Trails in the Ashland Watershed will reopen for hikers and bikers this weekend

Trails in the Ashland Watershed will reopen for hikers and bikers this weekend

ASHLAND — The intersection of the Catwalk and Toothpick trails is a good place to survey changes that will greet hikers and bikers this weekend in the outdoor playground known as the Ashland Watershed.

For years the watershed has sported a dense forest canopy and thick underbrush that curbed visibility so completely that mountain bikers bombing down Toothpick would surprise uphill hikers and vice versa.

"There is that element of surprise," says Chamise Kramer, a...

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More trails coming to Medford's Prescott Park

Work will start this summer on a project to add more hiking, biking, jogging and equestrian trails to Prescott Park, which includes Roxy Ann Peak.

The Medford Parks and Recreation Department secured $75,000 in state funding to add to the $200,000 it has budgeted for major improvements to the park, said Brian Sjothun, director of the department.

Earlier this week, a master plan for the 1,740-acre park was approved by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Although the park is.....

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Cycle Oregon to tackle Southern Oregon mountains, coast

Cycle Oregon to tackle Southern Oregon mountains, coast

Two thousand cyclists rode together for hundreds of miles across the state, making overnight stops in Myrtle Creek in 1998 and in Riddle in 2011. This year, Cycle Oregon announced its plans to return to Douglas County and other parts of Southwestern Oregon for the annual Week Ride.

The seven-day bike ride will cover either 365 miles or 457 miles, depending on whether optional rides are taken, and climbing elevations will range from 25,853 to 33,689 feet. Cycle Oregon chooses a...

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Oh, the joy of floating on the snow on a bike with fat tires

Oh, the joy of floating on the snow on a bike with fat tires

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) — When Sun Valley-area cycling enthusiasts wanted to ride their fat bikes last winter, they groomed their own trails.

They'd get together in the evening at a trailhead like Adams Gulch, ride their bikes as far as they could, dismount and snowshoe the rest of the way — packing the snow.

Then they'd return the next day to ride their bikes on the "groomed" trail.

That kind of effort showed the passion cyclists have for the growing winter...

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Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

The views are incredible from viewpoints along the Spence Mountain Trail, Southern Oregon's newest network of trails. Depending on the vantage, the panorama can include Mount Shasta, Upper Klamath Lake, the Cascades peaks surrounding Crater Lake and Mount McLoughlin.

"It's even better than we imagined," said Drew Honzel, a member of the Klamath Trails Alliance, the Klamath Falls-based outdoor group that's developing Spence Mountain, of sights along and from the trail.

Creating...

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Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

ASHLAND — Mountain bikers barreling down legit trails built for hikers and horseback riders were already causing headaches for Ashland watershed managers in 2011, but then things began to get egregious on a little stretch of hiking heaven called Marty's Trail.

Someone drove a backhoe around a trail gate and dug in a series of bumps and jumps for "downhiller" cyclists, much to the chagrin of darn near everyone else.  

"That was a bold move," says Jeffrey...

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A preview of Mount Shasta's ambitious rail trail

A preview of Mount Shasta's ambitious rail trail

Northern California's latest Rails to Trails project has brought an epic multi-use trail opportunity within easy excursion distance of the Rogue Valley. 

The three-pronged Great Shasta Rail Trail is planned along the old McCloud Railway between the towns of McCloud, Hambone and Burney. Two sections totaling 37 miles were opened in late September.

Most of the proposed 80-mile system is ready for public use. The ties have been stripped off the old railroad bed and a.....

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Biking the unpaved OC&E Woods Line State Trail

Biking the unpaved OC&E Woods Line State Trail

There's a lot to see for mountain bikers on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, Oregon's longest linear state park.

On a recent ride along an unpaved section of the 100-mile trail, we pedaled past pastoral fields and, whoops, narrowly missed a slithery bull snake that was almost as long as the trail was wide.

We stopped to marvel at brilliantly colored thistles and watched skittery marmots, salamanders and “squeaks,” ground squirrels, play impromptu games of...

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Five cool bike rides for a hot summer

Five cool bike rides for a hot summer

A hot summer can be a tough time for mountain bikers. It's the time of year we most like to play, but overheating is no fun. These five trail systems, all worthy destinations in their own right, offer varying combinations of shade, elevation, potential swimming and general coolness.

1. Briggs Valley
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Mountain of the Rogue is Southern Oregon's hottest new trail

Mountain of the Rogue is Southern Oregon's hottest new trail

Sometimes, it pays off to be a morning person. Not sautéing yourself in the midday sun while trying to drag yourself, your bike and two liters of water up a barren hill is one perk.

That's what might happen if, like me, you are not a morning person. I braved the noon heat this week, too eager to check out the new Mountain of the Rogue trail in Rogue River.

The rough-hewn trail has been visible from I-5 for a while now, in the form of a couple of deep horizontal cuts in the...

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In a class of its own

In a class of its own

ASHLAND — It took six years and a dozen routes, but Oregon's fledgling state scenic bike route system is coming to Southern Oregon — and it's doing so in its most extreme fashion.

The 55-mile Cascade-Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway is one pedal away from becoming the first in the region, and it will be touted as a new attraction for serious road cyclists.

"In my mind, it's the most extreme one," says Alex Phillips, bicycle recreation specialist for the Oregon Parks and...

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Rocky Point to Crater Lake loop proposed as bike route

Rocky Point to Crater Lake loop proposed as bike route

The 47-mile trek between Rocky Point on Upper Klamath Lake and Crater Lake Lodge could become one of the next official Oregon scenic bikeways.

Discover Klamath proposed the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Bikeway to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department bikeway program, and it is now one of four finalists being considered for official designation.

Two years ago the state approved 12 scenic bikeways, all in the northern half of the Oregon. Discover Klamath Executive Director Jim...

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