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Table Rocks guided hikes
The Nature Conservancy and BLM sponsor free hikes during weekends in April and May. The hikes are generally limited to 20 people who preregister for the treks. Hikers meet at the Upper or Lower Table Rock trailheads for a moderate-grade hike of up to 4.5 miles round-trip that takes 3 to 5 hours. To register, go online at http://TableRockHikes2017.eventbrite.com or call BLM at 541-618-2200.
Saturday, April 29: 9 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Archeologist Jeff LaLande will discuss the role of the Table Rocks in the culture and legends of the Takelma Indians, as well as the history of the Table Rocks area during the “Indian Wars” of the 1850s.
Saturday, April 29: 9 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Geologist Jad D'Allura and soils specialist Joni Brazier will discuss the formation of the Table Rocks and the unique geological features and soils along a hike to the top of this ancient lava flow.
Sunday, April 30: 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Sarah "Bee Girl" Red-Laird and botanist Sasha Joachims will explore how bee pollination is essential and discuss some pollinator-conservation projects on nearby public lands.
Saturday, May 6: 9 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Two scientists-turned-artists will lead a nature sketching and journaling hike. Botanist and forest ecologist Paula Fong and Darlene Southworth, a retired Southern Oregon University biology professor and watercolorist, will share their perspectives of the landscapes. Bring a sketch pad and pencils or pens; watercolors are optional. Limited to 15 hikers.
Sunday, May 7: 9 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Yoga instructor Amanda Barron will lead a hike that will include basic yoga postures and stretching along the trail and balancing postures at the top. No yoga experience is necessary.
Saturday, May 13: 9 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Archeologists Lisa Rice and Jennifer Sigler will lead a hike to explore Camp White. The trek will include visiting pillboxes and other features of the Camp White artillery range. Much of it is off-trail, so wear sturdy shoots and long pants. Limited to 15 hikers.
Saturday, May 13: 7:30 p.m., Lower Table Rock loop trail. Wildlife biologists Steve Godwin and Tony Kerwin will lead a night hike to look for and listen to the creatures of the night on the access trail. They will attempt to lure pygmy, great horned and screech owls. Bring flashlights and wear sturdy shoes.
Saturday, May 20: 9 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Entomologist Bill Schaupp will explore how forest insects live, how they influence the ecosystems of the area and their relationships with tree diseases.
Sunday, May 21: 9 a.m., Lower Table Rock loop trail. Entitled "Tell Me a Story," this hike for kids and adults will be led by members of the Storytelling Guild, who will tell legends and tales of Takelma Indians who once lived at the Table Rocks.
KS Wild spring hikes
Sunday, April 30: Rainie Falls Trail hike, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Moderate, 4-mile round-trip hike will go along the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River, where the group may see eagles, osprey, heron or otters. Bring water, comfortable walking shoes, warm layers and lunch. Sign up at kswild.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 541-488-5789.
Saturday, May 13: Pilot Rock and PCT hike, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This hike will follow the Pacific Crest Trail to the Pilot Rock Trail for a total of 5 easy-moderate miles. The group will see sweeping vistas of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and talk about the expansion area. Bring water, comfortable walking shoes, warm layers and lunch. Sign up at kswild.org, email email@example.com, or call 541-488-5789.
Saturday, May 27: Illinois Valley Wildflower Hike, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This easy hike near the Illinois River will focus on finding and identifying wildflowers found on serpentine soils. Bring lunch, water and wildflower identification books. Sign up at kswild.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 541-488-5789.
First Wednesday bird walks
Wednesday, May 3: The Rogue Valley Audubon Society holds free bird walks at Agate Lake the first Wednesday of every month. The walks begin at 8:30 a.m. and end before noon. The slow-paced walk covers about 1.5 miles. Meet at the main parking area on the east side of the lake opposite the boat ramp. For details, see www.roguevalleyaudubon.org/First_Wednesday_Count.html
Siskiyou Mountain Club volunteer outings
Volunteers have the opportunity to work with SMC field coordinator Aaron Babcock to strengthen their skills and get to know these areas better. Participants supply food, basic gear, and should be self-sufficient in backcountry settings. SMC provides transportation, tools and leadership.
Monday-Wednesday, May 1-3: Mule Creek Trail, Wild Rogue Wilderness: After a battering winter, there will be plenty of work to do on the Mule Creek Trail, which features pristine gorges, mixed forests and lots of history. Email email@example.com for details and to sign up.
Tuesday-Thursday, May 9-11: Soda Mountain Wilderness: These are not overnight trips, so cherry-pick the dates. Work on the Boccard Point, Pilot Rock, Lone Pilot and Pacific Crest trails. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to sign up.
Saturday-Sunday, May 13-14: Shorty Noble, Kalmiopsis Wilderness: Help finish restoring the Shorty Noble Trail, a spur that winds through a stunning old-growth forest to the sharp banks of the Wild and Scenic Illinois River. Email email@example.com for details and to sign up.
Thursday-Friday, May 25-26: Siskiyou Wilderness: Help Aaron on the East Fork Illinois and Crazy Peak trails in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s southern edge. Robust old growth, dreamy views and a pristine river. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to sign up.
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy hikes
Reservations are required for SOLC's annual spring hikes. To reserve a slot or to get on a waiting list for a particular hike, as well as details on when and where to meet, see www.landconserve.org.
Saturday, May 6: Kristi Mergenthaler will lead a 10 a.m. wildflower hike through Ashland's Imperatrice property east of Ashland.
Sunday, May 7: SOLC Land Steward Karen Hussey will lead an 8 a.m. birding hike through the Jacksonville Woodlands behind the Britt Festival property.
Saturday, May 13: Tom Atzet will lead a 10 a.m. hike into the Oredson-Todd Woods of Ashland.
Saturday, May 20: Dennis Vroman will lead a 7:30 a.m. birding hike in the Rogue River Preserve near Eagle Point.
Saturday, May 27: Naturalist Dave Garcia will lead a natural-history hike at 10 a.m. at the Rogue River Preserve.
Saturday, June 10: At 10 a.m., Tom Atzet will lead a visit to Indian Mary Park and nearby Hellgate Canyon along the middle Rogue River near Merlin.
Saturday, June 17: Karen Hussey will lead an 8:30 a.m. hike to the Rogue River Preserve, where participants will get uninterrupted quiet time alone on the property.
Saturday, June 24: Naturalists Norm Barrett, Gary Schaffer and Jim Livaudais will lead a noon hike to explore dragonflies at the Rogue River Preserve.
Sunday, June 25: Kathleen Donham and Linda Kappen will lead a 10 a.m. hike into private lands adjacent to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, where participants will learn how to safely catch, identify and release butterflies.
Every Saturday: Brisk rides are for strong riders who want to ride in a paceline with occasional sprints and brisk climbs. Speeds are above 20 mph on flats and average of 15 to 18 mph overall. The route and starting point will vary — expect some climbing and, in fact, on most days, a lot. Riders should know how to make repairs. Riders are expected to review online and understand the planned route. The Brisk group is not a no-drop group, slower riders are discouraged. For details, call Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.
Every Saturday: Velo Melo meets at various places and rides about 20 miles at 11 to 13 mph on flats with few, if any, pacelines. The routes may include some climbing, but these are usually limited to small rolling hills within the Bear Creek Valley. No one will be dropped. Contact Lisa Brill at email@example.com.
Every Monday: Moderate to brisk rides along a fairly flat route from Phoenix to Jacksonville. Speeds are 18 to 20 mph on the flats and average around 15 to 19 mph overall. The route includes mostly lower volume roads without shoulders and some with moderate traffic and moderately wide shoulders. The exception is on OR 238 (Hanley Road), where there are no shoulders and the volumes are moderate. Call Ray Forsyth at 541-245-0312.
Every Wednesday: This is a ride for experienced cyclists who enjoy riding at a moderate/brisk pace. Pacelines are common but not continuous; speeds are above 20 mph on flats and average of 15 to 18 mph overall. The route may vary but typically it goes through the orchards on the way to Oregon Mountain Roasting Company near East Barnett and North Phoenix Road (approximately 35 miles). The ride will almost always include a stop for coffee/espresso. Call Matt Walker at 541-261-4891.
Riders must wear a helmet, carry a spare tube, and nonmembers must sign an insurance waiver to release the club from liability. See siskiyouvelo.org/about/ for more information.