Jacksonville Forest Park 4-3-24

Photos by Francie

Ashland Hiking Home

Six hikers came out to hike in the Jacksonville Forest Park. The weather prediction was for showers. Fortunately, they were light and we never got very wet. It was 49* when we began at 9:45 AM. We were happy to have Ki rejoin us and also Mike.

We started from the P1A Parking area and went to an observation deck and saw some ducks in the Jacksonville Reservoir. The Jacksonville dam and reservoir was built in 1912 to provide a source of drinking water to Jacksonville. We then made our way over the Tony Hess bridge.

We started heading up the Rail-Trail and came to an old Railroad Trestle. There is a 1917 story about the death of train engineer Denver Marsh. A heavily loaded locomotive train's brakes failed and slid backwards at a high rate of speed and derailed just above the City Reservoir. Marsh threw Charles Schumph off the engine but stuck to it himself. Medical aid was summoned and he was taken to the hospital where there was no hope for his life. Schumph had a broken leg and other injuries but survived.

We continued up the Rail-Trail and then to the Siskiyou trail then up many switchbacks to the Rattlesnake Trail. As we hiked we saw Oregon Grape, Henderson's Shooting Star, Woodland Star, Blue Dick, Popcorn flowers, Hound's Tongue, Fritillaria Recuva and possibly Fritilaria Genteri, Fawn Lily and a few others I do not know the names of.

The clouds were low and we never had outstanding views. We could see where there has been a lot of work on the mountainside where they have cut away lots of Manzanita. As we were approaching the Knobcone Pine bench, most of the hillside was burn patches. We wondered what the reason for such a drastic burn of that particular section of the trail system was.

Once we reached the bench, we had a bite to eat. From there, we continued up to Pipsissewa Summit. Gaia GPS has a binocular icon meaning there should be a view. We were disappointed to find out that there was just a kiosk with a map and a sign that said the elevation was 3,040'.

We headed back down the Pipsissewa Trail and made a quick stop at Granite Falls. The flow was very little, but it was the first time I had seen water coming down the drop off. We then connected to the Siskiyou Trail, then the Rail-Trail, the Norling trail and then back to the Jacksonville Dam and our cars. We were done hiking by a little after 1:00 PM.

We hiked 5.56 miles and had around a 1,574 feet of elevation gain.