Lithia Park Loop + the New Wonder Trail 12-7-20

Photos by Sunny

A hearty group of four hikers braved the morning fog and met near the bandshell for a hike in Lithia Park. Three drove their SUV's and were greeted by a massive mound of wood chips delivered to our usual parking place; no doubt to be used for covering muddy spots on the trails. One, who had walked up from her house, could not resist the opportunity for fun and dove onto the mound. She came up with a mouth full of sawdust.

This was actually a new hike as we combined two established hikes to form a hybrid. We started out at 9:30 in order to miss some of the morning chill. Still we had temps in the 30s until we hiked up above the fog. First we walked down the sidewalk and around to the Park entrance off the plaza. Then up Lithia to the Swimming Reservoir and beyond. Frost covered the ground, picnic tables and the road heading up.

Those who joined this hike were rewarded with a beautiful day once we hiked up above the fog. This opportunity to get outdoors gave us an appreciation of Lithia Park in winter and the wondrous Ashland Watershed and the New Wonder Trail. The New Wonder has been carefully constructed and maintained so that any level of hiker can walk the path up into the watershed.

It warmed up as we went up and we had to stop for wardrobe adjustments, taking off outer coats and gloves. For the most part we kept our masks on or ready as we encountered runners, hikers and dog walkers up on the sunny trail.

We stopped for lunch at the field of giant granite boulders, sheltered by the side of the hill with the sun streaming through the forest. Our one hiker who was new to the Wonder Trail was elated with the trail and the views.

This scenic new combination hike was 4.5 miles in Lithia and 5.5 miles up and back on the New Wonder Trail; 10 miles all told with a gain of 730 feet.

Happy Trails,
Rich

Ashland Hiking Home

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