Sunday, October 29, 2017

River's Edge Trail and Rogue River Greenway

October 29, 2017

As daylight savings time approaches and autumn colors begin to fade, it was time for one more  hike to enjoy the color and sunshine of autumn.

Time for some hiking along the Rogue River at Valley of the Rogue State Park
We drove highway 99 from Medford to Valley of the Rogue State Park so we could enjoy a last autumn drive only to find that most of our drive was in fog.  As a matter of fact, our entire hike on the River's Edge trail and along the Rogue River Greenway to our turnaround at the Depot Street Bridge was in fog and clouds.

Adding a little excitement for our hike.

Despite the fog, the Rogue River is still beautiful with some autumn color added.

Wooden carved dog at the pet waste box at Depot Street Bridge

Our turnaround spot - Depot Street Bridge
On our return hike though, the fog and clouds burned off and the sun and blue sky took over.

Blue sky and autumn yellow!

View along the Rogue River Greenway

We saw lots of autumn yellow, especially on the River's Edge trail through Valley of the Rogue State Park.

Yellow, yellow, yellow!

View of River's Edge trail covered & surrounded by yellow.

It was a very nice 6.8 mile hike and we enjoyed what will probably be our last autumn hike with color.  Hope you got our to enjoy the season with a walk in the neighborhood, at a park or on a trail.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Jacksonville Woodland Trails

October 17, 2017

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face"
--- John Dunne

After hiking Elk Creek on Sunday, we wanted to get back out and experience Autumn again before it is gone.  So after work we made a quick trip to the Jacksonville Woodland Trails and hiked for a few hours.  Lots of yellow color, blue sky and sunshine!  Also saw turkeys, deer and squirrels.  Katie wanted to chase the squirrels or at least climb the trees after them, but was on leash and prohibited.  No need for any commentary on this hike.....just enjoy the pictures.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Elk Creek Trail

October 15, 2017

Autumn is so beautiful, yet so short.  With sunshine abounding and no rain in the forecast, we got out once more to see the colors and experience Autumn, this time along the Elk Creek Trail just outside of Shady Cove.

Time to hike!  Check out the Autumn blue sky in the background.
Since the trail is really an old road, we usually hike the Elk Creek Trail either in Spring when the wildflowers are blooming or in Autumn to see the changing of colors. Since this is part of the "peak" color time in Southern Oregon, we were looking forward to an Autumn color show.

A look across the first bridges at the start of our hike

Let the color show begin!

We started our hike at the Yellow Rock TH where there are restrooms, picnic tables and plenty of room for parking.  After crossing the first two bridges, we began hiking along the road where we encountered our first of  many cows on the hike.  It is evident that cows roam freely through this area as you have to keep an eye on the trail to avoid the many cow pies along the way.  But this is the first time we have actually had cows along the trail while hiking. Katie was not sure about them, but they posed no problems for us as they either ran away or just stood and stared at us.

The first group of cows we came across....a mother with twins

At one point along our hike, we actually saw a moving cow pie.....wait, a what?  Oh that's right, it was a turtle (not turdle) that was going across the trail and looked like a moving cow pie.

Our "moving cow pie" turtle
The trail at Elk Creek now has mile marker signs along the way which are new since the last time we hiked.  Those markers do not start till 1.5 miles into the hike.  Not sure why, but maybe they figure if you don't hike at least 1.5 miles you don't care about mileage.

New mile marker signs along the trail - every half mile 
Still some apples on the fruit trees along the trail

We turned off that trail around the 3.5 mile mark and hiked over to the Seven Mile Bend area along the creek where we encountered more cows and took a break.

The cows at Seven Mile Bend area

Looking down stream from Seven Mile Bend

Series of cascades at Seven Mile Bend

We then hiked along to rejoin the road trail at the 4 mile marker and hiked backed to the trailhead.  We did see lots of folks/families on our hike back who were out enjoying the Autumn colors along the trail, in the meadows and in the surrounding hills.

Hoping to get out a few more times before this short season is over.  Be sure to get out and enjoy it too!
One last note -- if you prefer biking, the paved trail at Elk Creek is a wonderful option to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Monday, October 9, 2017

Prescott Park - More New Trails

October 8, 2017

As the beautiful Autumn weather continues, we headed up to Prescott Park only to discover a few more brand new trails.  Seems like every time we visit, there's a new trail.  And as any hiker knows, a new trail means just one thing - it's time to hike!

New sign for a new trail - junction of Twilight and Deer Trails
We parked at the second gate and began by hiking the Twilight trail along the ridge.  We hiked along this trail about a year ago when it was brand new with no trail sign, no name, and when we had no idea where it would lead.  But this time around we hiked on it for just a mile before arriving at one of the two new connecting trails - the Deer trail.

View along Twilight trail with Rogue Valley in view
Trail sign posts were up and we made a right turn and headed uphill.  The Deer trail is only a half mile long but does give you some nice views towards Little Roxy Ann and the Table Rocks.

Large Madrone along one of the new trails
We soon arrived where a trail heads off to the right but has no sign post.  Having consulted the kiosk, we knew this was part of the new CCC Historic Trail.  But the portion to the right has not been completed yet, so we continued on as the trail changes from the Deer Trail to the CCC Historic Trail without you even knowing it.

The new Equestrian trail or road
Eventually the CCC Historic Trail will be a connector trail from the Loop Road out to the new Equestrian trail.  But for now we hiked another half mile or so on the CCC Historic trail till the it t-bones into the new Equestrian trail.  Since we didn't have a lot of time to hike this morning, we turned right onto the Equestrian trail and headed back to the loop road.  A left turn here would allow you to hike the entire Equestrian trail which is a couple of miles of trail.

Sunshine and blue skies were abundant

A couple of deer trying to hide in the grass.
Once back to the loop road, we hike clockwise till we found the Greenhorn Trialhead and hiked the descending switchbacks back to our car.  A nice loop hike of just under 5 miles.

View of Roxy Ann from loop road.
We may head back to Prescott Park before the end of the year to see if more new trails have been made.  If there are no new trails, we may try to hike the entire Equestrian trail to see what it is like. Be sure to check out the new 2017 brochure on the link at the beginning of this post for the latest trail information and if you live in the area, get out and try some of these new trails.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Friday, October 6, 2017

Cathedral Hills Park - Wild Rose Loop Rock Hunt

October 6, 2017

It's been such a beautiful Autumn week that after work on Friday we made a mad dash with Katie to Cathedral Hills Park in Grants Pass to get a hike in before it got dark.  We have hiked at Cathedral Hills Park many times with many of those visits including the trails to and around the Wild Rose Loop.  But today's hike was a little different and unique as we came across a pumpkin, hiking boots, and even a skull along the trails.


Evidently there is a trend to paint small rocks and then bring them out on the trail and leave them for others to see, take or trade.  We saw a total of 9 rocks on the three trails we hiked and it became a game for us to find them and it made our hike go by quickly.  So for this short posting our pictures are some of our favorite rocks from this hike.  Hope you enjoy and if you get out to Cathedral Hills, maybe you will find some fascinating rocks too.

Be sure to comment on this post and let us know your favorite rock.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Applegate Ridge Trail - East

October 1, 2017

Here in Southern Oregon there have been many trails added during the year for us locals to hike. New segments have been created at the Jacksonville Forest Park to bring their trail count to 25.  Prescott Park has added new trails as they begin their upgrade and expansion which includes a new parking area and kiosks throughout the park. But our goal today was to try out the new Applegate Ridge Trail East - "The ART".

Time to go hike the ART!

The Applegate Ridge Trail is currently a work in progress.  The goal is to have a trail from the Cathedral Hills trail system in Grants Pass to the Jack-Ash (Jacksonville to Ashland) trail located in Jacksonville.  When completed, this would be over 50 miles of trail from Grants Pass to Ashland.  But don't worry, there are plans for various trailheads along the route that would allow access for day hikes.

First view of the Applegate Valley from the trail
 That is where our hike today fit in. Our friend Richard drove down from Roseburg to join us as the lure of a "new" trail was too much to pass up. We began our hike at the trailhead off Sterling Creek Road to try the this just completed 5.6 mile segment which ends at Route 238 near Ruch.  There are plans to have a trailhead at the Route 238 junction in 2018.

Hiking along the trail with a view of the trail crossing the ridge up ahead.
The first 3 miles or so offered us incredible views of the Applegate Valley with the Autumn colors of the grasses, poison oak, and a few trees that have begun to change colors. Richard was hooked on this trail within minutes and exclaimed "this is why we hike!"  The varying weather of sun, clouds and even a little rain, only enhanced the color and beauty that surrounded us as we hiked along the ridge.

Some of the Autumn color we saw along our hike

At times the trail led us into forested areas and offered a contrast and change of view from the ridge portion, but was still just as beautiful to hike.  After the first 3 miles or so, the trail begins to slowly descend on its way down to the Route 238 junction.  We did not hike all the way to the end, but found a spot just a half mile short of the end where we took a nice break and told old hiking stories. Richard did not bring a banana for our dog Katie, so she had to suffer by eating jerky and dog biscuits.

Peeking through the oaks from the trail

A tree that has seen better days, but still beautiful.

Our return hike began with climbing back up to the more level ridge segment and allowed us once again to take a deep breath and enjoy the quiet and beauty of the surrounding hills, mountains and woods.  When we finished our hike, we had logged 10.5 miles.  Richard  enjoyed the trail so much that he is hoping to bring the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club down to try a shuttle hike of this segment.

Great views on a beautiful Autumn hike!

If you are interested in a shorter distance, there was a bench at about the 2.5 - 3 mile mark which had an incredible view and allows you to sit down and take a break before hiking back.

Looking up the ridge from the trail
If you are interested and want more information on the ART, Jack-Ash and other trails in the area, be sure to check out the website for the Applegate Trail Association and the Siskiyou Uplands Trail Association.  Their websites have great information, maps, and updates and you can also sign up to receive emails/newsletters from both.  Happy Autumn Hiking!!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol