Scheduled for Fridays, year-round, the Moderate Group is one option under the Ashland Hiking Group. It is for those who need or desire a lightly paced, shorter hike than is customary in the other AHG options. These hikes feature an easy pace for 4-6 miles (occasionally 7) and typically under 800’ elevation gain. Winter snowshoeing distances and elevation gains will be less.
We take a leisurely lunch break to socialize and sometimes share a short poem or other form of inspiration (voluntary but welcomed). On the trail, we stay together for safety and enjoyment. If a hiker wants to stop short of the destination, at least one fellow hiker will join. We recommend a hiking pole or two, and sturdy hiking boots. When driving a distance, we may have a voluntary post-hike experience in the area or on our return drive. Bring lunch, plenty of liquids, sunscreen, hat, and basic first aid items. Seasonal items include bug repellent, raincoat, winter attire and snowshoes.
Meet at 8:20 AM at the Rite Aid parking lot on Ashland Street for an 8:30 AM departure (unless informed otherwise for a given hike). Plan a full day, unless the hike location is close to Ashland. Carpooling is by personal choice, arranged at Rite Aid parking. All hikers must sign a liability waiver, provided by the hike leader, before their first hike with an Ashland Hiking Group, which covers liability for any of the AHG hike options.
While the Covid 19 Pandemic is with us, hikers must be fully vaccinated and bring masks for use when close to others or indoors, and while driving together in an enclosed vehicle.
November 5: Enchanted Forest in Applegate Valley
TH: Drive through Jacksonville and take Highway 238 towards Applegate for 15 miles. Just before downtown Applegate and the bridge, make a right onto North Applegate Road for 4.5 miles to a fork where you go right on Kubli Road for 400' and then right on Slagle Creek Road for 1.5 miles to the pavement end. EDT: 60 minutes.
Hike Description: An easy trail ambles through the forest of Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and Madrone and crosses through a lovely meadow, soon reaching an old homestead with a 1950s pick-up reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde. At 0.7 miles, we fork right onto the Felton Trail among viewpoints and Madrone to trails end at a granite memorial for three men who died there in a helicopter crash in 1993. After snacks, we return back to the Enchanted Forest trail, turn right and follow it up the creek just 0.5 miles to enjoy the preponderance of Maple leaves. We will not go as far as the saddle which involves a steep climb. We hope to find ourselves amidst the peak of fall Maple leaves floating down on us along a creek (dry this time of year). We turn around and head back down the forest trail to the TH. Hike distance: 5.4 miles; elevation gain about 500 feet. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 80 miles. Optional visit to Wooldridge Winery to enjoy fermented grape juice (wine; or nonalcoholic drink) and charcuterie or Pennington Farms (delicious dinner and dessert pies).
November 12: Sterling Mine Ditch Trail -- Tunnel Ridge TH to Bear Gulch RT:
TH: Drive I-5 north to Phoenix Exit (24); turn left into Phoenix, right onto Highway 99. Turn left onto Stage Road. and then left on Griffin Lane. In about a mile, turn right on West Griffin Creek Road, and follow it 2.9 miles at which point it turns into Poormans Creek Road for another 1.1 miles to a T junction. Turn left onto Sterling Creek Road and continue to Little Applegate Road and turn left, following it to the Tunnel Ridge TH. EDT: 75 minutes.
Hike Description: Climb up to the Ditch, then turn left and follow the Ditch trail to the top of the Bear Gulch Trail and a short distance beyond for lunch; return the same way.
Distance: 7 miles; Elevation gain: 600 feet. Weather forecast. RT Mileage: 70 miles.
November 19: Ashland Waterline and Red Queen; Treats and Drinks at Elisabeth’s, compliments of Kay and Elisabeth
TH: Meet at trailhead near top of Liberty Street at 8:30 AM. Park on Liberty Street or at Elisabeth’s on corner of Clarence Lane and Liberty. Bring water and snack or lunch.
Hike Description: Hike along the Waterline and Red Queen trail in the Ashland watershed. Following a Fire Ecology Interpretive pathway, we’ll pause at 6 interpretive signs that explain different elements of fire ecology where evidence can be viewed. Return the same way (estimated 5.3 miles RT), finishing at Elisabeth’s house for chili and savory pie outside on porch at 850 Clarence Lane. Weather forecast. No driving miles.