Jacksonville Woodlands 05-Jul-2017

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

The Jacksonville Woodlands Trails are 18 miles of connecting interpretive and recreational trails surrounding 70% of the historic district of Jacksonville, Oregon.  They are popular – when not too muddy – in the winter when snow closes the trails in the high country and wildly popular during the Spring wildflower extravaganza.  By summer, however, the flowers (and mud) are gone, the poison oak is out in its full toxic glory, and mid-day temperatures aren’t necessarily hiker-friendly.  But with an early start, a summer hike in the Woodlands offers up some interesting sights without becoming a remake of Beau Geste.


By fueling our ambition with the miracle of caffeine, we were able to depart the trailhead off Highway 238 at an unnaturally early, but cool (thermally that is), hour of the morning. We crossed the still running South Fork of Jacksonville Creek,

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

South Fork of Jacksonville Creek

noted the abundance of poison oak yearning, yearning for someone (or their dog) to wander off the trail,

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Poison oak – yearning for you toxically…

went on up the Jackson Forks Trail,

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Up through the madrones on the Jackson Forks Trail

past some of the last remnants of the Spring floral display,

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

A dandelion on the verge of spewing its seeds

and then linked the Britt Ridge, Britt Canyon, Rich Gulch, and Panorama Point Trails,

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

An oak woodland along the Panorama Point Trail

to arrive at Panorama Point, where we could make out just a few familiar landmarks through the heat haze and valley particulates.

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Roxy Ann Peak (R), Mount McLoughlin (M), and Grizzly Peak (G) from Panorama Point

From Panorama Point, we dropped down through Rich Gulch, then took the Petard Ditch Trail south to Liz’s Trail. The Petard Ditch was dug in 1860 to bring water to the hydraulic mines in Rich Gulch – the scars from such mining are still clearly visible 157 years later.

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Along the Petard Ditch Trail

The Petard Ditch Trail took us to where we could veer off on to Liz’s Trail, a loolipop loop over another high point,

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Along Liz’s Trail

and past one of the biggest meadows in this trail system.

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

The large, sundried meadow along Liz’s Trail

After rejoining the Petard Ditch Trail, we followed it up the ridge and over and down into Rich Gulch, and then took the Jane Naversen Trail to the Jackson Forks Trail and that back to the trailhead – 5.5 miles with 1,100 feet of elevation gain, all before things got too hot. Nice!

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Our wanderings along the Jacksonville Woodlands Trails

As there were no wildflowers to distract us on this hike, we succumbed to appreciating the infinite variety of abstract shapes offered up by the madrones. Art matters, we’re just not very good at it…

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Best leaf forward

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Four-square on the bark

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Curls

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Eruptions

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Face

And with that, it was back to our home planet.

Jacksonville Woodlands Trails Oregon

Live long and hike!

HOME

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s