the Jacksonville Trails - our third time hiking there this year.  But the highlight for this past weekend was our hike on the Rogue River National Recreational Trail (that's a mouthful).

We drove to Grave Creek just outside of Galice and after finding a parking spot in the boat launch area, headed out onto the trail.  We last hiked this trail in 2009 and have hiked the Rainie Falls trail (other side of the river) a few times as well. The Rogue River National Recreational trail is 41 miles long.  Our turnaround spot for this hike was the Whiskey Creek Cabin area that is at the 3.3 mile mark


Whiskey Creek Cabin

The trail climbs and descends along the cliff canyon offering awesome views of the river - but don't take your eyes off the trail for too long!  There is now an access trail on this side of the river that allows you to take a side trip to Rainie Falls for viewing, but we stayed on the straight and narrow path (literally) towards Whiskey Creek.  We crossed six different run-offs/creeks, came across huge fern covered boulders and even saw a few early spring flowers along the way.

Whiskey Creek
After an hour-and-a-half of up and down hiking, we arrived at Whiskey Creek and took the short side trail to the Whiskey Creek Cabin area for our own self-guided tour.  The cabin and grounds have been cleaned up and repaired since our last visit and look great. We also took a nice food and drink break along the sandy shore area of the Rogue River while enjoying the views and sunshine.

On our way back we got to see our first Bald Eagles while hiking as one caught a fish from the river and then flew up into a tree to eat.  The eagle apparently had better luck than most of the fisherman we saw and talked to on our hike! We also saw another Bald Eagle at the top of a tree as we drove across the Grave Creek bridge when leaving. It was a great way to finish a great hike!!!!!

If you are interested in hiking or backpacking this trail, I have included a link that gives you the BLM information about facilities, planning and access points.  Get out and enjoy this trail if you can. http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/rogue/rogue-river-trail.php

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol


P.S. Curious what it's like to hike this trail?  Take a quick 40 second hike along the trail with me and my shadow.  The movie is a like shaky, but that's because I was trying to film while hiking along the edge of a cliff!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Short & Sweet: Beekman Canyon Trail

The historic Beekman House at the trailhead
There was sunshine in Southern Oregon this weekend which we took as a sign that we should hike!  So today we drove to Jacksonville and  hiked two more trails which are part of the Jacksonville Trail System. If you live in the Southern Oregon area, the Jacksonville Trail System offers a wide variety of hikes in both landscape and distance and are great for kids.  There are benches along the trails so you can take a break and take in the views. Dogs are allowed on leashes, so Katie highly recommends these trails too. If you want more information or would like to view a map of the trails, go to www.jvwoodlands.org/

We chose to hike the Beekman Canyon trail (a 1-mile loop that starts at the Beekman House) and the California trail (a 1/3-mile trail that cuts through the middle of the Beekman Canyon Loop from end to end).  We started by hiking the Beekman Canyon trail counterclockwise, then the California trail to Beekman ridge, followed by the Beekman Canyon trail again (in the reverse direction of the first hike) which left us hiking the California trail from the Beekman ridge back to the trailhead and our car. That may sound like a lot of hiking, but in reality it was short and sweet (just 2.6 miles).  Regardless, it felt great to get out on a trail again and get the legs and lungs working.
Madrone trees along Beekman Canyon trail

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

P.S.  Speaking of short and sweet, I posted a quick one-and-a-half  minute video on YouTube and have attached it here.  It is a compilation of hiking trail signs from our hikes over the last six years set to the music of Johnny Cash.  See it you can read every sign on this video!!!





Sunday, February 3, 2013

Next Best Thing to Hiking

Well the weather here in Southern Oregon is cold, cloudy/foggy, with an inversion layer making for poor air quality.  Needless to say, we have not been out hiking since our last post two weeks ago.

So what does a hiker do when they can't hike??  The next best thing -- look at pictures/videos of past hikes!!!  This activity serves two functions for us: 1) it encourages us that spring, summer and autumn will come and with them some great hikes and 2) it stimulates the little grey cells of the brain (something we need at this age) to remember and revisit those hikes done in the past.

Over the last month we have created two hiking videos.  One is a video of pictures from our hikes last year when we completed 46 hikes.  The other video contains some of our favorite photos from hikes we have taken from 2006 - 2011.  We added music to each video and they can be found on YouTube by searching for "tablerocktrekker".  For your convinience, we have attached them to this blog.  If you have questions about any of the pictures, videos, hikes, etc or comments, please send them to our hiking email -  tablerocktrekker@gmail.com

We have also updated our blog site to include links to some of our favorite hiking blogs:

  • "Walking with Wired" is a young lady in the Portland, Oregon area that hiked the Pacific Crest Trail recently and is planning to hike the Continental Divide trail this year and the Appalachian Trail next year. 
  • "Hiking Fools" and "Scenes from the Trail" are two couples in Oregon who are planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year
  • "Richard Hikes" is a fellow hiker in the Douglas County area who hikes as often as possible.  Last year he hiked over 350 miles and usually blogs each hike and includes pictures.
  • "Southern Oregon Hiking" is William Sullivan's website that allows you to see 100 hikes in the region along with distance, driving directions and descriptions of the trails.  You can also search his website for hiking information throughout Oregon, not just Southern Oregon.
Hope you visit each website and take a look at our videos.  Maybe you will start to catch the hiking fever and be ready to do some trekking when the early spring arrives that Punxsutawney Phil predicted.

Trekking Together
Glenn and Carol