Get Out: Friday, May 20
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Saturday-Sunday, May 21-22: The annual Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Festival in Ashland includes cross-country events Saturday and the popular downhill races Sunday. For the full schedule and details, see http://ashlandspringthaw.com or find the festival's page on Facebook.
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy hikes
These free hikes may fill quickly, but SOLC encourages people to get on the waiting list, because cancellations are common. A reminder will be emailed one week prior to the hike. To register, go to landconserve.org. For more information, call 541-482-3069.
Saturday May 21: Explore The Rogue River Preserve, 352 acres of wildlife habitat with 2 miles of river frontage, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The property features a historic home built in 1922, diverse habitats and many bird species. There is no charge for the tours, which will be led by staff botanists, wildlife biologists and ecologists. No pets. Bring a camera and a pair of binoculars for bird watching. Long pants and walking shoes advised. To register, see landconserve.org/engage/hikes or call 541-482-3069 for more information.
Thursday, June 9: Siskiyou Summit flowers, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. View the wildflowers along the Pacific Crest Trail with botanist Kristi Mergenthaler at Sky King Cole, a conserved private property near Pilot Rock. The rare Greene’s mariposa lily may be in bloom.
Saturday, June 11: Cathedral Hills, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Forest ecologist Tom Atzet will lead an exploration of Cathedral Hills, a BLM natural area with public trails outside of Grants Pass.
Saturday, June 18: Dragonflies at Rogue River Preserve, noon to 4 p.m. Help us add to our dragonfly list while learning about dragonfly biology on a property on the Rogue. This outing will be led by naturalists Norm Barrett, Jim Livaudais and Gary Schaffer, who are also talented birders and photographers.
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council hikes
Sunday, May 22: Kristi Merganthaler of the Native Plant Society’s Siskiyou Chapter will lead a shuttled, top-to-bottom hike down the Sampson Creek Preserve’s Boone Ridge from 4,350 feet to 2,350 feet just above Sampson Creek’s entry into upper Emigrant Lake. About four mostly downhill miles on an old jeep track. This moderate hike is a route not otherwise open to the public. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, learn the 8:30 a.m. meeting point in Ashland, and get more info.
Saturday, May 28: National Park Service research ecologist Dennis Odion will lead a shuttled, top-to-bottom hike from the Pacific Crest Trail down Greensprings Mountain’s west ridge toward Buck Point into the Sampson Creek Preserve. This moderate, two-mile hike is mostly downhill (some steep) and cross-country. Finish at Soda Creek on Highway 66. Email email@example.com to sign up, learn 9 a.m. meeting point in Ashland, and get more info.
Sunday, June 12: Southern Oregon University biologist Michael Parker will lead a scramble up Vulture Rock, elevation 6,054 feet, above the Pacific Crest Trail near Griffin Pass and Big Springs for views of Johnson Prairie, Surveyor Mountain, the upper Jenny Creek watershed, big volcanoes north and south — and a lot more. This two-to-three mile, moderate, round-trip circle route includes some off-trail hiking, rock hopping and a very few easy hands-and-feet climbing moves at the top. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, learn 8:30 a.m. meeting point in Ashland, and get more info.
Rogue Valley Walkers
Saturday, May 28: 10K on the Rogue River pathway. A 5K option is available. Meet at 7:45 a.m. in the parking lot of the Gold Hill post office on Second Street. For information, call 541-582-2607 or see www.roguevallelywalkers.com.
SFI: Spring mushroom workshops
Sundays, May 29 and June 5: Siskiyou Field Institute will two spring mushroom workshops led by Mike Potts of Talent. “The three most common types we’ll find are morels, spring boletes and oyster mushrooms,” said Potts. For more information about the workshops, see www.thesfi.org or call 541-597-8530. Preregistration is required. Cost is $55 per class.
Fly casting at Hedrick Middle School
Through September: Otis Swisher and John MacDiarmid of the Rogue Fly Fishers will teach people how to cast with a fly rod Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m. at Hedrick Middle School, 1501 E. Jackson St., Medford. Both beginners and seasoned casters who want to practice are welcome. Free. No casting on rain days or holidays.
Lithia Park nature walks
Through September: Each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m., trained naturalists from Ashland Parks and Recreation will lead an easy 90-minute nature walk through Lithia Park, rain or shine. The free walks touch on trees, flowers, birds, climate, water, geology and history of the park. Meet at the park entrance across from the Plaza in Ashland. No reservations required.
Siskiyou Summit work party
Wednesday, June 8: Help protect the biodiversity of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument on the privately protected Sky King Cole property by removing yellow starthistle along Pilot Rock Road. A short wildflower hike will be offered during the work party. The group will be joined by members of a NCCC AmeriCorps crew. A carpool from the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy office at 84 Fourth St., Ashland, will leave at 9 a.m. Bring snacks, water and your favorite gloves. For more info, email Teresa at email@example.com or call 541-482-3069.
Jacksonville Forest Park guided hikes
Monday, June 20: Jacksonville Parks and Recreation offers free, guided hikes in Forest Park every third Monday through September. Meet at P1, the first parking lot one mile up Reservoir Road, which is a right turn off Highway 238 when heading from Jacksonville. When hikers arive at P1, they'll get directions to the specific parking area and trailhead. The first hike will start will a moderate uphill mile on Twin Peaks Trail to a shaded, then onto a rolling trail past an old mine site. The final downhill mile meanders along a mossy creek. The hike is about 4½ miles long, so plan to be on the trails at least 2½ hours. Bring water and a light snack. Email Kandee McClain at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Siskiyou Velo Club
Every Saturday: Velo Melo meets at various places and rides about 20 miles at 11 to 13 mph. No one will be dropped. Call Ginny Jensen at 541-488-1398.
Every Saturday: Siskiyou Velo Slo-Mo rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 7 to 10 mph over 12 to 18 miles on mostly flat terrain. Call Ken Kelley at 541-857-6819.
Every Saturday: Siskiyou Crank It Up rides begin at various morning hours from different locations; 20 to 30 miles. Pace 12 to 15 mph, varied terrain. No one will be dropped. Call Tom Ryan at 541-261-4757.
Every Saturday: Brisk rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Rides include extensive pace lining at high speeds. Pace: 18+ mph over 50 to 65 miles on mostly hilly terrain. Call Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.
Every Monday: Coffee rides begin at 10:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and go to Jacksonville. Pace: 14 to 18+ mph average over 25 miles with periodic pace lines on flat terrain. Call Bob MacCracken 425-512-3829.
Every Wednesday: Coffee rides begin at 11 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Company in Ashland. Pace: 14 to 18+ mph with periodic pace lines over 35 to 60 miles with some hills. Call John Bullock at 541-488-7962.