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Get Out: March 20, 2008

Crater Lake Snowshoe Hikes

Every weekend: Rangers at Crater Lake National Park guide free, 1-mile snowshoe walks through forests and meadows and along the crater's rim. Participants on the 90-minute walk hear how plants, animals and the lake are affected by winter weather. Begins at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through April. Walks cover moderately strenuous terrain at an elevation of about 7,100 feet.

Snowshoes are provided free of charge, or visitors can bring their own. No previous snowshoeing experience needed. Participants should bring warm clothing, thick socks and water-resistant footwear. The hike is appropriate for ages 8 and older.

Advance reservations are recommended, as space on each tour is limited. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 594-3100. Group tours on weekdays or weekends also can be arranged by calling 594-3093. There is no cost to enter the park in winter.

Sierra Club Outings

Saturday: Difficult 12-mile hike on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail. Call Peter Grant for info, 951-9139.

March 28-29: Overnight Outing to Crater Lake National Park. Ski/snowshoe trip will start at the park headquarters and travel on the East Rim Road about 3 miles to Vidae Falls where the group will camp for the night. The elevation gain to Vidae Falls is about 350 feet. The next day hikers will go to Sun Notch for a view of the lake. It is 1.5 miles to Sun Notch from Vidae Falls with about 300 feet of elevation gain. The group will then head back to camp, pack up, and return to the trailhead. Those who want to stay another night can sign out and stay at Vidae Falls. The entire trip will cover about 9 miles of moderate difficulty. There is no shelter, so campers will stay in tents. Tent teams will be responsible for their own water for drinking and meals. This will require a liquid fuel stove (canister stoves will NOT suffice). If you need a winter shelter, a liquid fuel stove, or a tent partner, please contact hike leader Darrin Banner. The park limits the backcountry group size to eight people. If you are interested, contact Banner at 531-7623 or email him at darin@banneradvisors.com. For details and a map of the trip, go to http://oregon.sierraclub.org/groups/Rogue/outings.

Siskiyou Project Outings

Saturday: Hike to Snailback Falls in the Illinois River Canyon. Greg Walters leads the hike to this seldom seen wonder of the Illinois River canyon. Moderate 3-mile hike, elevation gain 900 feet; suitable for teenagers and adults. Meet at Ray's Food Place in Selma. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 541-476-6648 for information.

Sunday: Hike the Rogue River Trail. Oregon Caves naturalist John Roth leads this easy, 7-mile, all-day hike, suitable for ages 12 and up. Bring lunch and water. Meet at The Coffee Pot, 109 Galice Rd., Merlin. 9:30 a.m. Contact Rich, Siskiyou Project, 541-476-6648.

April 5: Mikes Gulch. Carpets of wildflowers in full bloom will bring spring fever to all. Parents are encouraged to bring children 10 years and older. Instructional flower identification brochures prepared by ecologist Rich Nawa will be given to all children attending. This easy 2-mile hike is on flat ground. Meet at 1 p.m. at the west end of Rays Food Store parking lot in Selma. Call Rich at 541-476-6648.

April 12: Allen Gulch. Join biologist Bill Gray for a hike through Takilma's Allen Gulch. Enjoy big trees, lots of spring flowers, warblers, vireos, and other migrant birds. This is a moderate-level hike through the proposed East Fork Illinois BLM logging project. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Siskiyou Project lower parking lot, and bring lunch, water and binoculars if you have them. From Cave Junction, go south on Hwy 199, turn left (east) onto Rockydale Rd. and follow 7 miles to a T, then turn left (east) onto Waldo road. Go east on Waldo for 1.5 miles to a stop sign and turn right (south) onto Takilma Rd. Go south about a mile and look for the Takilma Community board and Siskiyou Project sign on your left. Turn left to cross the creek and go right into the parking lot. Call Rich at 541-476-6648.

April 26: Illinois River Trail. Hike with Siskiyou Project ecologist Rich Nawa along the Illinois River Canyon trail from Briggs Creek to York Creek Botanical Area. This popular annual hike features Kalmiopsis leacheana discovered by botanist Lilla Leach in 1930. This beautiful Rhododendron-like flower is found almost exclusively in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Numerous other wild flowers and plants will test your identification skills. This is an all-day, 6-mile (total) moderate hike on mostly level ground. Meet 10 a.m. on the highway side of Ray's Food Store parking lot in Selma and bring a lunch. Call Rich at 476-6648.

April 27: Rough & Ready Botanical Area. Join Kathy Lombardo for a walk through an amazing natural flower garden. This educational hike is especially suited for kids 8 and older and those new to wildflowers. A color brochure featuring local flowers, trees and shrubs will make identification easy and fun. This hike is less than a mile on level ground. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Rough and Ready Wayside on the right side of Hwy 199 about 4 miles south of Cave Junction and before crossing the Rough &Ready Creek Bridge.

Southern Oregon Nordic Club

Saturday: Intermediate, 6- to 8-mile ski tour. Contact Kellie at 821-7147.

March 29: Beginners welcome. Easy-intermediate 5-mile ski tour at Hyatt Lake. Lunch at the Mountain Resort. This is a social event. Call Bobbie at 488-5003.

March 30: Novice ski tour, 4 miles to Grouse Gap Shelter. Call Will at 482-2418.

April 5: Formal ski/dress up at Grouse Gap Shelter on Mount Ashland. This is a shared event with the Grants Pass club. Bring a finger food to share. Distance is 5 miles. Call Stefanie at 776-3987.

Every Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m., a group run leaves the Rogue Valley Runners store, 161 E Main St. in downtown Ashland. All ability levels are encouraged to show. Group runs an easy/social 6 to 7 miles on trails and roads in and around Lithia Park. Call 201-0014 with questions.Lithia Park Nature Walks

Blue Heron Run

March 29: 7-mile race begins from Blue Heron Park in Phoenix at 8:30 a.m., with a 2-miler beginning at 9 a.m. Out-and-back course on bike trail. Pre-registration through March 22 for $9; $12 day of race. For info and registration form go to www.southernoregonsizzlersrunningclub.org.

Pear Blossom Run

April 12: Registration is underway for the Rogue Valley's top running event, featuring 10-mile and 5k races. Attend the pasta feed Friday, then after the race watch the parade, go to the barbecue, or mingle among the many exhibitors at the street fair. Register online at www.pearblossomrun.com. To order an official printed form: Mail a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Pear Blossom Run, P.O. Box 146, Medford, OR 97501.

Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k & 30k Trail Run

April 13: Low-key event on and around the Peterson Ridge hiking and mountain biking trail near Sisters. Fundraiser for the Sisters High School Cross Country team. Dogs are allowed in the 30k race (no dogs in the 60k). Both races will start and finish at the Sisters Middle School. The 60k run starts at 8 a.m., the 30k starts at 9 a.m. Go to www.fleetfeetbend.com/rumble for information.

Starting May 2, running to Sept. 28; 10-11:30 a.m.: Every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, rain or shine, trained volunteer naturalists from Ashland Parks and Recreation will lead an easy 1.5-hour nature walk through Lithia Park. Topics will include trees, flowers, birds, climate, water, geology and the history of the park. Meet at the entrance to Lithia Park, across from the Plaza in Ashland. Free. For information, call 488-5340.

Bridge the Gap Run/Walk

May 3, 8:30 a.m.: Hosted by Southern Oregon Runners, the 4th Annual Bridge the Gap Run to benefit Mobility Unlimited will be held at Railroad Park in Medford. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The run path features rolling paved trails and bridges. Four competitive heats feature both a men's and a women's 5K run, and a men's and women's 10K run. A 5K walk also will be offered with ribbons presented for all age categories. Lots of nice prizes will be available to all those who sign up and stay for the drawings immediately after the race. Forms are available at any PremierWest Bank; call 618-9468 for a form, or sign up online at www.bridgethegaprun.com

For more about nonprofit Mobility Unlimited, call Glory Cooper at 618-9468 or check out the Web site at www.mobilityunlimited.org.

The Avenue of the Giants Marathon

May 4, 9 a.m.: Marathon, half-marathon and 10k sponsored by the Six Rivers Running Club. One of the most beautiful marathon courses in America, mostly flat to gently rolling, much of it beneath a redwood canopy. Start and finish at Dyerville Bridge. The marathon is a double out and back, while the half marathon is a single out and back. For information go to www.6rrc.com.

Eugene Marathon

May 4, 7 a.m.: The first Eugene Marathon was held last year, with more than 4,200 people finishing, spurring Runners World to name it one of the top new races in the country. The course is flat, fast and rural with lots of entertainment and events planned. Go to www.eugenemarathon.com for information.

Mountain bike rides

Every Wednesday, John's Peak, Jacksonville. Sponsored by Cycle Analysis, these rides are for all ages and abilities and are group oriented. They begin at 6:30 pm from Cycle Analysis in Jacksonville and include the John's Peak trail system. Every ride ends with free refreshments supplied by Cycle Analysis. Helmets are required and lights are recommended until the days get longer. Contact: Jana Jenson, 541-899-9190, cyclea@internetcds.com. More information at Southern Oregon Mountain Bike Association Web site, www.somba.org.

Every Thursday, Cycle Sport's crew meets at the Plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Wide abilities of riders welcome, but be able to climb for a few miles to get to the trails. The group will wait at intersections and there are often many outs for people that are time pressed or gravity challenged. Singletrack descents are of intermediate ability. Contact: Thom Kneeland, 541-476-4935, unoveloce@hotmail.com.

Every Sunday, SOMBA Show 'N Go Rides, Ashland. Meet at the Lithia Park band shell parking lot at 8:15 a.m. Ride route and intensity are determined by who shows and goes. Contact Lisa with questions, 541-201-0933, bach@mind.net.

May 3-4: Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Festival

Oregon's largest mountain bike event is ready to thrill and challenge racers of all ability levels. Come to Ashland for an exhilarating two days of racing and fun in the spring weather of Southern Oregon. The Spring Thaw has something for everyone. It is a great first race or a way to challenge yourself early in the season. For more information visit the Spring Thaw Web site (springthaw@somba.org), or contact Amy Warner, 541-601-9663.

Siskiyou Velo Club rides

Every Saturday, Siskiyou Velo Club organizes two rides: A mellow 20-miler begins at 10 a.m. Starting locations and routes vary. Ride leader Phil Gagnon: 488-4289. The second ride, led by Alex Hayes, 857-0253, covers 20+ miles at race pace. Starts at Medford Cycle Sport at 9 a.m.

Every Sunday: Training ride begins at 9 a.m. along the bike path behind Bad Ass Coffee Co. in Medford. Race pace, 20-plus miles. Ride leader Glen Gann, 779-6986.

Every Monday: A 25-mile ride begins at 11 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and journeys to Jacksonville. Gently rolling terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Wednesday: A 25- to 40-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. at the Roasting Co. in Ashland. Moderate terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Varied mileage and varied start times. Ride leader Rick Berlet, 488-0036.

Saturday: 10 a.m., 45-mile ride from Colver Park to Woodrat/Ruch. Ride leader Mike Smith, 855-1531

Sunday: Noon ride from W. Main BiMart, Medford. Pace and miles to be determined. Ride leader Dan Wooton, 779-9248.

March 29:10 a.m., 40-mile ride from Hawthorne Park to Eagle Point and back, pace to be determined. Ride leader Dan Wooton, 779-9248.

March 30: Noon ride from W. Main BiMart, miles and pace to be determined. Ride leader Dan Wooton, 779-9248.

The Klamath Bird Observatory and the Northwest Nature Shop are sponsoring free bird walks around the Rogue Valley on the first Saturday of every month. The walks are led by an experienced birder from the Klamath Bird Observatory. Call 482-3241 for information.Wild Birds Unlimited and the Klamath Bird Observatory lead free bird walks the second Saturday of each month. The walks are jointly led by an experienced birder from the Klamath Bird Observatory and Katy Reed, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited.

April 12: Birdwalk to Roxy Ann Butte. Explore the chaparral along the road and trail leading up Roxy Ann Butte. Spot migratory songbirds returning to the Rogue Valley. Meet at 8 a.m. at Wild Birds Unlimited. Leader: KBO Staff. To register, call 770-1104.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

Sunday: Annual half-day excursion to local feeders. Timing is perfect to catch newly arrived spring migrants and winter birds that won't leave the area until late April. Meet at Medford Food 4 Less, south side parking lot, at 8:30 a.m. The group will visit three locations, arriving at the first feeder at about 9 a.m. and the last around noon. After visiting the feeders, the group will be able to bird around Domiciliary and Whetstone ponds until early afternoon. Leader is Joe Shelton, 772-4490.

April 2: Central Point Greenway walk. Meet in the gravel lot opposite the Pilot Station on Pine Street just east of the Central Point I-5 exit at 8:30 a.m. Call Denny Niebuhr at 482-6596 for more information.

April 3 and 5: Rogue Valley Audubon has recruited four bird experts to lead a workshop designed to help local birders improve their field identification skills. Bob Black and Harry Fuller will lead a workshop for novice birders. Ron Ketchum and Vince Zauskey will lead a workshop for intermediate birders. Both workshops will be held Thursday evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2000 Oakwood Dr., Medford. Field trips on Saturday morning will allow attendees to try out their new knowledge. Cost for the seven-hour program is $50. Bring binoculars if possible. A small number will be available for beginners. More information and enrollment forms available at www.roguevallyaudubon.org or leave a message at 734-2473.

April 19: Group will attempt to locate an elusive California Thrasher, among other birds, on this outing along California's Hwy. 96. The first stop is at the Collier I-5 rest area. Meet at the Ashland Shop 'N Kart, off Hwy. 66, next to the dirt lot, no later than 7 a.m. for carpooling, as side roads have limited parking. Short hikes along gravel roads are possible. Bring food and drink. Pre-trip reading tip: Bob Claypole's "Klamath River Bird Finder," Tour 3 (pages 75-82). No dogs. Contact Dennis Vroman for information, 479-4619 or dpvroman@budget.net.

2008 Migratory Bird Day

May 10, 2008, 8 a.m.-Noon: Ashland Parks and Recreation Department, Rogue Valley Audubon Society and the Klamath Bird Observatory will celebrate Migratory Bird Day. This year's theme is "Tropics to Tunda." The event will offer a variety of outdoor learning activities for birders of all ages. Hourly guided walks will visit the mist netting and bird banding station. "Bird-friendly" shade-grown coffee will be served. Wildlife Images will be bringing some wild birds of prey.

North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Free. Call 488-6606 for information.

Salmon/Steelhead Fishing Clinic

Friday: 5-6:30 p.m. Join guide Jon Geyer and learn all about spring chinook fishing and late winter steelhead fishing. There will be holding a drawing for a free steelhead trip for one down the Rogue River at the end of the clinic. No Cost. Joe's Sports, Outdoor & More, 2370 Poplar Dr., Medford. Call 772-9779 for information.

Spring Break Trout Derby

Saturday: The International Trouters Society is sponsoring a free trout fishing derby at Lost Creek Lake. Meet at Takelma Park across from the boat ramp by the dam. Prizes awarded for the five longest trout. "Little angler" prizes also awarded. Sign in from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Start fishing at 9 a.m. Stop fishing at 4 p.m. Awards given at 4:15 at the registration tent. Call Dave for information at 245-0568.

April 12: Field trip to a burned forest. KS Wild will lead a field trip into the Klamath National Forest to view the areas burned in last year's forest fires near Happy Camp. For info, call 488-5789, e-mail gs@kswild.org, or visit www.kswild.org.

Free Ski Day on Mt. Ashland

March 30: Skiers and snowboarders can get a free lift ticket at Mount Ashland in exchange for five cans of food. Ski and Ride Against Hunger Day will help ACCESS Inc. collect nonperishable food for the ACCESS food bank.

Nature Series for Kids

The Northwest Nature Shop has started a monthly series of nature classes for young children and their parents to explore nature together. This fun-filled, interactive experience encourages future naturalists to learn about nature through games, stories, songs and outdoor activities. Space is limited. Sign up in advance at the Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland, or call 541-482-3241.

April 26: Flower Finders, 10 a.m. to Noon; for ages 4 and up. Explore Lithia Park with an eye for plants during this spring walk. We will have a botanical treasure hunt and learn more about what plants and flowers are doing and why they are important and beautiful. Everyone will plant a native seed in an egg shell planter to put in your yard. Bring snacks and water and dress for the weather. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. $5 per child/adult pair.

May 3: Plants and Tots, 10 a.m. to Noon; for 2 and 3 year olds. Stroll through Lithia park and explore the plant world from a toddler's perspective. There will be lots of searching, touching, silliness, stories and songs to encourage a sense of wonder about the blossoming spring in your little budding nature lover. A stroller or baby carrier would be a good idea to get us over and up into the park a bit. Bring snacks and water and dress for the weather. Meet at the Northwest Nature Shop. $5 per child/adult pair.

New Rowers Clinic

The 2008 Ashland Rowing Club's New Rowers Clinic runs three consecutive evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 22-24 in the boat house at Emigrant Lake. This is followed by three "on-the-water" rowing experiences from 10 a.m. to noon on April 26-27 and May 3. The curriculum focuses primarily on basic boat-handling skills and rowing technique. The cost for the entire clinic is $80. People ages 19-99 with no previous rowing experience are invited to attend. For more information or to pre-register for the clinic, contact Marybeth at 541-488-2360 or visit www.ashlandrowingclub.org.

Ashland Community Bike Swap

May 10, Noon-4 p.m.: Activities include a bicycle rodeo, raffle, Bike-It freestyle tricks and bicycle races. If you are interested in buying a bicycle, the swap is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10. If you are interested in selling your bicycle and it is in working condition, bring it to The Grove on Friday, May 9, between 6 and 8 p.m., or Saturday, May 10, between 7 and 10 a.m. Location is The Grove parking lot, 1195 E. Main St., Ashland. Admission is $1 per person or $3 per family and includes one raffle ticket per person. Call 488-5340 for information.