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Pearce Riffle Park Nature Trail

The young ones are getting antsy and even though spring is just around the corner, outdoor activities for families with children are still in short supply.

A safari over a wetlands nature trail near the Rogue River could give your kids a sense of adventure and might just save your sanity.

Three miles east of Grants Pass, the Pearce Riffle Park Nature Trail is a 1.25-mile, easy-walk loop that brings an up-close look at the diversity of Southern Oregon's natural environment.

Critters abound in the air and on the ground. There's a lot to learn about jackrabbits, river otter, porcupines and blacktail deer.

In the sandy-bottom ponds, tadpoles become frogs while bluegills snap at water striders and flies.

The tree trunks are grooved by beaver teeth marks and riddled with hundreds of woodpecker holes. In the branches, springtime nests are being carefully pieced together.

The ground is still wet and high-top shoes or boots are probably a good idea. Wear warm clothes and don't forget a jacket.

A guided tour booklet is available at most Oregon Visitor Centers, or you may contact the Josephine County Department of Parks on their Web site, www.co.josephine.or.us, or phone 541-474-5285.

Pearce Riffle Park Nature Trail