Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
A diverse group of experts has been assembled to lead several free, spring hikes. Space is limited, so sign up in advance by calling 541-482-3069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, April 21: Birding Woolfolk Reservoir, 8 to 11 a.m. Expert birder Bob Hunter will lead the trip to a piece of private property near Eagle Point, off of Highway 140, that features oak woodland/savannah, chaparral and a large reservoir and supports many bird species in the spring.
Saturday, April 27: Oredson-Todd Woods, 2 to 4 p.m. Oredson-Todd Woods is a forested gem above Ashland. Naturalist Vern Crawford will lead a hike in this protected park and discuss the natural history and geology of the area.
Table Rocks hikes
Free, guided hikes at the Table Rocks near Medford cover three to five miles roundtrip and last 3 to 5 hours. Bring lunch and water. Dogs are not allowed. Reservations are required. To reserve a space on a hike, call the BLM Medford District Office at 541-618-2200.
Saturday, April 20: “Legacy of a Landmark,” 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Jeff LaLande, retired archaeologist and historian for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, will discuss the role of the Table Rocks in the culture and legends of the Takelma Indians, along with some history of the area during the “Indian Wars” of the 1850s.
Sunday, April 21: “Layers of Time,” 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Learn about the dramatic formation of the Table Rocks and the resulting unique geological features along a hike to the top with geologist Jad D'Allura.
Saturday, April 27: “A Changing Rogue Climate,” 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Alan Journet, co-facilitator of the Southern Oregon Climate Action Network, will discuss climate-change projections for the Rogue Valley and potential consequences for the Table Rocks.
Sunday, April 28: “Tribal History and Culture,” 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Discuss the history and culture of ancestral tribes moved from the Rogue Valley to the Siletz Reservation with Robert Kentta, cultural resources director of the Confederate Tribes of Siletz Indians. A 45-minute presentation of traditional basketry and regalia in the parking area will be followed by a stroll to the top.
Saturday, May 4: “Night Owls,” 7:30 p.m., Lower Table Rock. Listen for sounds of the night from dusk 'til dark on a jaunt around the Lower Table Rock Loop with Steve Godwin, BLM wildlife biologist. Along the half-mile, accessible trail, Godwin will attempt to lure pygmy, great horned and screech owls. A short presentation of the common owls in this area and their unique characteristics and adaptations will precede the hike. Bring a flashlight.
Sunday, May 5: “Spring in Bloom,” 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Explore the native flora and wildflowers of the Table Rocks with BLM botanist Chamise Kramer.
Saturday, May 11: “Bird's the Word,” 8 a.m., Lower Table Rock. Birding excursion with Teresa “Bird” Wicks, Klamath Bird Observatory intern and Southern Oregon University environmental education graduate student. You'll explore chaparral, oak savannah, mixed woodland and mounded prairie/vernal pool plant communities of the Table Rocks. Bring binoculars and bird guides, and pick Bird's brain with your ornithology curiosities.
Sunday, May 12: “Nature Rocks on Mother's Day,” 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Spend Mother's Day on a family hike to the top of the rock. An environmental interpretation specialist from BLM will talk about wildflower identification, ethnobotany, geology, wildlife, ecology and cultural history.
Saturday, May 18: “Incredible Insects and Spectacular Spiders,” 10 a.m., Upper Table Rock. Explore and discuss the amazing six- and eight-legged animals found on and around the Table Rocks while hiking with Peter Schroeder, associate professor of biology and entomologist at Southern Oregon University.
Sunday, May 19: “That's Batty!” 7:30 p.m., Lower Table Rock. Learn about regional bats, their unique characteristics and the threats they face, with Tony Kerwin, wildlife biologist and district planning and environmental coordinator with the BLM. Use detectors to listen for bats during a half-mile, accessible walk. Bring a flashlight.
Siskiyou Upland Trails Association
Saturday, April 20: The group will hold a work party from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to spruce up the section of the historic Sterling Mine Ditch trail where the annual Sterling Mine Ditch Trail Run will be held on May 25. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Little Applegate Road and Sterling Creek Road in historic Buncom to carpool and caravan to the Bear Gulch trailhead. For detailed directions, see www.sutaoregon.org or email email@example.com.
Applegate Trails Association
Saturday, April 20: Off-trail, five-mile hike on the proposed East Applegate Ridge Trail will feature incredible views of Ruch and the Applegate Valley. The hike is rated “difficult” due to terrain and elevation changes. RSVP required. Contact David Calahan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-899-1226. See applegatetrails.org for details.
Jacksonville Woodlands Association
Saturday, April 20: The group will hold its annual hike-a-thon at the historic Jacksonville Courthouse square. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by a short presentation. A guided hike through a scenic and historic portion of the trail system will focus on the endangered Gentner's fritillary. A picnic lunch will be held immediately after the hike. The registration fee is a suggested $15. For details, email Larry Smith at email@example.com.
Rogue Valley Walkers
Saturday, April 20: This 10K walk in the Ashland Railroad District is a group favorite. Meet in the Safeway parking lot, on the corner of Siskiyou Boulevard and Sherman Street, at 8: 45 a.m. For more information, call 541-245-9356 or see www.roguevalleywalkers.com
Siskiyou chapter, Native Plant Society of Oregon
Saturday, May 18: Botanist Armand Rebischke will lead a hike on the Rogue River trail to Rainie Falls. The moderate, four-mile trek will start at the Grave Creek Bridge and follow the south-side trail at the beginning of the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River. This is the shady side of the river, with populations of Lewisia cotyledon and Delphinium nudicaule. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, bring water, snacks and lunch. Be prepared for 400 feet of elevation change and some slippery spots. Meet at Rays Food Place in Merlin at 8:30 a.m. to drive or carpool to the trailhead. For information, call Rebischke at 541-482-2141.
Lithia Park nature walks
Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting May 1: Three days a week from May 1 to Sept. 29 (plus Saturdays in July and August), trained volunteer naturalists from the Ashland Parks & Recreation Department will lead a free, easy, 1.5-hour nature walk through Lithia Park. Topics include trees, flowers, birds, climate, water, geology and the history of the park. Meet at the park entrance, across from the Plaza in Ashland. Registration is not required.
Lost Creek Trail Runs
Saturday, April 27: 5K and 30K trail runs begin at 9 a.m. at Joseph H. Stewart State Park day-use area. The 30K run goes around the lake counter-clockwise. The 5K is a loop on a bike path and trails. Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m. For details or to register, see www.lctrailruns.com.
Mike Schweitzer Memorial Challenge
Saturday, April 27: 5K, 10K and half-marathon races benefit the Wildland Firefighters Foundation. Races start at 9 a.m. at Scott Valley Pleasure Park in Etna, Calif. The course is a mixture of road and trail. The 10K and half-marathon courses are loops with a series of small hills at the beginning of the course. Race-day registration begins at 8 a.m. For details, contact Debi Wright at 530-643-0952 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the race calendar at www.sorunners.org.
Run the Ditch Trail
Saturday, May 25: Five- and 10-mile races, along the Little Applegate River and historic Sterling Mine Ditch trail, begin at 9 a.m. There will be ribbon awards for the top three finishers in the age groups, as well as cash awards for the three top male and female finishers in the 10-miler. See the race calendar at sorunners.org for details and registration.
Wild Rogue Relay
Friday, Saturday, June 21-22: A 200-plus-mile overnight relay race for teams of six or 12 people will start in Jacksonville and end in Gold Beach, with part of the run on the Rogue River Trail through the Rogue's Wild and Scenic Section. Team members will run three legs each of varying distance. Registration deadline is Tuesday, June 18. Limited to 70 teams. For details, see http://thewildroguerelay.com.
Siskiyou Velo Club: Group rides for beginners
The Siskiyou Velo bicycle club is holding a series of free Saturday rides this spring along the Bear Creek Greenway to introduce group cycling to non-members of the Ashland-based club. All rides begin at 10 a.m. To register, email Phil Gagnon at email@example.com or call him at 541-488-4289.
April 20: 12-mile ride starts at Bear Creek Park along Highland Drive and travels to Mellelo's Coffee Roasters in north Medford before returning.
April 27: 12-mile ride starts at Coyote Trails' Jefferson Nature Center in U.S. Cellular Park in Medford and travels to Talent's Lynn Newbry Park, with a stop at the Talent Cafe.
May 4: 11-mile ride starts at Talent's Lynn Newbry Park and goes north to U.S. Cellular Park in Medford, with a coffee picnic provided by Siskiyou Velo.
Recurring group rides
Some of the Siskiyou Velo club rides listed below are leisurely; others are intense. All rides are led by a ride leader, and they all stop for coffee and social time.
Every Saturday: Velo Slo-Mo rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 7 to 10 mph over 12 to 18 miles of mostly flat terrain. Contact: Phil Gagnon, 541-488-4289.
Every Saturday: Velo Mello rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 11 to 13 mph over 30 to 50 miles of slightly hilly terrain. Contact: Sandra Wetzel, 541-482-2995.
Every Saturday: Velo Ship rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 14 to 16 mph over 30 to 55 miles with long climbs. Contact: Jean O'Donnell, 541-488-6186.
Every Sunday: Velo Slo-Mo rides begin at various times from different locations. Pace: 7 to 10 mph over 12 to 18 miles of mostly flat terrain. Contact: Purk Purkerson, 541-857-6513.
Every Monday: Coffee rides begin at 10:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and go to Jacksonville. Pace: 17 mph average over 25 miles. Contact: David Chapman, 541-488-0152.
Every Wednesday: Coffee ride begins at 11 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Co. in Ashland. Pace: 14 to 17 mph over 32 to 60 miles. Contact Bob MacCracken, 425-512-3829.
Other recurring rides
Every Sunday: Cycle Analysis, 535 N. Fifth St., in Jacksonville hosts a two- to three-hour road ride at 8 a.m. All fitness levels welcome. Riders regroup at major intersections, and there are cutoff spots to make the ride shorter if needed. Contact Jana Jenson at 541-899-9190 or see cycleanalysis.net.
Every Tuesday and Thursday: Mountain-bike rides organized by the crew at Ashland Cycle Sport, 191 Oak St., Ashland. Meet at the Plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Riders of all abilities are welcome on the Tuesday ride. The Thursday ride is usually longer (two to two-and-a-half hours) and faster paced. Lights are highly recommended. Helmets and a safe, functioning bike are required. Call Scott at 541-488-0581 or see www.roguecycle.com.
Every Wednesday: Starting at 6 p.m., Cycle Analysis, 535 N. Fifth St., hosts a two-hour mountain-bike ride on either the Britt trails in Jacksonville or nearby Johns Peak, which has almost 200 miles of trails. All comers are welcome — no age or ability limits. Helmets are mandatory, and lights are required during the winter. Contact Jana Jenson at 541-899-9190 or see http://cycleanalysis.net.
Every Saturday: Ride starts at Medford Cycle Sport, 1340 Biddle Road, and the course varies from week to week, but riders can expect a brisk road ride that lasts two to four hours. Most rides include at least one (but usually two or three) one- to three-mile climbs. Call Alex at 541-857-0819 for information and starting time. See www.roguecycle.com.
Rogue Valley Audubon Society
Saturday, April 27: Bird walk for beginners. Gwyneth Ragosine will lead a leisurely walk along the Talent portion of the Bear Creek Greenway starting at 9 a.m. at Lynn Newbry Park in Talent. The event is wheelchair-accessible and children are welcome. A limited number of binoculars will be available for loan. For information, contact Ragosine at 541-552-1945 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Klamath Bird Observatory
Saturday, May 4: Brandon Breen will lead a morning trip to Little Hyatt Reservoir to look for American dippers at the stream that lets out from the reservoir. The group will also watch for kingfishers and osprey and see what birds are singing in the marsh, fields and surrounding forest. Meet at 8 a.m. at Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland. Expect to return by 1 p.m. Limited to 15 participants. To register, call 541-482-3241.
Ashland Community Bike Swap
Saturday, April 27: The 23rd annual event provides a community venue for buying and selling working-condition bicycles and related equipment. Proceeds fund bike safety education in the Rogue Valley. Items for sale can be dropped off Friday, April 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 27, from 8 to 10 a.m. Sellers pay 20 percent of each sale, with a $100 cap, to benefit bicycle safety education. The swap will be open to buyers on Saturday at noon at The Grove, 1195 E. Main St., Ashland. Admission costs $1 per person or $3 per family. For details, call Ashland Parks & Recreation at 541-488-5340 or see www.RVTD.org/bikeswap. To volunteer, contact Lori Ainsworth at email@example.com or 541-499-8798.
Weed Whomping Wednesdays
Wednesday, May 15: The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy has started a regular stewardship work-party program called Weed Whomping Wednesdays. These half-day work parties on conserved lands occur on the third Wednesday of each month. Besides whomping noxious weeds, the group may map weeds or rare plants, plant native trees and shrubs during the cool season, or conduct other land-stewardship activities. Each work party will also involve something educational such as an interpretive walk. Shared poetry and storytelling will be encouraged. Treats will be provided. Contact Kristi if you are interested in joining the group or have questions at 541-482-3069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Mountain Park Nature Center
Saturday, April 20: “Birding for beginners.” The class, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., will visit Ashland locations to view local birds with binoculars in hand. If you have binoculars and a bird ID book, bring them. If not, instructor Shannon Rio will provide one or both. For ages 10 and older. Cost is $10. Register online at www.ashland.or.us/register or call the nature center at 541-488-6606.
Thursday, April 25: Tree walk at North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. In preparation for Arbor Day on April 26, learn the trees of North Mountain Park. Focusing on native species, participants will learn to identify trees and notice important characteristics of leaves, bark and “fruit,” and the environments where we can expect to find different species. Instructors are Rachel Werling, a professional botanist at Oregon State University's Jackson County Extension, and Anne Thayer, horticulturist for Ashland Parks & Recreation. Cost is $5. Register online at www.ashland.or.us/register or call the the nature center at 541-488-6606.
Saturday, April 27: Edible and medicinal plant walk, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Lithia Park, will include plant identification, medicine-making procedures, energetics, folklore, biochemistry and traditional and modern uses. Bring note-taking materials and a camera if you can. Instructor Jon Carlson is a clinical herbalist and director of the Vitalist School of Herbology in Ashland. For ages 13 and older. Cost is $25. Register online at www.ashland.or.us/register or call the nature center at 541-488-6606.
Siskiyou Field Institute
Sunday, April 21: Botany 101: Oak Woodland Exploration. Oak woodlands support an exquisite spring wildflower show and host high plant biodiversity. Instructor Kristi Mergenthaler will use oak woodlands in the Butte Falls Recreational Area — including oak savannah, meadow and chaparral — as a laboratory to learn and practice botany. Study topics include plant identification, morphology, family characteristics and evolution. The class will focus on investigating flowering plants but will also take a peek at conifers, mosses, ferns and lichens. Cost is $50. For details or to register, see thesfi.org or call 541-597-8530.
Coyote Trails School of Nature
Saturday, April 20: “Hide preserving,” 1 to 3 p.m. When properly cared for, an animal hide can serve as a warm piece of clothing, a part of a shelter, a variety of tools and more. Learn the basics of preserving a hide so that it can be admired and utilized for years to come. No experience required. For ages 9 and older. Cost is $30. To register, call 541-772-1390 or see www.coyotetrails.org.
Sunday, April 21: “Building a debris shelter,” 1 to 3 p.m. Knowing how to keep yourself sheltered is your first line of defense in a survival situation. Learn basic shelter-building techniques in this class for all ages. No experience required. Cost is $20. To register, call 541-772-1390 or see www.coyotetrails.org.
Saturday, April 27: “Evolution of hunting,” 1 to 3 p.m. Students will experience the use of hunting tools used over the course of human history, including the throwing stick, rabbit stick, spear, bow and arrow, atlatl and sling. No experience required. For ages 9 and older. Cost is $20. To register, call 541-772-1390 or see www.coyotetrails.org.