Sunday, January 14, 2018

Joseph Stewart State Park

January 13, 2018

The day started out cloudy and cool, but once the sun came out, we took Katie and headed up to Joseph Stewart State Park and Lost Creek Lake to get in a hike.
Time for another hike at Stewart State Park
Parking in the day use area is free, so we started there and hiked the paved Rogue River Trail towards the marina and campground.  Most of this trail segment is through thickly wooded areas with moss covered portions of trail, but we did have some nice views of Lost Creek Lake as well.  With the lack of rain and snow, water levels are lower than they were last year.

One of many beautiful views of Lost Creek Lake along the Rogue River trail

The 3 amigos - can you guess who is who?
We crossed numerous small creeks and runoffs via bridges, some having water and some already dry due to the lack of rain and snow.

One of numerous waterfalls/runoffs that we came across.

View along wooded Rogue River trail

We took a break near Peyton Bridge after 3.3 miles, then transitioned onto the bike path and hiked through the state park back to the day use area for a total of 6.1 miles.  This segment featured views of the large meadows and old oak trees in the park.

Meadow area of Stewart SP

One of many large barren oak trees in the meadow
Felt great to get out and enjoy blue sky and sunshine!  Plus the wooded areas of our hike had that fresh woods smell!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Monday, January 8, 2018

White Rabbit & Mike Uhtoff Trails

January 7, 2018

We began our 2018 hiking year by heading over to Ashland and hiking at the Oredson-Todd Woods and Siskiyou Mountain Park.

And we're off....let the 2018 hiking year begin!
In looking back, it has been over two years since we last hiked here.  There is a network of trails, much like the Jacksonville Forest Park, Jacksonville Woodlands, and Cathedral Hills Park, that offer you multiple choices for your hiking route.  Katie also enjoys that it is dog friendly.

Where the clouds and the hills meet.

One very large boulder along the White Rabbit trail
Many of the trails have names from the story of Alice in Wonderland.  We mainly hiked two trails -- the White Rabbit trail and the Mike Uhtoff trail.  The White Rabbit is from Alice in Wonderland, Mike Uhtoff is not.  Mike was the Portland Audubon's first managing director and later moved to Ashland where he helped the city acquire Siskiyou Mountain Park as open space parkland. Thank you Mike!

Proof that there was blue sky.....for a few minutes.
We began our 5.4 mile loop hike at the Lupine Drive trailhead and quickly made our way through some forested sections of the Oredson-Todd Woods.  We then crossed Clay Creek and began hiking up, up, up and up the White Rabbit trail.  That climb sure got our heart and lungs working in the cool air.  Even the sun came out, but only during our climb.

White Rabbit trail along the crest

Once we got to the "crest", the White Rabbit trail wandered through the woods of Siskiyou Mountain Park until we came to the Queen of Hearts trail which was our turnaround point today.  This short connector trail took us to the Mike Uhtoff trail which we then hiked back along and down the crest to return to Clay Creek and the trailhead.

Low bridge on the Queen of Hearts trail
 The Mike Uhtoff trail has many switchbacks (next time we will count them) while descending from the crest and also offers many opportunities to stop and view the surrounding Ashland Hills.

View along the Mike Uhtoff trail on the way down

From our experiences, we would recommend that you hike the Mike Uhtoff trail up to the crest, take the Queen of Hearts trail to connect to the White Rabbit trail, and hike that trail back to the trailhead.  For a shuttle hike you can also hike through the Siskiyou Mountain Park all the way to Lithia Park, but we have never tried that.

One last view of the surrounding Ashland hills.

Well, we never ran into anyone named Alice during our hike nor did we fall down a hole.  But we did enjoy getting out into the woods and hiking these trails, despite the cold and cloudy weather.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol