Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jacksonville Forest Park Update

March 25, 2017

The town of Jacksonville here in Southern Oregon has 2 trail systems. The Jacksonville Woodlands trails cover around 16 miles and are located within blocks of downtown.  The Jacksonville Forest trails are about 2 miles from downtown and now have over 30 miles of multi-use trails.  Since we typically hike the Woodland trails more often, we decided to visit the Forest Park and hike for a couple hours.  What we found was that the Forest Park has made numerous improvements and upgrades and has many new trails either completed or in the works!

Time for some hiking!
For our hike today we trekked along the Rail, Ponderosa Snag, Norling, Canyon Falls, Boulder and Ol' Miners trails to cover around 5 miles.  We didn't know anything about the new trails, but while hiking the Ponderosa trail we saw a trailhead sign for the Siskiyou trail which we had never seen before.

What?  A new trail????
Not knowing where this trail led or how long it was in length, we continued on the familiar trails we noted enjoying the Fawn Lilies, Houndstongue and even a few Trillium wildflowers that had made their Spring appearance.

Our first Trillium sighting
Our favorite trail of the day was the Canyon Falls trail and one we would recommend you hike before summer gets here and the creek is down to a trickle.  Even though the trail is less than a mile long, you hike along Jackson Creek and are treated to many small but beautiful waterfalls that beg to have their picture taken.

One of the many small waterfalls along Canyon Falls trail

View of Jackson Creek from Canyon Falls trail

A small waterfall squeezes between rocks in an effort to be seen.

We did have a few trees to clear along our hike, so here is the largest one that we encountered.  No problem for Katie, but us humans aren't so agile and it took us a little longer to get by.

Wind and rain have taken their toll on trees this year
When our hike was over and we arrived at our parking area, we visited the kiosk and picked up one of the new map/brochures on the park. These list each trail, it's length, difficulty and notes new trails recently finished and/or in progress.  We counted 6 new trails added or being added since we hiked this time last year. There are also 7 parking areas located at various trail junctions throughout the park.  Each parking area has loop cards that correspond with various colored diamonds that mark trail loops within the park and you are encouraged to take these cards with you on your hike - just return them when you are done. They've also added shelters and overlooks on some trails and have a list of Points of Interest within the park.  So stay tune for some more Jacksonville Forest postings as we plan to go back and do a couple of new hikes this year.  Better yet, get out and hike there yourself if you live in the Southern Oregon area.

Trekking Together
Glenn and Carol

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Prescott Park Update

March 11 ,2017

After hiking the Cathedral Hill trails on Friday, we headed up to Prescott Park for a short hike along the main road and loop around Roxy Ann on Saturday morning.  Nothing eventful about the hike, but just wanted to share an update on the Prescott Park trail improvement and expansion project.
The world is a dangerous place!
At the beginning of the loop around Roxy Ann they have now cleared out, leveled and added rock to what will be one of the new parking areas.  

New parking area at beginning of Roxy Ann loop

We also noticed new posts at various trails around the loop that will eventually include the trail names and maybe miles or other information.

One of many new trail posts that we spotted.

There were also covered display boards put in since we last hiked that we are guessing will eventually include maps of the park with trail information and the famous "you are here" dot.

One of the future homes for park maps???
We did find another new trail just before the rock quarry on the right side when hiking the loop road counter clockwise.  If anyone hikes this or knows where it leads, let us know.  Otherwise we will eventually hike it ourselves and see where we end up.

Snow covered Mt McLoughlin looms in the distance
We did see a few Goldfield and Desert Parsley wldflowers in bloom and included their pictures below. That's if for now - looking forward to seeing what other changes takes place over Spring & Summer.


Desert Parsley

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cathedral Hills - Sunshine & WIldflowers!

March 10, 2017

Even though our last posting back in January was of Cathedral Hills, between these two visits we have hiked various other trails when weather and time would allow -- mostly the weather.  But when we ventured over to Grants Pass this past Friday & decided to take in the Cathedral Hill trails again, we were treated to sunshine and wildflowers!

Blue sky - a rare occurrence in Southern Oregon this year -- so far.
Our route for this almost 7 mile trek included the Outback trail, Ponderosa Pine trail, Timber Riders trail, Madrone trail and the Skycrest Loop trail.

So many trails and so many choices!!!
As we started out on the Outback trail from the Espy parking area and hiked clockwise, our first wildflower of the season appeared, the little Oak Toothwort.  We did see more of these, but the most populous wildflower while hiking today was the Indian Warrior.  In a couple of weeks it will be an all out invasion of these flowers as they seem to take over the Cathedral Hill Park.

First wildflower of 2017 - Oak Toothwort

Indian Warrior sighting

Along the Timber Riders trail the main flower was the beautiful Grass Widow.

Grass Widow
Other wildflowers spotted were the Houndstongue, Buttercup (always makes us want to watch The Princess Bride movie), Goldfield and even a Shooting Star or two.

Nice to see the word "easiest" on your trail sign!!

Trail shot along the Timber Riders trail

Really enjoyed the almost 70 degree sunshine and it made a nice end to the work week.
So Spring really is coming, or so the flowers indicate.  Be sure to get out and enjoy them - and the sunshine too!!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol