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Town celebrates the 10-year-old homage to forestland trails with barbecue, kids' activities and more

Gold Hill hosts National Trails Day

People looking for ways to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday ' or just enjoy the great outdoors ' can choose between an old-fashioned get-together at Gold Hill or a trails cleanup and potluck lunch.

The Forest Service created the day in 1993 to increase awareness and appreciation of national forestland trails.

Here are the details of both local events:

The Gold Hill get-together, the only official National Trails Day event in the Rogue Valley this year, will take place from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. at the Gold Hill Sports Park off Highway 234.

— Sponsored by the city Parks and Recreation Committee in partnership with the National Park Service, the event is a twist on the town's Gold Rush Days events.

Those activities begin at 10 a.m. and include a free barbecue from 11 a.m. to — p.m., music by Sequoia from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a car and motorcycle show at the city post office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,an art show by the Southern Oregon Society of Artists at the Del Rio Vineyards from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and bingo at the I.O.O.F. Hall from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

Booths will offer children's activities and displays of designs for the city's new library, recreational opportunities in the area and planned enhancements to the city's 67-acre River Park and bike path.

At noon, judging of the Raging River Rock Art Contest will take place. Anyone interested in participating should enter a painted rock, 10 inches or smaller and weighing less than nine pounds, by 10 a.m.

Also planned is breakfast at the Grange Hall from 6:30 to 10 a.m., an Audubon Society birding walk at the sports park at 8 a.m. and the Gold Dust Run in the downtown park at 8 a.m.

For questions about the event, call city hall, 855-1525, or Cheryl Joseph, 855-5324. For information about the rock painting contest, call Barbara Finnie, 855-5317.

Trail users and outdoor buffs who want to help spiff up trails can attend the trails day cleanup effort, put on by the Forest Service and the Prospect Ranger District, by meeting at the Claude Lewis Shelter and Trailhead at 8 a.m. Saturday.

From Medford, take Highway 62 toward Crater Lake. Eleven miles north of the Prospect Ranger Station, turn onto Highway 230 and drive 11 miles to the trailhead on the left. Trails will be cleaned and improved. The day will end with a — p.m. potluck lunch. For more information, call the Forest Service, 858-2300.

Also in conjunction with Trails Day and National Fishing and Boating Week, the Forest Service is allowing free entrance to all Northwest Forest Pass sites on Saturday.

For information on other recreational and Forest Service activities, log onto or call 1-800-270-7504.

Buffy Pollock is a free-lance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.