GO HERE: Quiet Places
As someone who spent his childhood in suburban Texas, having the opportunity to living in the Rogue Valley is a blessing. There is a sublime duality between city life and rural life, at times they even seem to coexist as a singular entity. Still, walking through palisades of concrete and traffic lights doesn’t exactly induce a feeling of serenity.
Luckily, there are tranquil trails and clearings within walking distance for when the urban life becomes too much of a drain. Many will praise Lithia Park, and rightly so, but this isn’t the most optimal place to go if one is searching for absolute quiescence. There is, however, a trail at the top of Liberty Street in Ashland, which will prove to be worthwhile exercise just by merit of the walk up-hill. The trail itself is impeccable and diverging; there are hardly any distractions and a different path to be taken upon each excursion. It culminates with an ascent atop the formidable Grizzly Peak, before diverging again.
Another sterling spot is Rainie Falls Trail just outside of Merlin, which is generally more populated, but still as peaceful as they come. Amid the bosom of spring, one can observe the migratory quest of salmon and steelhead trout, as they jump and flop about. This trail, unlike the official Rogue River Trail, also has the benefit of being shaded during the sweltering summer. Upon arriving at the end of the trail, there is an immense aggregate of swirling water, collecting from the rim of the above cascade.
For those slightly to the south in Grants Pass, Shan Creek Trail is another beautiful scene of verdant foliage and rushing water. Just be advised not to get lost amongst the winding paths. For the Ashland crowd, there is also the modest but alluring N. Mountain Park. These are all ideal places for anyone looking to get away from the compressed urban sprawl. It’s important to remember that we aren’t suited for these mechanical, robotic, and materialistic lives.