Trail Talk is a monthly column about hiking in and around the Jacksonville Woodlands in Jacksonville, Oregon.
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 […]
Over the past 25-years, the Jacksonville Woodlands Association (JWA) has enjoyed strong community identity in its role to advocate and support the Jacksonville Woodlands. At present, the JWA is focused on development and maintenance of Woodlands trails, Beekman Arboretum, vegetative management activities, and informational maps, brochures, trail signs and kiosk. These efforts are in partnership […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Are you thinking of taking a trip up to Crater Lake National Park this summer? Are you wanting to escape the heat of the Rogue Valley to bask in some cool mountain air? As you probably already know, Crater Lake National Park is an 80-mile drive from Jacksonville—about an hour-and-a-half to two-hour drive, depending on […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Water? Check. Hiking Shoes? Check. Diapers? Check. Baby? Hmm…
This is just the beginning of the checklist that runs through my mind every time I leave the house for a hike with my 12-month-old son, Miles. We are lucky to live in a wonderful place with hiking trails outside our door and even luckier to have […]
Every weekend this spring, The Nature Conservancy and Medford District Bureau of Land Management are offering free, guided educational hikes at the Table Rocks. Hikes are led by specialists from around the region who will share their knowledge about the unique natural and cultural environments that make the Table Rocks such an integral part of […]
Pull on Your Hiking Boots and Join the Applegate Trails Association on the Trails! – by Diana Coogle
It’s hiking season! Maybe the snow hasn’t quite melted in the higher altitudes, but it has turned mushy, and I’m about to retire my skis and pull out my hiking boots. The Jacksonville Woodlands are sprouting wildflowers, and I’m ready to walk the hills, chasing the snowmelt onto the high-altitude trails, following the wildflowers higher […]
The Siskiyou Upland Trails Association is excited to begin construction of the long-awaited Jack-Ash Trail. Last November, construction started for the first phase of the Jack-Ash Trail, thanks to help from the Medford BLM, local volunteers, and a Northwest Youth Corp Crew. Significant progress was made for several weeks, and then winter came along with […]
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 […]
Celebrating the Rebirth of the Beekman Arboretum
With spring all around, come join us for the 24th Annual Jacksonville Woodlands Association Hike-a-Thon and annual meeting on Saturday, April 15, 2017. This year we will be highlighting the C.C. Beekman Arboretum. The C.C. Beekman Native Plant Arboretum occupies a 3-acre, bowl-like site in the heart of Historic […]
Registration: Spring is here and so too are outstanding opportunities to join SOLC for our Spring Hike series! Hikes are free but fill up quickly so reserve your spot early! To read more about each hike and to register, please go to landconserve.org. Even if a hike is full, join the waiting list […]
Could there be any more exciting news to the Applegate Trails Association than the recent go-ahead from the BLM to start construction of the East ART? We are stoked!
The East ART is the first leg of the Applegate Ridge Trail that we hope to construct from Jacksonville to Grants Pass. Jumping through BLM hoops, laying […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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, […]
The Forest Park and the City of Jacksonville have been the beneficiaries of two Eagle Scout projects this year. An Eagle Scout project is one of many requirements a scout must complete to achieve this highly-respected rank. As defined by the Boy Scouts of America, the project purpose is “To learn leadership skills, or to […]
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 […]
BLM is hosting a National Public Lands Day event on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail—with help from SUTA on Saturday, September 24, 2016, from 8:30am-1:00pm.
Volunteers will help re-route a steep section of trail that currently goes over the tunnel. At the 2014 Public Lands Day event, we re-routed the trail on the other side of […]
The first three Forest Park Guided Hikes have been well-attended, and it has been fun to meet new trail enthusiasts as well as to see some favorite trails through eyes that are seeing them for the first time. The new Forest Park maps have been a hit and some of our new hikers have been […]
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 […]
If you want to start-off the third week of July with a friendly group of people, outstanding scenery and some exercise, join us for another guided hike in the Forest Park! The hike is set for Monday, July 18—meet at 8:30am at P-3 (parking lot 3 on Norling Creek Road) in the Forest Park and […]
The recent excitement ATA generated from our May hike on the proposed Jack-Ash and Applegate Ridge Trails hasn’t blotted-out our excitement about the hikes we lead on currently-established Applegate trails. It’s now my turn as hike leader on July 10, 2016 and I’m going up Mt. Elijah, via the Sturgis Fork and Boundary trails… and […]
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. […]
Come join us for the first annual Beekman Arboretum Nature Walk and Clean-Up event on Saturday, July 16th, 2016!
Join Jacksonville residents Lauren Kemple, Becka Kem and Rhonda Brown for a short nature walk followed by voluntary arboretum clean-up. You’ll stroll through the arboretum, identifying many plants and learn about their origin and medicinal and culinary […]
In early June 2016, Jacksonville Woodlands Association received a generous $1300 donation from Bella Union Restaurant. When Bella Union co-owner Christian Hamilton wrote the check, he said he was very proud to have done so! The Bella’s Jay Stumpff told the Review that the donation was a gift to help the JWA continue its excellent […]
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 […]
Join us for a guided hike in Jacksonville’s Forest Park to be held on Monday, June 20, 2016 beginning at 8:30 am. This is the second hike in a series of 5 this season, all held on the third Monday of the month and sponsored by the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Committee. Take a right […]
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, […]
Did you know that the original Britt Gardens, designed by Jacksonville pioneer photographer and horticulturist Peter Britt, was once a destination attraction in the Northwest? Portlanders would make special train trips to come see the gardens.
Did you know there was once a brewery that stood next to the sidewalk going up to the Britt grounds, […]
It’s our birthday! On April 23rd, the Applegate Trails Association (ATA) celebrates 5 years of community hikes, events and trail building. Our first project for 2016 is sprucing-up the two riverside loop trails at your local, community-run Cantrall Buckley Park. The trails just need some trimming and light tread work to make them ready for […]
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, […]
Trail Talk – April 2016
What in the world does THAT mean?
Well, let me explain. The Jacksonville Woodlands Hike-a-Thon is 26 years-old this year, and in an attempt to encourage a younger participation and hopefully new members, one of our board members, Omer Kem, suggested adding a “Fun Run.” Oxymoron? To some, I suppose.
The 26th Jacksonville […]
Jeff LaLande strips away the years to reveal Chinese gold fever in a three quarter mile hike along the Gin Lin Trail in the Applegate. LaLande discovered many of these sites in his years of service as a Forest Service Archaeologist. The Healthy History Hikes series is co-sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society and […]
Trail Talk – March 2016
The trails in the Jacksonville Woodlands and Forest Park are beautiful this time of year. “Misty,” “rainy,” “snowy,” “windy,” “muddy,” and “damp” are all great ways to describe them as winter makes it way to spring. There are a few simple things you can do before heading out to […]
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 […]
Trail Talk – Dec 2015/Jan 2016
Let me start by introducing myself! My name is Omer Kem, husband/dad/business owner in that order. My wife, son and I recently moved back to Jacksonville after spending two years away living in Ashland. We are so very excited to be back in what we feel is “trail heaven.”
My commitment […]
Trail Talk – November 2015
If you were thinking that winter would bring your cycling season to an end, you may want to reconsider! Jacksonville’s Forest Park offers miles of trails to be explored, and opportunities to keep your level of fitness maintained until next spring!
Now, keep in mind that the following information is recommended for […]
Trail Talk – October 2015
The Forest Park is a big area, 1,100 acres to be exact. With many sloped hillsides, its actual size is even larger with twenty-four miles of trails spread-out over twenty-two trails…park hikers and bikers can really get to some far-out locations.
In the early […]
Recognizing that there’s much to learn about this beautiful area we live in and that many people who live here have extensive knowledge about it, the Applegate Trails Association has organized an educational seminar—and a festive event—called “The Call of the Wild,” at Cantrall Buckley Park on September 19, 2015 from 9:30am-4:00pm.
The event will get-off […]
Trail Talk – September 2015
It’s often said that what trail hikers love the most is running streams and trail loops. Of course right now, in this super dry spell, running streams rarely exist, and won’t until the fall rains return. The good news is that in the Forest Park, there are some short parts of […]
There’s no place like the Middle Fork National Recreation Trail on the Middle Fork of the Applegate River—a streamside trail that then turns and meanders uphill through big trees. An emerald swimming hole with big rocks and a splashing little waterfall is a treat on a hot hike, and there’s lots of shade in the […]
Trail Talk – August 2015
The City of Jacksonville has always had a strong commitment to providing a well-constructed and maintained city parks system for residents and visitors alike. The Parks, Recreation, and Visitors Services Committee is aptly named. From Doc Griffin Park with its spray-park and playground equipment, Cottage Street Park, to the Pheasant Meadows […]
Applegate Trails Association is proud to announce a $10,000 grant award from REI to build the East ART, the first section of the non-motorized Applegate Ridge Trail envisioned from Cathedral Hills in Grants Pass to Jacksonville. We are so excited!
So the organization is thriving, not only with trail building but with hiking on existing trails. […]
Trail Talk – June 2015
The Woodlands and Forest Park are part of the city parks system and provide venues for more experiences than just trails to hike. Both parks are rich displays of Jacksonville’s history. The Woodlands showcases the start of the gold mining that led to the city’s birth in […]