GO HERE: Hikes Worth Finding – Middle Fork and Frog Pond Trail
Just when it feels like you’ve hiked everywhere in Southern Oregon, there are always new trails to discover, especially when warm weather rolls around.
A trail less travelled but by no means less enjoyable is Middle Fork Trail in Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest near Applegate Lake. The trail is horse accessible, offers hikers several swimming holes, and has multiple varieties of trees and plants along the trail. The trail is over five miles and has two access points.
If coming from Upper Applegate Road, when the paved road turns into gravel, follow the road for a little over half five miles until you reach Middle Fork Trailhead in the bend of 1035 Road. There’s plenty of room to park alongside the road and is the best entry point with horses.
The trail is light to moderate and connects to Frog Pond Trail and Cameron Meadows Trail.
According to United States Department of Agriculture, the trails had thorough maintenance completed in 2016. The nearly five and a half miles takes hikers through meadows and has rock cairns place strategically placed along the trial to keep hikers on track. Eventually during the hike, the trail becomes steep, ascending around 1,870 feet. Hiking Project suggests beginning on the Frog Pond Trail side if one wants to experience less steepness. The trails do not loop and are open between Spring and Fall.
These trails are ideal for summer hikes, allowing hikers to jump into the river and cool off, or to experience the myriad of plant and wildlife around them.
Along Road 1035 there are several viewpoints of waterfalls, as well as several turnoff points to enjoy a picnic or build a small, controlled fire. The views of the waterfall aren’t far from the road, but there’s enough area to explore to turn a scenic drive into a hike.
Enjoy an afternoon or early morning on one of these trails that don’t see as many visitors as Table Rock or Roxy Ann annually. Don’t let gravel roads or no cell service deter you. Middle Fork and Frog Pond Trails are just as enjoyable and breathtaking, offering views of Southern Oregon you can’t get anywhere else.