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.
Leave the Rite Aid parking lot on Ashland Street at 8:30 AM (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.
Hike Canceled - Major Rainstorm
TH: Take I-5 north to Merlin (Exit 60); drive thru Merlin and follow Galice Road 19 miles to Grave Creek bridge. Park on the right side just before the bridge; EDT: 90 minutes.
Description: Start on the left side of the road just before the bridge. Hike 2.1 miles pasts Grave Creek rapids to Rainie Falls. Lunch overlooking the falls and return the same way. Rocky trail so advise a pole or two. Distance: 4.2 miles; elevation gain: 200 ft. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 140 miles.
May 13: Songer Butte from Songer Wayside
TH: 8 miles out Highway 66 to a left at the Songer Wayside parking area.
Description- Take the Songer Wayside trail out from the left of the parking lot. Go about 2 miles to a left onto trail up Songer Butte (2,700') for lunch and views over Emigrant Lake and the south Rogue Valley. 5.5 miles RT with about 600' gain. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 20 miles.
May 20: Rogue River Preserve! Leave the Comfort Suites parking lot off I5 exit 19 at 9:00 AM.
TH: Highway 62 past Eagle Point, turn left onto Highway 234 towards Sams Valley. Cross the bridge and take the first right onto Rogue River Drive. (Or you can meet up with us at the Dodge Bridge County Park parking lot, before we continue down the road to the locked property.) EDT: 40-45 min.
Our Friday Moderate Group has been invited by the Friday Wildflower Walk Group Leader, Liz Landreth, to join her group for a special day. If you plan to come, please email us: Liz, Kay and Elisabeth. If you have an unavoidable last-minute change, please call Liz at 707-332-2966.
The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (SOLC) has graciously offered us access to their Rogue River Preserve. This 352-acre property boasts four distinct habitats, so lots of opportunities for flowers. If you ever wanted to check out this place that is not open to the public very often, this is the time. Bring a lunch and water. Afterwards, we can do some wine tasting at the Bayer Winery off Agate Road, a very nice spot to relax. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 50 miles.
May 27: Grizzly Peak
TH: Drive DIM (Indian Memorial Highway) 6½ miles; turn left on Shale City Road and follow Grizzly Peak Trail signs: 3 miles on pavement, 2 miles on dirt. EDT: 30 minutes. Description: Hike through the woods with some uphill climbing, beautiful views, and arrive at the high point for lunch. Return same way. 5½ miles; elevation gain: 1,200 feet. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 30 miles