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Get Out: April 29, 2010


Guided spring hikes on the Upper and Lower Table Rocks, offered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy, are under way. The free hikes range from three to five miles round-trip along a moderate-grade trail, and last three to five hours.

Reservations are required. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch and water. No dogs are allowed on the trails. To reserve a space, call the BLM's Medford District office at 541-618-2200.

Saturday, 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock — Retired archaeologist and historian Jeff Lalande, discusses the role of the Table Rocks in the culture and legends of the Takelma Indians, as well as the history of the area during the conflicts of the 1850s.

Sunday, 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock — Certified nutritionist Michael Altman, a member of the American Herbalists Guild who teaches at Southern Oregon University and the College of the Siskiyous, talks about the role plants play to improve health and overcome disease. He also will identify a number of species found on Lower Table Rock and discuss their medicinal uses.

May 8, 8:30 a.m.: Lower Table Rock — Harry Fuller, a Klamath Bird Observatory volunteer and veteran birder, leads trip to view the spring birds. Participation limited to 15 individuals.

May 9, 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock — Spend Mother's Day with Molly Allen, a BLM environmental interpretation specialist, on a family hike focusing on wildflowers, ethnobotany, geology, wildlife, ecology and cultural history.

May 15, 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock — Entomologist Peter Schroeder, associate professor at SOU, checks out bugs on the mesa.

May 16, 10 a.m.: Upper Table Rock — Gwyn Myer, BLM environmental interpretation specialist, looks at relationship between people and plants through the years.

May 22, 10 a.m., Lower Table Rock — Illustrator William Reed steps out on a nature sketch trip. Participation limited to 14 individuals.

May 23, 10 a.m.: Lower Table Rock — Sean Anderson, BLM wildlife biological technician, and Heather Armstrong, a BLM environmental interpreter, lead a trip to explore the rich natural world on the picturesque rock.

May 15: Difficult, nine-mile hike to Stein Butte. Leader is Darin Banner: 541-531-7623.

May 22: Eight-mile, cross-country hike to Parsnip Lakes; moderate to difficult. Hike leader is Cathy Edwards: 541-210-0204.

May 29: Moderate, seven-mile hike at Howard Prairie. Hike leaders are Carol Walker, 541-488-8517, and Carol Ingelson, 541-245-6380.


Saturday: Field trip to Lower Table Rock. Sasha Joachims will lead a hike to observe the transition of habitats and resulting plant diversity. It is 1.74 miles to the top and moderately difficult. Plan four hours for the round-trip hike. Bring water, sturdy shoes and snacks or lunch. Water is not available along the trail or at the trailhead. From Interstate 5, take Exit 33. Head east one mile on East Pine Street and turn north at the signal onto Table Rock Road. Drive 10 miles to Wheeler Road and turn west. The trailhead is accessible off Wheeler Road. The trip is free and open to all. Contact Joachims at sasharain71@gmail.com or 541-661-3492.


May 15: Explore newly accessible sections of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, which stretches 27 miles through the Little Applegate Valley. Thanks to many hours of trail work by the Siskiyou Uplands Trail Association, long-overgrown sections of this trail are freshly open, and wildflowers should be near their peak. Meet at Evo's Cafe at 9 a.m. or Ruch Country Store at 9:50 a.m. to carpool to trailhead. Group will hike in light rain, but will cancel for more severe weather. Bring food, water, warm clothes, rain gear if needed and binoculars if you have them. Contact laurel@kswild.org or 541-488-5789 for more info.

June 19: Join KS Wild board member Joseph Flaherty and longtime supporter Greg Walter for a walk along the eastern edge of the Siskiyou Crest above the Illinois Valley and Oregon Caves to Bigelow Lake and Mount Elijah. This botanically rich area is freshly free of livestock grazing and the native wildflowers are already bounding back in spectacular profusion. This trail will gain expansive vistas toward the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and pass through stands of nearly pristine native forest. Meet at 9 a.m. at Coffee Heaven in Cave Junction, at the intersection of Highway 199 and the road to the Oregon Caves. Group will hike in light rain, but will cancel for more severe weather. Bring food, water, warm clothes, rain gear if needed and binoculars if you have them. Contact laurel@kswild.org or 541-488-5789 for more info.

July 17: This difficult hike to the top of Wagner Butte, the second-highest peak in the Siskiyou Range, offers extraordinary views of Ashland, the Rogue Valley, the Siskiyou Crest and southern Cascades. Group will hike through second- and old-growth forests, meadows, sagebrush, mountain mahogany and pass by a locally rare grove of Aspen along the summit. The hike is slightly over 10 miles, so arrive prepared for a solid day of hiking. Meet at 9 a.m. at Evo's Cafe in Ashland to carpool to the trailhead. Group will hike in light rain, but will cancel for more severe weather. Bring food, water, warm clothes, rain gear if needed and binoculars if you have them. Contact laurel@kswild.org or 541-488-5789 for more info.

Rogue Valley Walkers

Saturday, May 8: 10K “Vintage Faire” walk in Medford. Meet at the Medford Center parking lot on Jackson Street at 8 a.m. Call 541-326-7583.

May 22: 10K walk through Ashland's Railroad District, Lithia Park and the Southern Oregon University Campus. The starting point is at the Stratford Inn, 555 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, where maps are available. The 8 a.m. starting time is optional. This route is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers, and dogs are not allowed in Lithia Park. This is an American Volksport Association special event sanctioned walk.


Through September 29: Free, guided walks in Ashland's Lithia Park start again for the 22nd year on Sunday, May 2. Sponsored by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department, the walks take about 90 minutes. Walks leave at 10 a.m. every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from the Plaza entrance. Saturday walks are added in July and August.


May 8: 10-mile and 5K mountain trail runs in Prescott Park on Roxy Ann Peak start at 9 a.m. Entry fee is $15 with tech shirt, $8 without by May 1. Day of race entry $10. Parking is limited, so carpool if possible. For more information, contact race director Clayton Gillette at 541-535-7212; e-mail at gillette@connpoint.net or go to the Southern Oregon Runners Web site at www.sorunners.org.


May 22: The 13.1-mile race, sponsored by Rogue Valley Runners store, begins at 9 a.m. at North Mountain Park in Ashland. Participants can register at Rogue Valley Runners, 161 E. Main St., by Friday, May 21. Early entry fee is $30, with t-shirt, for those entered before May 21. Race-day entry fee is $35, with shirts limited to supplies on hand. Check out www.roguevalleyrunners.com for entry form and details.


July 10: The 12th annual trail run includes a 50K and 15K event. The race starts at the Mt. Ashland Lodge and proceeds west on a combination of trail and dirt roads. Registration is limited to 225 runners in each event. Go to www.siskiyououtback.com to register. Proceeds from the race benefit the Pacific Crest Trail Association.


The club has scheduled a series of free rides for bicyclists who want to experience riding with others. They all start at 10 a.m. and take place on various segments of the Bear Creek Greenway. You'll feel safe as you learn group-ride etiquette and techniques. The pace will be from 8 to 10 mph. Each ride will stop for a “cuppa” to have social time together. Helmets are required and participants must sign a waiver. For more information, e-mail Phil at star@mind.net or telephone Steve at 541-535-1435.

Saturday: Start at Lynn Newbry Park in Talent; ride to a Greenway exit at South Stage Road and stop at a café there. Ten miles total.

May 8: Start at Bear Creek Park in Medford; ride to Talent and stop at the Downtown Coffeehouse; 14 miles total.

May 15: Start at Blue Heron Park in Phoenix; ride to the Ashland Dog Park, where coffee and treats will be served. Fourteen miles total.


Every Saturday: A 20-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. at Cycle Sport in Medford. Ride leader is Alex Hayes: 541-857-0819.

Every Saturday: Mellow 20-mile ride (10-12 mph) begins at 10 a.m. Location and route varies. Contact Phil Gagnon for details at 541-488-4289.

Every Sunday: A 20-mile training ride begins at 1 p.m. along the bike path behind Bad Ass Coffee Co. in Medford. Race pace. No ride leader.

Every Monday: Siskiyou Velo Club 25-mile coffee ride begins at 10:30 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 Siskiyou Velo Club show-and-go ride begins at 11 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Co. in Ashland. Moderate terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.


Every Tuesday, women's rides, Grants Pass: From April through October, Bike Kraft hosts a weekly women's mountain bike ride that meets and leaves from its shop at 6 p.m. The rides last about two hours on average and accommodate many skill levels. Bike Kraft is at 785 Rogue River Hwy. Contact Richard Amneus: 541-476-4935 or bikekraft@yahoo.com.

Every Wednesday, Jacksonville: Sponsored by Cycle Analysis, these rides are for all ages and abilities and are group-oriented. They begin at 6:30 p.m. from Cycle Analysis, 535 N. Fifth St., Jacksonville, and include the John's Peak trail system. Every ride ends with free refreshments supplied by Cycle Analysis. Helmets are required. Contact Jana Jenson at 541-899-9190, or e-mail cyclea@internetcds.com.

Every Wednesday, Grants Pass: BikeKraft hosts a weekly ride that meets and leaves at 6 p.m. from its shop, 785 Rogue River Highway. The rides last about two hours and accommodate many skill levels. Contact Richard Amneus at 541-476-4935 or check out www.bikekraft.com.

Every Thursday, Ashland: Ride organized by the crew at Ashland Cycle Sport, 191 Oak St., Ashland. Meet at the plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Riders of all abilities are welcome, but be able to climb for a few miles to reach the trails. Helmets are required. Contact Thom Kneeland, 541-476-4935, for further information or check out the Web site at www.roguecycle.com.

Every Thursday, Grants Pass: Don's Bike Center has a ride that starts at its shop at 5:30 p.m. Rides last about two hours and are tailored to intermediate to advanced riders. Don's is at 211 SW G St. Contact Don or Shawn at 541-471-3494.

Every Saturday, Grants Pass: The folks from Don's Bike Center meet at the Cathedral Hills trailhead on Espy Road at 7:30 a.m. for two hours of riding. Contact Don or Shawn at 541-471-3494.

May 5: Audubon Society first-Wednesday birdwalk along Little Butte Creek. Meet at 8:30 a.m. on TouVelle Road in the northeast section of the Denman Wildlife Area near White City. Leader is Denny Niebuhr, 541-482-6589.

May 8-9: Rogue Valley Audubon Society field trip to the Oregon Coast led by RVAS field trip coordinator Ron Ketchum. Group will meet at 8 a.m. May 8 in the parking lot at Face Rock State Overlook on Beach Loop Road in Bandon. Bring water and lunch; group will bird till 3 p.m. On May 9, meet at 8 a.m. at Bandon Marsh parking area, on Riverside Drive NE, and bird till noon. This is Mother's Day weekend, so early lodging reservations are advised. To join other birders for dinner on Friday and/or Saturday, or to join a carpool, e-mail or call Bill Hering: williamhering@ashlandhome.net; 541-488-5886.


Saturday-Sunday: The Shady Cove/Trail Wildflower Association will host its 29th annual wildflower show Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2, at the Shady Cove School gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include more than 200 live wildflower specimens, botanists, a plant sale, a tea room, barbecue, raffles and door prizes. Admission is by donation. All proceeds benefit Fire District No. 4. The annual event is the main fundraiser for the fire district, and organizers hope to raise $4,000 for equipment to help fire district volunteers pass EMT certification courses. For information, e-mail wildflowershow@gmail.com.


May 6: William L. Sullivan, Oregon's hiking guru, will present a slide show of new trails he discovered while researching the recently released third edition of his book, “100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.” Discover hidden beaches on the Illinois River, explore a Darlingtonia bog at Eight Dollar Mountain, backpack in Northern California's Trinity Alps and find out what new trails are being built at Crater Lake. Sullivan spices his talk with notes on geology, wildlife and history. The event, sponsored by Northwest Nature Shop, will be at 7 p.m. in the Headwaters Building, 84 Fourth St. in Ashland. There's no charge, but seating is limited. For more information, call 541-482-3241 or go to www.northwestnatureshop.com.


May 8: The Oregon Hunters Association will host the first fundraiser for the Shady Cove Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley. The event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be held at the Shady Cove Middle School gym. Attendees can purchase items such as canoes, pool tables, foosball tables, oars, fishing gear and skis, and enter a raffle for a chance to win a trip and lunch on Lost Creek Lake, a fishing trip on Diamond Lake and other prizes. For more information, call Carrie at 541-291-0061, or e-mail carrie@begreat4kids.com.


May 8: Annual celebration will be held at North Mountain Park, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland, from 8 a.m. to noon. Free activities geared for all ages and birding abilities will be offered, including guided bird walks and visits to a mist-netting and bird-banding station. Art activities and child-oriented bird walks will interest young birders. Free “bird-friendly,” shade-grown, organic coffee will be served. A number of local organizations will participate, including Wildlife Images, which will exhibit live birds of prey. A bird-calling contest will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. Participants will have the opportunity to identify various bird calls and do bird calls themselves. Rogue Valley Bird Day is a local celebration of International Migratory Bird Day, which focuses on the journey of migrating birds between their wintering and breeding grounds. For more information visit www.RogueValleyBirdDay.net or call 541-488-6606.


May 15: Free guided bus tours to local wildlife refuges, airboat rides through Tule Lake Marsh, live bird demonstrations, children's activities and the offerings of wildlife vendors will highlight the festival at the Tule Lake Refuge visitor center 5 miles west of Tulelake, Calif., at 4009 Hill Road. The festival will events for the entire family, including bus tours to Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge, breakfast and lunch options, free posters and other wildlife-related items, children's activities, live music and live bird demonstrations. Events will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. People interested in participating in the air boat rides and refuge bus tours should contact the visitor center at 530-667-2231 for reservations. Space is limited so call early.


July 2-5: Medford will host the 25th Northwest Tandem Rally during the July 4th weekend, and registration is open. Fliers and applications are available at local Rogue Valley bike shops and online at http://nwtr.org/2010/. The annual event, held last year in Victoria, British Columbia, attracts 650 to 900 participants from as far away as Hawaii and Florida. Rally bicyclists will tour Rogue Valley scenic byways throughout the weekend, with routes ranging from 25 to 85 miles. Net proceeds will be donated to Kids Unlimited, Bear Creek Greenway, Rogue River Greenway and Siskiyou Velo. Local sponsors include Jacksonville's Cycle Analysis, Medford Cycle Sports and Freewheel Bicycle Solutions of Talent. For more information, contact event director Edgar Hee at 541-734-4872 or ejhee@juno.com.