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Prescott Park and Roxy Ann Peak

If you don't mind the possibility of meeting a cougar, rubbing against poison oak, side-stepping rattlesnakes and brushing off ticks, a hike through Prescott Park in east Medford is a great way to spend a few hours any time of year.

The city acquired 1,740 acres atop Roxy Ann Peak in 1933, and named the park in honor of George J. Prescott, a police officer who died in the line of duty. A series of trails — Madrone, Manzanita, Oak, Ponderosa, North Overlook and Little Roxy Ann — weave their way up and around the 3,576-foot tall extinct volcano.

To reach the park, go east on Hillcrest Road past Cherry Lane and look for a small, green sign where Roxy Ann Road veers left off Hillcrest. The gravel road passes one gate that is locked around sunset and a second gate, a mile from Hillcrest, where vehicles can park.

While the aforementioned threats are well documented by official city signage, don't let that stop you from taking a stroll, run or bike ride on the park's trails and roads. The park offers some of the best views you can get of Medford, and is a relaxing spot for a summertime picnic.

Prescott Park on Roxy Ann Peak is a popular destination for local runners, walkers and bike riders. Mail Tribune file photo