Sunday, September 24, 2017

Legburner, Claimjumper & Sophie's Trail @ Jacksonville Forest Park

September 24, 2017

After welcoming Autumn with a hike at the Jacksonville Woodland Trails on Friday, we decided to get out and enjoy the absolutely beautiful Autumn weather in Southern Oregon again.  This time we went across the highway to the Jacksonville Forest Park.

A hiker's worst nightmare?
Over the past year the Forest Park has added some new trials to bring the total number of trails to 25.  We have hiked all of them except  -- the Legburner, Claimjumper, and Sophie's trails.  So today our goal was to hike out to those 3 trials and hike them to complete the hiking cycle.

Oregon Grapes in their Autumn splendor
We parked in the main parking area (P1) and hiked along the Norling, Canyon Falls (yes there was still some water in the creek), and Jackson Ridge trails for about an hour.  We then took a nice break at one of the viewpoint benches and enjoyed the quiet and views of the valley which included a snow covered Mount McLoughlin.

The view on our break along Jackson Ridge - Mt McLoughlin is left of center with snow.
After 3 miles of hiking we finally came to the trailhead of the Claimjumper trail.  Many of the wooded areas along this trail were full of Madrone trees which are now shedding their bark after having dropped many leaves.  The trail and surrounding areas were covered and it made for a noisy crunchy hike.   It also meant that no wild animals could sneak up and surprise us, so that was good too.

Claimjumper trail with Madrone trees, bark, and leaves.
Eventually we arrived at the junction with the Legburner trail and made the turn to head up to the top of the ridge.  We hiked this trail south to north and felt it was not that bad.  It did climb, but was manageable.  As we headed down the other side from the ridge, the trail seemed much steeper.  So if you want a challenge, hike the Legburner from north to south and let us know how that went.

The one and only other hiker we met on the Jackson Ridge, Legburner & Sophie's trails
The Legburner trail ended at Sophie's trail and we made a left turn and hiked half of the very shaded trail till we reached the Jackson Creek trail.   The woods along Sophie's trail were thick with trees and despite being in the afternoon, the sun was blocked out by both the ridge and trees.  It was probably our favorite trail of the day.

Exit stage left
The Jackson Creek trail took us back to the Norling trail which took us back to our car.  At times Jackson Creek had water and then it would disappear and the creek would go dry, only to have water reappear again.  Katie preferred the water filled portions since they provided opportunities for a quick dip.

Fallen Autumn foliage along the Jackson Creek trail
Between the blue skies, some Autumn color, the peaceful quietness and wonderful smells of the woods, it was a nice 7.8 hike to wrap up the first weekend of Autumn.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn & the Jacksonville Woodland Trails

September 22, 2017


Finally as the season changes, the heat and especially the smoke are gone.  It has been a while since we have posted a hike so we thought we would post today's hike to get you up to date.  We have been hiking over the last couple of months, but mostly local trails.  Even those hikes though have been limited since Southern Oregon was in a cloud of smoke for quite some time due to all the forest fires in every direction.  For 29 straight days we had air in the unhealthy range!

Time for some AUTUMN hiking!
But since today was the first day of Autumn and there were blue skies, big white clouds and temps in the low 70's, we headed out to the Jacksonville Woodland Trails after work and got in a couple hours of beautiful hiking.

The colors are a changing.

Some many trails, so many options!

The grasses are now all brown, trees and bushes are slowly beginning to change, and acorns litter the ground in the oak tree groves.  During our hike today we saw many busy squirrels, a few deer, a rafter of turkeys, along with a few crows and a flicker. Sorry but we didn't get pictures of any of them.  Maybe it was the Katie factor?

One of many great views of the hills in Applegate and blue sky.
The shadow knows it's Autumn

Jacksonville Woodland Trails - half in sunshine, half in the shade as evening begins.
Well that's it for now. Since Autumn is our favorite season of the year, we look forward to getting out as often as possible and plan to hike a few new trails that have been on our radar during the summer.  Hope to share those and more with you soon.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol