About Clayton Gillette

Trail-TalkTrail Talk is a monthly column by Clayton Gillette about hiking the Jacksonville Woodlands trail system. For more information, please visit the Jacksonville Woodlands Association website at www.jvwoodlands.org.

November Rains – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – November 2017

The rains return to wash the smoky air. A sweet fragrance rises from the heavy layer of summer’s discarded madrone leaves and bark. Dogwoods become crimson, big-leafed maples brilliant yellow. Fall’s mushrooms push upward through the brightly carpeted forest floor and bloom in their unique ways. The seasons cycle through another […]

By | October 27th, 2017|Trail Talk|0 Comments

We Trail Folks… – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – October 2017

Our friends, the trails. We can see them romantically—fantastically leading us away on adventures. Or consider them purely utilitarian—a way to get from point A to point B. Sometimes, we find them a challenge to be conquered. And yet there they are: paths leading away, to be followed if we are […]

By | September 28th, 2017|Featured Stories, Trail Talk|Comments Off on We Trail Folks… – by Clayton Gillette

Making Tracks – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – September 2017

As the heat of another record-hot summer begins to abate in this season of the equinox, our feet yearn to revisit our trails within this forested landscape we call home. From early September until winter’s harsh grip sends us scampering to the coffee shops for warmer libations, the outdoors beckons our […]

By | September 6th, 2017|Featured Stories, News Flow, Trail Talk|Comments Off on Making Tracks – by Clayton Gillette

Snow in August – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – August 2017

Another 100 degree day in the Bear Creek Valley, another early morning trail run kept short by daunting afternoon temperatures, and my mind’s fantasy went to snowy trails in August. Who could blame me?

Oregon, unlike our neighbor to the south, does not have a lot of trails that boast elevations in […]

By | July 28th, 2017|Featured Stories, Trail Talk|Comments Off on Snow in August – by Clayton Gillette

Cool Summer Forest Park Trails – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – July 2017

In a recent article, the Mail Tribune referred to the Pacific Crest Trail as a “well-kept secret.” A surprising phrase, because for 40 years Oregon’s official highway map has delineated this popular trail with a dotted red line stretching from Donomore Meadows near Dutchman Peak, across the Siskiyou Crest and up […]

By | July 1st, 2017|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Cool Summer Forest Park Trails – by Clayton Gillette

Trails Abound in our Valley – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – June 2017

It’s time to reflect on our local trails as we head into our summer months. As residents of the Rogue Valley, we can pretty much head any direction, and in less time than it takes to shop for groceries, we find our feet pointed ahead on a path meandering over hill […]

By | June 4th, 2017|Featured Stories, Trail Talk|Comments Off on Trails Abound in our Valley – by Clayton Gillette

Siskiyou Trail Now Open – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – May 2017

As our hit-and-miss spring heads into an uncertain summer, more folks find themselves on our forest trails. An unusually-wet winter gives way to drier days when intrepid hikers take to the woods to enjoy a walk amidst the carpets of flowers, cascading streams, and trees alive with birdsong. Cool crisp mornings […]

By | May 2nd, 2017|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Siskiyou Trail Now Open – by Clayton Gillette

Welcoming Our Well-Watered Woodlands – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – April 2017

Spring is finally upon us, yet those friendly white flakes of so many recent winter days flutter past my window as I write this. We’ll venture bravely forth to see what wonders a long, wet, cold season has bestowed upon our forested hills. Perhaps the blooms […]

By | March 29th, 2017|Featured Stories, Trail Talk|Comments Off on Welcoming Our Well-Watered Woodlands – by Clayton Gillette

The Rock Underfoot – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – March 2017

Oh, but if we could hear what the stones have to tell us. So often we walk along the trails admiring the flora and fauna, ignoring the living rock beneath our feet. Sub-consciously we might appreciate the rock cycle and the millennia needed to morph sandstone […]

By | February 28th, 2017|Featured Stories, Trail Talk|Comments Off on The Rock Underfoot – by Clayton Gillette

The Big Snow of ’17 – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – February 2017

By the time folks read this, January’s snow in Jacksonville will be a memory. One could argue that Forest Park never looked better, especially after the gray days of late December. Who would have thought that “Ski Jacksonville” would be a thing? Yet, there was that nice snowpack and miles of […]

By | January 4th, 2017|Now, Trail Talk|2 Comments

Welcoming the Rain on Our Trails! – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – December 2016/January 2017

A recent October day, rainy and blustery like so many other October days this year, found me traveling along Cook and Green Trail, a Forest Service Trail that abuts the Red Buttes Wilderness just over the California border above Applegate Lake. Unlike many trails in other areas, […]

By | November 30th, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Welcoming the Rain on Our Trails! – by Clayton Gillette

Time of Seasonal Change… Great Time to Hike – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – November 2016

Aldo Leopold, in Sand County Almanac, tells of exploring once-developed areas that have been reclaimed by wilderness. And surprisingly, it’s not all that long after humans have left the area. Here, around Jacksonville, we find wild areas of a similar nature. Where our predecessors had mining ditches, houses and barns, roads, […]

By | October 24th, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Time of Seasonal Change… Great Time to Hike – by Clayton Gillette

Enjoying Forest Park in Fall – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – October 2016

A recent fast-pack adventure through the Strawberry Mt. Wilderness made me appreciate the well-maintained trail system of Jacksonville’s parks all the more. Steeple-chasing through downed timber on overgrown trails that disappear into brush fields becomes a bit work-like. A follow-up trip into Sky Lakes saw more of the same. So here’s […]

By | October 1st, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Enjoying Forest Park in Fall – by Clayton Gillette

Time for a Walk in the Woods – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – August 2016

It’s summer…a great time to sneak out in the coolness of dawn and dusk for a walk in the woods. Be assured that you’ll find many other forest critters doing the same. So where in Forest Park are you least likely to run into other hikers or bikers? Certainly, as you […]

By | July 26th, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Time for a Walk in the Woods – by Clayton Gillette

Great New Trails to Hike in Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – July 2016

Forest Park is unlike most city parks in that there aren’t amenities like flush toilets and playgrounds. As the name implies, it is a park in the forest, and is designed to be a place where folks can enjoy a walk (or run or bike) in the woods. […]

By | June 29th, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Great New Trails to Hike in Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

Exploring Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – June 2016

Ok. So you’re a first-time visitor to Jacksonville’s Forest Park. Yes, you’ve heard the talk about Jacksonville’s claim to being the “Hiking Capital of Southern Oregon,” and you want to experience the trails in the Jackson Creek Watershed. Where to start?

As you drive up Reservoir Road […]

By | May 31st, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Exploring Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

On the Civility of Trails – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – May 2016

No longer a line item in most governmental budgets, trail maintenance for hiking trails across the US has become the responsibility of the user groups. It’s not always an onerous task; indeed, it’s healthy work in the out-of-doors, a wonderful diversion from time spent in stale gyms, […]

By | May 1st, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on On the Civility of Trails – by Clayton Gillette

The Trees of Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

A wiser man than most once observed that if one can’t see the forest for the trees, then maybe one should focus on just one tree and the forest will come into view in all its splendor. And that is the essence of living in the moment…being aware of the one thing you can see, […]

By | March 30th, 2016|Trail Talk|Comments Off on The Trees of Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

Winter Hiking in the Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

Trail Talk – February 2016

Winter finds Forest Park subdued and enticing. The crackling crunch of summer’s madrone leaves, followed by the deep rustle of ankle-deep big-leaf maple and oak leaves is a distant echo. Blooms of the forgotten spring sleep under a carpet of forest litter and snow, yet swelling […]

By | January 28th, 2016|Featured Stories, Trail Talk|Comments Off on Winter Hiking in the Forest Park – by Clayton Gillette

Running the Forest Park Trails – by Clayton Gillette with Bob Budesa

Trail Talk – September 2014

One thinks of recreation in Jacksonville with a strong bias toward wining, dining, shopping, and concert-going. Yet, for the outdoor enthusiast, there’s a wide choice of areas for hiking and running away from crowded areas. Most folks know of the Britt Trails, but across Highway 238 to the west and north, […]

By | September 4th, 2014|Trail Talk|Comments Off on Running the Forest Park Trails – by Clayton Gillette with Bob Budesa