Guided tours on the Table Rocks

The annual spring guided weekend hikes atop the Table Rocks by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy begin Saturday.

There is no fee, but reservations are required. Participation is limited to 30 individuals per hike, unless otherwise noted. To reserve space for a weekend hike call the BLM Medford District office at 618-2200.

Participants should dress for the weather and bring a lunch and something to drink. Restrooms are available at both trailheads. No dogs are allowed on the trails. The hikes range from three to five miles round-trip along a moderate-grade trail. They last three to five hours.

Group weekday guided hikes for 10 or more are also available in the Table Rocks Environmental Education Program. Guides are available Tuesday through Friday each week, and hikes begin around 9 a.m. and last about four hours. To schedule a hike or for more information, contact the BLM project coordinator Leah Schrodt at 618-2468. Information is also available at www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/tablerock/index.php

The weekend hike schedule includes:

April 7 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock. Terry Tuttle, retired forester and professional photographer, leads this nature photography hike. Wildflowers, landscape and wildlife photography will be covered. Bring your camera and a light tripod. Participation limited to 15.

April 8 — Easter Holiday: No hikes scheduled.

April 14 — 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. BLM naturalist Leah Schrodt explores the cultural history, ethnobotany and general ecology of the Table Rocks.

April 15 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock. Damiana Thompson, BLM interpretative staff, leads this family hike in Spanish. This is a general, informational hike that will help participants explore the natural and cultural history of the Table Rocks.

April 15 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock (Spanish Translation) Caminando con la familia Reunirse con Damiana Thompson, especialista de la educación con el Bureau of Land Management, en una caminata para toda la familia. El tema incluirá la historia de la naturaleza y la cultura. Esta caminata será adecuada para toda la familia. Es necesario traer agua, almuerzo y su curiosidad. ¡Ven a disfrutar de la naturaleza abundante de Table Rock!

April 21 — 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. U.S. Forest Service botanist Barbara Mumblo, a member of the Native Plant Society of Oregon, will lead a hike to discover the dazzling array of wildflowers.

April 22 — 9 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. Ashley Dayer, education and outreach director at Klamath Bird Observatory, checks out the spring birds. Learn identification tips and conservation information. Participation limited to 18 individuals.

April 28 — 10 a.m: Lower Table Rock. Botanist Alex Maksymowicz with the Siskiyou Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon leads hike in search of native flora.

April 29 — 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. Robert Kentta, cultural resources director and member of the Confederate Tribes of Siletz Indians, will lead a discussion on the history and culture of tribes who were forced from the area to the Siletz Reservation. Before the hike, there will be a presentation of traditional basketry and regalia in the parking lot.

May 5 — 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. Jeff Lalande, archaeologist and historian for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, discusses the role of the Table Rocks in the culture and legends of the Takelma Indians. He will also talk about the history of the area during the "Indian Wars" of the 1850s.

May 6 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock. Charley Martin, BLM fire ecologist, will talk about the role of wildfires in the Rogue Valley.

May 12 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock. Peter Schroeder, entomologist and associate professor of biology at Southern Oregon University, will lead a hike in this unique geological area to explore and discuss the natural history and ecology of insects.

May 13 — 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. Biodiversity will be the topic in this hike led by Molly Sullivan, Southwest Oregon Stewardship Coordinator with The Nature Conservancy; Lyndia Hammer, also with The Nature Conservancy; and Joe Madden, BLM interpretive staff.

May 19 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock. Geological features of this ancient lava flow will be reviewed by Bill Elliott, assistant professor of geology at Southern Oregon University.

May 20 — 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock. Illustrator and naturalist Irene Brady leads a nature sketching trip. Bring a small unlined sketch pad, pencil, eraser and waterproof sitting pad. Participation limited to 12. For more information about Brady check out www.natureworkspress.com

May 20 — 8 a.m.: Lower Table Rock. Join Tom Phillips of the Audubon Society on a birding hike. Hike participants will also learn general natural history and some wildflower identification.

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