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Jack-Ash trail system has a ways to go

I was just wondering whatever happened with the Jack-Ash Trail. Is it still under construction? Finished? Where is it exactly?

— Chico Cornell

A search through our archives showed that the 50-mile series of trails that will eventually link Jacksonville and Ashland is still under construction and will be for some time.

The Siskiyou Upland Trails Association completed phase one of the project in 2017, and that stretch included 4.7 miles of new trail and cost about $50,000. Former SUTA President Hope Robertson said in August of 2018 that phase two will require “multiple years” of work.

“And at $10,000 a mile,” Robertson said, “you’re not just running out and building 50 miles of trail.”

SUTA released an update on the trail in December via a blog that can be found on its website (sutaoregon.org). As of that writing, the Jack-Ash phase two environmental assessment and final decision document were still pending completion.

“We expect a few changes from the trail segments presented in the EA, but the final project will still have around 20 miles of new trails on Anderson Butte with new loops and connections between existing sections of the Jack-Ash and Sterling Mine Ditch Trails,” it said. “We’re coordinating with (Bureau of Land Management) to try to push this to completion and get out to start building new trails by spring. We will be looking for crew members at that point and will be looking for qualified candidates.”

The blog went on to report that SUTA was granted a $20,000 Title II grant for weed-whacking and brush clearing for the entire Sterling Mine Ditch and Jack-Ash trail systems and that the weed-whacking is expected to be completed in late spring to early summer.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.