This short hike only made us want to get out again on Sunday since the forecast was for sunshine. So on Sunday we drove from Medford out to Applegate Lake, The drive itself was a treat with the red and yellow Autumn colors dotting the landscape and farms along our route.
Once we arrived at the lake, we parked at the French Gulch Trailhead parking lot area and started our hike by heading down the Payette Trail. The sun was out but it was a brisk 46 degrees. The first thing that caught our eye as we started hiking was the low water level of the lake. We have never hiked around the Applegate Lake area in the Autumn, so we are not sure if this level is normal or lower than normal. Either way, it was low. (A little later in our posting you will see how even despite the low water level, the lake can still be framed into a beautiful view & picture)
|Yup, that is the lake.....way out there.|
|Another view of Applegate Lake with low water level|
|The Payette Trail and Autumn Yellow|
|Yes, it is Autumn!|
|An upward view through a sea of yellow leaves!|
|One of the large Autumn trees along the Payette Trail|
The Calsh trail took us to another parking lot/trailhead area at Applegate Lake, the Dagelma Trailhead. To continue our loop hike, we opted to take the Osprey Trail which would head back down the hill to another section of the lake and connect back into the Payette trail.
|An Autumn thistle|
When we have hiked the Osprey trail in the Spring or early Summer, there are grassy meadows that abound with wildflowers. But thanks to Summer and the arrival of Autumn, those meadows were dried and brown. We did notice that Yogi, Boo-Boo and all their relatives evidently like this wide and easy hiking trail - even more than the Calsh trail.
We eventually made our way to the Payette trail again and hiked for more than 3 miles along the lake shore. At various times we could not see the lake, but there were multiple views framed by trees and/or manzanita brush that provided incredible lake portraits for us to view. By now the sun was out in full force and along with a blue sky, made for perfect Autumn hiking weather.
|One of many "nature framed" pictures of Applegate Lake|
Our 6.4 mile hike concluded with the section of the Payette trail that we had started on, but the Autumn yellow colors were beautiful to see again and a nice way to finish our Autumn hike at Applegate Lake.
As we drove back to Medford, we did make one last stop. At the local Hanley Farm they were holding a Scarecrow Festival. Different organizations and/or people can stuff and dress up a scarecrow to help raise money. Visitors got to vote for their favorite - we picked the Pirate Scarecrow (see below).
|Our favorite scarecrow|
|It's Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame!!!!|
Glenn & Carol