Crater Lake Snowshoe Hikes

Crater Lake Snowshoe Hikes

Every weekend: Rangers at Crater Lake National Park guide free, 1-mile snowshoe walks through forests and meadows and along the crater's rim. Participants on the 90-minute walk hear how plants, animals and the lake are affected by winter weather. Begins at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through April. Walks cover moderately strenuous terrain at an elevation of about 7,100 feet.

Snowshoes are provided free of charge, or visitors can bring their own. No previous snowshoeing experience needed. Participants should bring warm clothing, thick socks and water-resistant footwear. The hike is appropriate for ages 8 and older.

Advance reservations are recommended, as space on each tour is limited. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 594-3100. Group tours on weekdays or weekends also can be arranged by calling 594-3093. There is no cost to enter the park in winter.

Sierra Club Outings

March 8: Moderate 7-mile snowshoe to Hobart Bluff. Call Cathy Edwards at 210-0204.

March 15: Moderate 7-mile hike to Oredson-Todd Woods in Ashland. Call Carol Walker at 488-8517, or Carol Ingelson at 245-6380.

March 22: Difficult 12-mile hike on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail. Call Peter Grant at 951-9139.

March 28-29: Overnight Outing to Crater Lake National Park. Ski/snowshoe trip will start at the park headquarters and travel on the East Rim Road about 3 miles to Vidae Falls, where the group will camp for the night. The elevation gain to Vidae Falls is about 350 feet. The next day hikers will go to Sun Notch for a view of the lake. It is 1.5 miles to Sun Notch from Vidae Falls with about 300 feet of elevation gain. The group will then head back to camp, pack up, and return to the trailhead. Those who want to stay another night can sign out and stay at Vidae Falls. The entire trip will cover about 9 miles of moderate difficulty. There is no shelter, so campers will stay in tents. Tent teams will be responsible for their own water for drinking and meals. This will require a liquid fuel stove (canister stoves will NOT suffice). If you need a winter shelter, a liquid fuel stove or a tent partner, contact hike leader Darrin Banner. The park limits the backcountry group size to eight people. If you are interested, contact Banner at 531-7623 or email him at darin@banneradvisors.com. For details and a map of the trip, go to http://oregon.sierraclub.org/groups/Rogue/outings.

Southern Oregon Nordic Club

Saturday: 3rd Annual Weiner Roast at Brown Mt. Shelter. Ski or snowshoe. Contact Kellie Barry at 821-7147.

March 8-9: Club members will travel to Mount Bachelor for a weekend of skiing on beautifully groomed track; both classic and skate. With more than 56 km of track that is groomed daily, Mount Bachelor Nordic is one of the finest cross-country venues on the West Coast. For backcountry skiers, there is every kind of terrain. For those who still need the thrill of a downhill run, the mountain is just across the parking lot. The Nordic Center, located at the trailhead, has a rental operation, ski shop, ski school, a place to buy soup, sandwiches and beverages, a place to eat lunch inside when it is snowing and an outside deck for sunny days. For information, call Dave Baker at 772-1133 or 944-6145.

March 17: Hot-waxing workshop. Call John Fertig at 734-5557 for details.

March 22: Intermediate, 6- to 8-mile ski tour. Contact Kellie Barry at 821-7147.

Mountain bike rides

Every Wednesday, John's Peak, Jacksonville. Sponsored by Cycle Analysis, these rides are for all ages and abilities and are group oriented. They begin at 6:30 pm from Cycle Analysis in Jacksonville and include the John's Peak trail system. Every ride ends with free refreshments supplied by Cycle Analysis. Helmets are required and lights are recommended until the days get longer. Contact Jana Jenson at 541-899-9190, or e-mail cyclea@internetcds.com. More information is available at Southern Oregon Mountain Bike Association's Web site: www.somba.org.

Every Thursday, Cycle Sport's crew meets at the Plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Wide ability of riders welcome, but be able to climb for a few miles to get to the trails. The group will wait at intersections and there are often many outs for people that are time-pressed or gravity challenged. Singletrack descents are of intermediate ability. Contact Thom Kneeland at 541-476-4935, or e-mail unoveloce@hotmail.com.

Every Sunday, SOMBA Show 'N Go Rides, Ashland. Meet at the Lithia Park band shell parking lot at 8:15 a.m. Ride route and intensity are determined by who shows and goes. Contact Lisa with questions at 541-201-0933, or e-mail bach@mind.net.

May 3-4: Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Festival

Oregon's largest mountain bike event is ready to thrill and challenge racers of all ability levels. Come to Ashland for an exhilarating two days of racing and fun in the spring weather of Southern Oregon. The Spring Thaw has something for everyone. It is a great first race or a way to challenge yourself early in the season. For more information, visit the Spring Thaw Web site (springthaw@somba.org), or contact Amy Warner at 541-601-9663.

Siskiyou Velo Club rides

Every Saturday, Siskiyou Velo Club organizes two rides: A mellow 20-miler begins at 10 a.m. Starting locations and routes vary. Ride leader is Phil Gagnon (488-4289). The second ride, led by Alex Hayes (857-0253), covers 20+ miles at race pace. Starts at Medford Cycle Sport at 9 a.m.

Every Sunday: Training ride begins at 9 a.m. along the bike path behind Bad Ass Coffee Co. in Medford. Race pace, 20-plus miles. Ride leader is Glen Gann (779-6986).

Every Monday: A 25-mile ride begins at 11 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and journeys to Jacksonville. Gently rolling terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Wednesday: A 25- to 40-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. at the Roasting Co. in Ashland. Moderate terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Varied mileage and varied start times. Call ride leader Rick Berlet (488-0036).

Tonight: Slide show — "Hawks, Masters of the Sky"

The Northwest Nature Shop is sponsoring a slide show on Hawks at 7 p.m. at The Headwaters Building, 84 4th St., Ashland. In this program, we will examine the natural history of these fascinating creatures, including behavior, habitat and adaptations for survival. We'll also learn basic identification of some of our local hawks and discuss hawks' relationship with humans. Local hawk expert and Klamath Bird Observatory Board President Dick Ashford shares his knowledge and enthusiasm. We'll be well prepared (and motivated) to join a hawk field trip that he will be leading to the Klamath Basin in March. The event is free. Call the Northwest Nature Shop at 482-3241 for information.

Saturday: Klamath Bird Observatory and the Northwest Nature Shop sponsor free bird walks on the first Saturday of every month. This month's walk is being combined with a new outdoor nature series for kids (see Events below). Call 482-3241 for information.Wild Birds Unlimited and the Klamath Bird Observatory lead free bird walks the second Saturday of each month. The walks are jointly led by an experienced birder from the observatory and Katy Reed, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited.

March 8: Birdwalk to Denman Wildlife Refuge and TouVelle Park. Enjoy a Great Blue Heron rookery and birds of the Rogue River riparian habitat. Meet at 8 a.m. at Wild Birds Unlimited. Leader: Frank Lospalluto, KBO contract biologist. To register, call 770-1104.

April 12: Birdwalk to Roxy Ann Butte. Explore the chaparral along the road and trail leading up Roxy Ann Butte. Spot migratory songbirds returning to the Rogue Valley. Meet at 8 a.m. at Wild Birds Unlimited. Leader: KBO Staff. To register, call 770-1104.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

March 8: Trip to Klamath Basin, including Miller Island, agricultural lands to the southeast, and Lower Klamath Lake Refuge. Focus is on raptors and waterfowl. Depart from Ashland Shop 'N Kart dirt parking area at 8 a.m. Arrive early enough to arrange carpooling. Those coming from Medford should meet at the ODOT rest area just north of Cross Road and Highway 97. Ashland group will reach rest area by 9:45 a.m. Bring lunch, snacks and liquids; dress for cold weather. No dogs. More details are available at www.roguevalleyaudubon.org.

March 23: Half-day walk along the Ashland section of the Bear Creek Greenway. Meet at the Ashland Dog Park, north end of Helman Street, at 8 a.m. Expect songbirds, woodpeckers, waterfowl and raptors. Walk leader is Henry Fuller. For details, visit www.roguevalleyaudubon.org.

April 3 and 5: Rogue Valley Audubon will offer seven hours of instruction at a special workshop to improve field identification skills. A classroom session is scheduled for Thursday evening, April 3, followed by a field trip Saturday morning, April 5. For more information, contact Lynda Stevenson at 858-7048 or visit www.roguevallyaudubon.org.

Project FeederWatch

Saturday: Help count birds that visit the feeders at North Mountain Park while learning to identify a variety of species with the help of experienced Audubon volunteers. This is a great opportunity for all-level birders to get acquainted with local birds and mingle with other birders. The information collected will be submitted to Cornell University's FeederWatch project, a nationwide bird monitoring effort. Ages: 10 and up.

Program dates: Saturday and March 15. Times: 9-10 a.m. Location: North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. For more information, call 488-6606.

Saturday: The Northwest Nature Shop is sponsoring a Guided Winter Ecology Snowshoe. Join botanist Kristi Mergenthaler on a snowshoe excursion to lower Pilot Rock. Discover the magnificence of forests in the winter. Learn the changes plants and animals make to adapt to the winter conditions. Kristi will identify trees, shrubs, animals and birds. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland. Children and adults are invited. $10 per person. Bring snowshoes, dress for the weather and bring water. Due to limited class size, call the Northwest Nature Shop, 541-482-3241, to sign up.

April 12: Field trip to a burned forest. KS Wild will lead a field trip into the Klamath National Forest to view the areas burned in last year's forest fires near Happy Camp. For information, call 488-5789, e-mail gs@kswild.org, or visit www.kswild.org.

Nature Series for Kids

The Northwest Nature Shop has started a monthly series of nature classes for young children and their parents to explore nature together. This fun-filled, interactive experience encourages future naturalists to learn about nature through games, stories, songs and outdoor activities. Space is limited. Sign up in advance at the Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland, or call 541-482-3241.

Saturday: Early Bird Gets the Worm; for ages 5-12. Join us for a fun-filled morning of birding with the Klamath Bird Observatory. Learn how to use binoculars and field guides to spot local feathered friends. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. Event is 10 a.m. to noon. Free.

April 26: Flower Finders, 10 a.m. to noon; for ages 4 and up. Explore Lithia Park with an eye for plants during this spring walk. We will have a botanical treasure hunt and learn more about what plants and flowers are doing and why they are important and beautiful. Everyone will plant a native seed in an egg-shell planter to put in your yard. Bring snacks and water and dress for the weather. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. $5 per child/adult pair.

May 3: Plants and Tots, 10 a.m. to noon; for 2 and 3 year olds. Stroll through Lithia park and explore the plant world from a toddler's perspective. There will be lots of searching, touching, silliness, stories and songs to encourage a sense of wonder about the blossoming spring in your little budding nature lover. A stroller or baby carrier would be a good idea to get into the park a bit. Bring snacks and water and dress for the weather. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. $5 per child/adult pair.

New Rowers Clinic

The 2008 Ashland Rowing Club's New Rowers Clinic runs three consecutive evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 22-24 in the boat house at Emigrant Lake. This is followed by three "on-the-water" rowing experiences from 10 a.m. to noon on April 26-27 and May 3. The curriculum focuses primarily on basic boat-handling skills and rowing technique. The cost for the entire clinic is $80. People ages 19-99 with no previous rowing experience are invited to attend. For more information or to pre-register for the clinic, contact Marybeth at 541-488-2360 or visit www.ashlandrowingclub.org.