Splash this map all you want

Visitors to a popular 90-mile section of the Rogue River now have access to a waterproof flip-map that details boat ramps, riffle names and other features of the Rogue Valley's signature stream.

The long-awaited Rogue River Water Trail map chronicles the middle and upper river stretches from Cole Rivers Hatchery downstream to a mile past Grave Creek at the start of the Rogue's Wild and Scenic Section.

Made of waterproof paper, the map costs $6 and is available at chambers of commerce, visitor centers and some river liveries in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Thousands of locals and tourists float, fish or otherwise play in the Rogue year-round, including a vastly popular summer rafting season that stretches over every mile detailed on the map.

So many people use this stretch of the river," says Carolyn Hill, chief executive officer of the Medford-based Southern Oregon Visitors Association, which oversaw the map's creation. "We'll see how popular it is."

The map includes everything from public-access points to the names and difficulty ratings of rapids, float lengths and bathroom locations. It denotes heavy-use sections and color-codes land ownerships along the river so drifters can find public lands to stop and picnic or camp. The map also sports the names of various riverside parks and photographs of what the ramps look like so floaters know what to look for.

Some riffles contain two names, such as a chute downstream of Dodge Bridge commonly called Horseshoe Falls because of its appearance, but the guide lists it as Jackson Falls Rapid.

The names and rapid-ratings were put together by a collage of state, county and federal river managers as well as long-time river guides, says Alexandra Phillips, water trails coordinator for Oregon Parks & Recreation Department.

"There is no official list of riffles and rapids and no official ratings," Phillips says. "Basically, we took what we could from what already exists."

The guide lists a few prominent fishing holes, such as the upper Rogue's Slide Hole, but it does not give away any angling secrets, Phillips says.

It's a trail map and not a guide, so it does not provide details on how to navigate rapids, in part because rivers are so dynamic, she says.

The map cost about $7,500 to put together, and it includes advertisements on the last three pages to help divert costs, Hill says.

Hill says organizers hope to get input about other features for future reprints.

Previous water-trails maps have been produced for the Sandy and Willamette rivers.

The Rogue map was designed by Jeffery Jones Advertising and Marketing in Ashland and printed by Ram Offset Lithographers of White City.

Copies can be purchased at the Medford Visitors Center near the Harry & David store in south Medford, at the Grants Pass/Josephine County Chamber and Visitor Center, Grants Pass Downtown Welcome Center, Orange Torpedo Trips, Rogue Wilderness Adventures and Morrison's Rogue River Lodge.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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