Lithia Park Loop 12-4-17

Photos by Bob and Rich

Ashland has an extraordinary gift of a park right downtown so every year in December we explore it so it can be enjoyed by old and new hikers alike. Nineteen hikers turned out on a clear, crisp day. Some parked near the band shell, but many walked over from their homes.

I led everyone over to the Italian fountain to catch a little sunshine and hear a little history about Ashland as a resort town famous for it's mineral water and hot springs, and the planing for Lithia Park. After Bob took our group picture on the steps to the fountain, we headed over to view the tranquil Japanese garden.

Then we continued up past the swimming reservoir to the more untamed parts of the park. We were hoping to find our way up to the hidden Fairy Pond but conditions were too wet and icy for a safe trek. Perhaps we'll find it in a warmer time. So we turned around and entered through the fence where Granite Street meets Glenview.

As we were exploring the trails up above Ashland Creek I attempted to reserve our lunch at the Brick Room but learned their heater was out! We needed another place for lunch, what to do."Louie's" retorted the crowd. Great...who has their number?  "I do" said Tracy, who heads up the AHG team at Louie's Trivial Night. She quickly made reservations for our herd and saved the day! But now it was still an hour until lunch and we were running out of park. Up stepped Nancy D to exclaim "Hart trail"... lets do a little cardio before lunch! Up we went our hearts pounding, thankful for benches along the path. At the top we met the TID ditch trail. From there Betty took over. As an experienced dog walker, she led us down hidden paths and onto city streets until finally we reached Louie's back door. We filled up 4 tables and enjoyed beers and burgers, etc.

BTW for another opportunity to enjoy beer. You all are invited to attend Pints for a Purpose at Standing Stone Brewery next Tuesday from 5-10 pm. They are raising money for my favorite Ashland non-profit the Ashland Food Project. For each pint purchased $2 will go to the AFP. Thanks you your support.

Rich Stickle
Hike Leader

Ashland Hiking Home

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