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Guided hikes on Lower Table Rock loop trail

The Nature Conservancy and Medford District Bureau of Land Management will offer free, guided educational hikes during April and May weekends on the Lower Loop Trail at Lower Table Rock, according to a press release from the agencies.

Hike topics will include local wildflowers, bees, birds and plein air painting, and the hikes will be led by specialists from around the region, the release said.

Hikers will meet at the Lower Table Rock trailhead for the half-mile hike around the Lower Loop Trail. Participants should bring water and snacks, if desired. Hikes may last one and a half to two hours. Restrooms are available only at the trailhead; there is no drinking water. Due to limited parking at the trailhead, carpooling is encouraged. Dogs are not allowed on the trail.

All hikes are free, but reservations are required. The hikes are limited to 15 participants. Information about the hikes and online reservations are available at https://table-rocks-hikes-2022.eventbrite.com. For more information, call BLM at 541-618-2200, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Hikes include:

Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m.: What’s Bloomin’ and Buzzin’? The Lower Loop Trail produces an array of flowers that host dozens of different bee species. During this family-friendly hike, you will meander through fields of flowers getting an up-close view of these bees and learn about conservation concerns and projects with local bee expert Sarah Red-Laird, and botanist Chamise Kramer.

Saturday, April 23, 8 a.m.: Birdspotting on the Loop Trail: Join other early birds to listen for and observe the birds of the Table Rocks with Bob Quaccia of the Rogue Valley Audubon Society and Frank Lospalluto from the Klamath Bird Observatory. Learn ID tips and conservation information while viewing spring birds. Bring binoculars and ID books if you desire.

Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m.: Plein Air Paintout @ the Rocks: Join Darlene Southworth, botanist and artist, for an outdoor painting session along the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail. Bring your sketchpads, painting materials (any medium) and easel and chair, if you desire.

Sunday, May 15, 9 a.m.: Walk on the Wild(flower) Side: Join BLM botanist Thomas Hender and discover the colorful wildflowers that bring the Table Rocks to life each spring. Learn to identify and enjoy the area’s beautiful native flora along the Lower Loop Trail.

Sunday, May 22, 9:30 a.m.: Bug Out at the Lower Loop: Hike with Bill Schaupp, entomologist emeritus with the U.S. Forest Service, to observe and discuss the insects that live on or flutter by the Table Rocks. On this hike, you will gain a deeper appreciation for how insects live and their essential role in the environment.