Table Rocks hike series starts in April

Free guided hikes on the Table Rocks are planned for weekends in April and May.

The Nature Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management cosponsor the annual series of hikes. Reservations are required, and hikes are limited to 20 people unless otherwise noted.

The season's first hike 9 a.m. Saturday, April 5, at Upper Table Rock will be guided in Spanish.

Here is a list of all hikes.

Sunday, April 6, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: Amy Amoroso, natural resource director for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, will discuss the tribe's connection to Southern Oregon and the Table Rocks.

Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m. at Lower Table Rock: Barbara Mumblo, botanist with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and member of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, will lead a wildflower hike.

Sunday, April 13, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: Sarah "Bee Girl" Red-Laird will explain why pollination is essential for our survival. This family-friendly hike will center on the birds and the bees and their relationship with the wildflowers and trees that produce a rainbow of colors on the Table Rocks. Limited to 15 hikers.

Saturday, April 19, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: Geologist Jad D'Allura will talk about the formation of the Table Rocks and the unique geological features observed along a hike to the top of this ancient lava flow.

Saturday, April 26, 8 a.m. at Lower Table Rock: Bob Quaccia, local bird expert with the Rogue Valley Audubon Society, will lead a hike to view the spring birds of the Table Rocks. He'll share identification tips and conservation information. Bring binoculars. Limited to 15 hikers.

Sunday, April 27, 9 a.m. at Lower Table Rock: Keith Perchemlides, field ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, leads an exploration of the diversity of oak habitats, including savannas, woodlands and shrublands.

Saturday May 3, 7 p.m. at Upper Table Rock: Kevin Ratkovich, president of the Southern Oregon Skywatchers, will lead a night hike to look for Mars, Jupiter and other celestial bodies. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight and binoculars, if you have them.

Sunday, May 4, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: BLM botanist Chamise Kramer celebrates National Wildflower Week with a look at the beautiful native flora of the Table Rocks.

Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m. at Lower Table Rock: Michael Karnosh, Ceded Lands Program manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, teaches about traditional and culturally important plants of the tribes whose ancestors include the original residents of the Table Rocks area. He will also discuss modern day tribal management of conservation properties and partnerships with government agencies, land trusts and other groups.

Saturday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. at Lower Table Rock: BLM wildlife biologist Steve Godwin will listen for the sounds of the night from dusk 'til dark on a jaunt around the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (half-mile accessible trail). Godwin will discuss, then attempt to lure pygmy, great horned and screech owls. Bring flashlights and good hiking shoes.

Sunday, May 11, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: Take a Mother's Day family hike with a BLM environmental interpretation specialist and learn about wildflower identification, ethnobotany, geology, wildlife, ecology and cultural history.

Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: Peter Schroeder, associate professor of biology and entomologist at Southern Oregon University, will lead a hike to explore the world of spiders and insects found on and around the Table Rocks.

Sunday, May 18, 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock: Alan Journet, co-facilitator of the Southern Oregon Climate Action Network, leads a hike and discussion of climate change projections for the Rogue Valley and the potential consequences of these on the Table Rocks and other natural and agricultural systems.

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