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No pooches on the Table Rocks

I love watching the sun rise over the Rogue Valley from the top of the Table Rocks and find the well-maintained trails one of Southern Oregon’s hallmarks. The trail seems to be getting more and more popular, especially with dog owners. I noticed there was a sign asking dog owners to keep Fido at home. However, the response seems to be: “Taking a flying leap, my dog is coming with me on the trail.”

— Sam, via email

Some hikers just seem to have to bring man’s best friend on hikes, and those managing the Table Rocks have struggled for years to keep dogs off the trail.

“We love it when people leave their favorite pooch at home,” said Molly Morison of The Nature Conservancy, which co-manages the rocks with the Bureau of Land Management.

“There are multiple reasons for keeping dogs out,” Morison said. “Other people don’t always enjoy dog interactions or dog poop. Then, there is undesirable interaction with poison oak and wildlife.”

Turkeys, squirrels and deer may flee for cover in the thickets and trees, but cougars known to prowl the vicinity might find your pup an ample hors d’oeuvre. Then there are ticks, which love to cozy up in dog fur.

There are many hikes where dogs are welcome, albeit usually only when on leashes, although Jacksonville’s Forest Park has trails dedicated for dogs to be off-leash.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.