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.
November 4: Enchanted Forest in Applegate Valley Leave at 9:00 AM
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 TH at pavement end. EDT: 60 minutes. Description: Hike through the forest of Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and Madrone and cross through a meadow. At 0.7 miles, 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, 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’ll not take the steep climb to the saddle. We’ll 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 (dinner and dessert pies).
November 11: Sterling Mine Ditch-Tunnel Ridge to Bear Gulch RT Leave at 9:00 AM
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 18: Oredson Todd Woods in Ashland Watershed and Thanksgiving Gathering
TH: Park on Chitwood Lane or nearby on Clay Street. Walk up Clay onto gravel road. When road ends turn left and cross Clay Creek on wooden bridge, and follow trail up hill to Oredson-Todd (OT) trail. Take OT to Upper Trail past “waterfalls” to Mike Utoff trail. Hike up Mike Utoff trail to bench overlooking Ashland. Return down Mike Utoff , then take OT Lower trail and return back down Clay Street. Distance: 3 miles; elevation gain: around 400 feet. Weather forecast.
November 25: Walk Lithia Park Trail to Pond and back, or Wonder Trail
TBA: For the day after Thanksgiving, we’ll either (1) meet at Plaza entrance to Lithia Park for a short ‘hike/walk’ or (2) meet in parking area just beyond the Pond to hike the Wonder Trail. For those who would like, let’s gather for coffee, tea, lunch downtown. Weather forecast. No driving miles.