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, January 30, 2017

Cathedral Hills Park - Grants Pass

January 29, 2017

As January comes to a close, we got in a couple of local hikes.  First on Friday we revisited the Jacksonville Woodland Trails to find that most were now clear of snow and ice.  That being said, they were now muddy.  But hikers can't always be choosy and Katie loved getting her paws all muddy!  The sun was out while we hiked for 4.3 miles and we got to see wild turkeys, deer, and even our Screech Owl friend on the Britt Ridge trail.

Time to hike in Grants Pass!
On Sunday we drove over to Grants Pass and hiked at Cathedral Hills Park.  Our 6.7 mile hike consisted of hiking out to and on the Wild Rose Loop followed by hiking what is probably the most popular trail at Cathedral Hills Park, the Outback Loop.  We started both hikes at the Espy TH.


Looking up the ridge at the inversion layer.

One the views of Grants Pass - where???
We found out that even though Medford had some clearing and sunshine, Grants Pass was all about the inversion layer, so we literally hiked "in the clouds".  We kept trying to envision the wildflowers that will be all along these trails in a few months.  For now the trails were mostly lined with creeks & puddles from the winter weather.

View of the Outback Trail from the Outback Trail
 We did get to see a large Pileated Woodpecker while hiking the "W" trail out to the Wild Rose Loop.  We couldn't get a picture, but if you want to see what a Pileated Woodpecker looks like, click here.

The start of what we consider the toughest climb on the Outback Loop!
Well that's about it for now.  Felt great to get out a stretch the legs again and soon the wildflowers will be here!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jacksonville Woodland Trails

January 16, 2017
5.2 miles

We had originally planned to start our 2017 hiking with a "First Day"  hike.  However the year started with record snow, rain, snow, wind, snow....well you get the picture.  Yes Southern Oregon did not feel Southern at all for the first few weeks of January.  So our "First Day" hike became a "Birthday" day hike as we celebrated Glenn's birthday by stretching our legs for the first time in 2017.

Time to get hiking in 2017!!!!
We had thought about the Elk Creek trail, but heard reports that there was still 3-6 inches of snow.  Then we thought about hiking at Stewart State Park, but it was a longer drive and we heard of recent cougar sightings plus it is at a higher elevation than Elk Creek, so who knows what snow and ice awaited us there.  So we chose a lower elevation multiple trail hike at the Jacksonville Woodland Trails and still found snow!!

Katie celebrates the snow by making snow puppies.
We parked by the Jacksonville Library and used the Britt Festival entrance as we started down the Sarah Ziegler trail and found it covered in ice and snow. While beautiful, it was slow going.  Jackson Creek was full and flowing fast from recent rains and the snow melt, so we enjoyed seeing and hearing the creek as we started our hike.

Some portions of the trails were still completely covered in snow.....


....while other trails were visible and surrounded by snow.
Jackson Creek running full and fast.
We then went up the Jackson Forks trail, took a connecting trail to the South View trail, and made our way along the Sugar Pine trail.  Most of these trails were snow free with some mud, but when the sun came out with blue skies, we forgot about any trail issues.

Icicles along the Bebee Woods trail
We eventually made our way past the Chinese diggings and hiked the Bebee Woods loop.  It was here that we saw our first deer of the day.  After hiking through a neighborhood segment, we hiked up the Grove Woods trail and saw a large group of deer that were not too sure about Katie, but stayed put so that we could get pictures and enjoy their beauty.


















We finished our hike by going down one side of the Beekman Canyon Loop and through some more neighborhoods till we arrived back at our car.  Even the Beekman House suffered some damage from the recent storms as a tree was blown down and had to be removed.

Tree damage at the Beekman House
It felt good to get out and finally start hiking in 2017.  Hope you will follow along throughout the year and better yet, that you take some time to get our and enjoy a walk or hike yourself.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

P.S.  For those of you who live in the Southern Oregon area, we found two more blogs that provide great info and pictures of local hikes.  They are vanmarmot.org and oregonnater.wordpress.com.  Both have been added to our blog page and we hope you will take the time to check them out.