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Lithia Park nature walks
Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Ashland Parks and Recreation offers free, guided nature walks in Lithia Park from 10 to 11:30 a.m. May through September. Meet at the park entrance, across from the Plaza in Ashland. Preregistration is not required. For more information, call 541-488-5340.
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council hikes
Saturday, May 19: Ornithologist Pepper Trail will lead a hike to explore the canyons, oak parkland and gallery forest of lower Scotch Creek (elevation 2,600 feet) in the hidden Horseshoe Ranch Wildlife Area, a California addition to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument above Iron Gate Reservoir. Easy hiking on a gated road and old track, with distance depending on the group. Wildflowers and maybe some very shallow stream crossings. Sign up at email@example.com to get more information and learn the 7 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Sunday, May 20: Botanist Steve Jessup leads this shuttled trip from a “Sound of Music” starting point (elevation 4,500 feet) west of Tom Spring Mountain, cross-country down the ridge between Cattle and Sampson creeks in the Sampson Creek Preserve to lower Sampson Creek just above Emigrant Reservoir (elevation 2,300 feet). About 3 miles (or so), much off-trail. Moderate, but some steep downhill. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information and learn the 9 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Monday, May 28: Botanist John Villella will lead this shuttled trip. The group will hike the Grizzly Peak loop trail (elevation 5,922 feet) to its far west end, and then head cross-country and down through the Grizzly Peak Preserve to Pompadour Drive (elevation 2,200 feet). About 7 miles, long and difficult. Sign up at email@example.com to get more information and learn the 8 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Saturday, June 2: Ecologist Jay Lininger will lead a ramble around Canyon Ridge (elevation 4,400 feet). Impressive views west across the Bear Creek Valley and east to Table Mountain from this botanically interesting, obscure and very nice mixed-conifer and oak-savannah area. Moderate to difficult, 3 or 4 miles of mostly off-trail hiking, some steep. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information and learn the 9 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Saturday, June 9: SOU aquatic biologist Michael Parker will lead a tough, 4-mile round-trip hike along the Jenny Creek Canyon rim in Oregon (elevation 3,300 feet) and then very steeply down to the impressive, but little-known Jenny Creek Falls (elevation 2,700 feet) in California. The hike down to the falls and back is more like a mountain climb scramble. Quite difficult. Sign up with Michael Parker at email@example.com to get more information and learn the 8:30 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Sunday, June 17: Ramble along the top of Surveyor Mountain Ridge (elevation 6,500 feet) with National Park Service research ecologist and SMWC board member Dennis Odion in the Monument’s northeast corner. About two cross-country miles with relatively little elevation change. Easy. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information and learn the 9 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Saturday, June 23: National Park Service research botanist Dominic DiPaolo will explore the classic remnant forest of the Little Hyatt Old-Growth Groves (elevation 4,800 feet). Nice view across the upper Bear Creek Valley from the rim above Sampson Creek. Three-plus miles of off-trail hiking. Moderate or easy (route is adjustable). Sign up at email@example.com to get more information and learn the 9 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Thursday, June 28: Botanist Kristi Merganthaler and terrestrial ecologist Evan Frost will lead an early evening hike through beautiful older forests and flower-filled meadows to a viewpoint (elevation 5,850 feet) on Grizzly Peak overlooking the Bear Creek Valley. About three miles round-trip. Easy/moderate. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information and learn the 4 p.m. meeting point in Ashland.
Sunday, July 1: Ecologist Jay Lininger will lead a scramble up Vulture Rock (elevation 6,054 feet) above the Pacific Crest Trail near Griffin Pass for big views of Johnson Prairie, Surveyor Mountain, the upper Jenny Creek watershed, Mount McLoughlin and Mount Shasta. About three miles round-trip with some off-trail hiking, rock/talus hopping, and a few hands-and-feet climbing moves at the top. Easy-to-moderate hiking with a nontechnical climb to a summit that acrophobes may find very difficult. Sign up at email@example.com to get more information and learn the 8:30 a.m. meeting point in Ashland.
2018 Bird BioBlitz
Thursday and Saturday, May 24 and 26: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument will host its fourth annual BioBlitz. The goal is to identify as many species as possible in a particular place over a short period of time. This year, the focus will be on observing and cataloging bird species seen and heard within the Monument. On Thursday, May 24, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., an orientation and pizza party will be held at the Bellview Grange in Ashland. Ornithologist and author Pepper Trail will provide a presentation about the diversity of birds in the monument. Surveying will take place at first light Saturday, May 26, at multiple sites throughout monument. Groups will be led by local birding experts. Anyone 12 and older can participate. To learn more and register, see www.cascadesiskiyou.org/bioblitzregistration.
Table Rocks hikes
For more information and to register for the hikes, see https://TableRockHikes2018.eventbrite.com or call 541-618-2200.
9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, Lower Table Rock: Entomologist Bill Schaupp will lead a hike observing and discussing insects that occupy the Table Rocks.
10 a.m. Sunday, May 20, Lower Table Rock: Musicians Tish McFadden and Jeff Kloetzel will lead a ukulele-fueled musical jam on top of the rock. All skill levels are invited and participants are encouraged to bring their own ukuleles. Music booklets will be provided.
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy hikes
To read more about each hike and to register, go to landconserve.org. If a hike is full, you can join a waiting list, as cancellations do happen.
Saturday, May 19: Birding the Rogue River Preserve, 7:30 a.m. to noon. Biologist Dennis Vroman will lead a birding trip on this private property along the Rogue River outside of Eagle Point.
Saturday, June 9: Cathedral Hills hike, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Forest ecologist Tom Atzet will lead a hike on the trails at Cathedral Hills just outside Grants Pass.
Sunday, June 24: Dragonfly Exploration at Rogue River Preserve, noon to 4 p.m. Learn about dragonfly ecology and identification on a gorgeous property on the Rogue. This outing will be led by naturalists Norm Barrett, Gary Shaffer and Jim Livaudais.
Native Plant Society events
Sunday, May 27: Sheri Hagwood from California Department of Fish and Wildlife will lead a hike around Horseshoe Ranch Wildlife Area in Siskiyou County, California, and within the expanded Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The wildlife area covers 5,000 acres, supplemented by 4,000 acres of BLM lands. Formerly a working cattle ranch, the terrain consists of rolling to steep hills of shrubs, oaks and conifers surrounding Scotch Creek and several of its tributaries. The trailhead has limited parking, so hikers will meet at the gas station in Hornbrook, at 9 a.m. and carpool. There is day-pass fee of $4.32 per person. For more information or to sign up, email Katelyn Detweiler at Detweiler.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 4: The Irene Hollenbeck Memorial Wildflower Show features more than 300 species of native flowers from the Cascades, Siskiyous and the valleys between. The free show is held at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way. For information, email Barb at email@example.com or call 541-890-2091.
Rogue Valley Audubon Society
Wednesday, June 6: RVAS holds first-Wednesday bird walks at Denman Wildlife Area. The walks begin at 8:30 a.m. and end before noon. Species observed by walk participants are entered in the Cornell Ornithological Laboratory’s eBird database. Participants will need to purchase an ODFW area parking permit. For more information and directions, see http://roguevalleyaudubon.org/
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 Mello 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Monday: Coffee Ride starts at 10:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and covers 25-30 miles at a moderate to brisk pace; flat. Call Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.