GO HERE: Fall Hikes (Without the Smoke, Please)
As summer fires and smoke dissipate here in Southern Oregon its back to hiking its picturesque trails, and fall hikes are like walking through nature’s art. If it’s the autumn hues of golds and reds you’re after ample color can be found in these three nearby day-hikes.
Grizzly Peak Trail: With great views from south of the border northward, the autumn landscape will be prolific from this higher elevation. The hike is a three mile loop easy on families and pets. The tree friendly city of Ashland across the valley from the trail’s midpoint creates its own fall palette that bleeds into a backdrop of color across the Siskiyou Range. Mt. Shasta to the south can be seen on clear days and from the trailhead area the Cascades and Mt. McLoughlin offer a breathtaking dawn photo opportunity.
Forest Park Trails: Just a hop outside Jacksonville on Hwy 238, this trail system offers something for everyone, with hiking, running and mountain biking. Fall colors are abundant in the lush canopy and across the many landscapes seen from multi-directional view points. Many trails have creeks running close by making it a great place to simply sit and enjoy the meditative sounds of running water in the forest. The area is a popular outing for dog owners and mountain bikers and, along with being well-maintained, is well-marked with maps available at the lower parking lot.
Mill Creek Trail: Located in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, this hike is well worth the two hour drive just across the Oregon/California border. Redwoods, fishing and berry picking are some of the activities outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy. Tourist and camping season slow down by fall, so the sound of nearby Mill Creek creates a superb ambiance for resting amongst the giants of the tree kingdom. You’ll hear about the secret ‘Grove of Titans’, but rest assured it’s heartily been found and strides are now being taken to protect the once hidden area. Please respect the preservation efforts and remain on designated trails only.
Photo Credit: Diane Moller Nature Photography