The Messenger’s Top Fourth of July Picnic Spots
Red, White and Effectively Paired Cheese
Sure, July 4th is thick with parades and patriotic hollering. But that can be a bit overwhelming, and you can America just as hard in a more subdued way: a picnic. It gets you outside into those purple mountains majesty and does it with snacks.
Here’s The Messenger’s favorite picnic spots around Southern Oregon.
Less a park than a magic forest with amenities, Ashland’s Lithia Park offers plenty of picnic opportunities. Everything from bustling grass fields to wide-open meadows to wooded hideaway holes. The park is full of tables and bench picnic areas, many equipped with public grills, and has plenty of options for those looking to spread out a checkered blanket and go old school. And it does all of that with a convenient central location.
Roxy Ann Peak
Medford’s favorite mountain getaway is also a great spot for a sandwich. The 3-mile out and back loop trail features stunning views, available shade trees and open meadows. It’s also a nice combination of easily accessible, but not overrun with cars or people because it’s right on the roadway.
Follow McAndrews Road east out of Medford.
Squaw Lake Day Use Area
If you want to picnic hardcore, then you don’t want to fuss around about it being close to town. Get thee to the Applegate and munch some apples. The best picnic spot out there is at the stunningly serene Squaw Lake, with trees, mountains, water and the sort of quiet that it often seems no longer exists on Earth.
Take Hwy. 238 west past Jacksonville and turn left on Upper Applegate Road, go past the dam and to the campground and park.
Cantrell Buckley County Park
This 88-acre oasis of trees stretching along the Applegate River is a picnic paradise. Not just for its ample lawns and soothing green, but because of its plethora of group picnic areas set up for large group gatherings and available to reserve. So bring the family. All of them. Yes, even that one weird uncle.
Eight miles west of Jacksonville on Hwy 238, turn left on Hamilton Road and then Right on Cantrall Road