Five years. Five years and change since our first and only hike of the Mike Uhtoff Trail on the south edge of Ashland. Then we got distracted by other trails and other adventures. Unless trying to find toilet paper and hand sanitizer count, we’ve been real short of other adventures for the last year or so. Sigh. Staying with the staying local theme and all that, we decided it was time to revisit the Uhtoff. In the intervening years, the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association has constructed an interactive trail guide with maps that you can use to make sense of all the hiking and biking trails south and west of Ashland. We used that to piece together a route from the Oredson-Todd Trailhead to the Lewis Loops and back.
The day was faintly hazy, cool, and sunny; perfect for hiking. 😎 Not so perfect if what you really, really need is a lot more water from the sky, a lot more. We’re currently in a drought and the dryness was apparent as we made our way along trickling Clay (or Hamilton) Creek to the Mike Uhtoff Trail and up that through an un-lush forest to the Caterpillar Trail. Then south along the Caterpillar to the first of the Lewis Loops (Gyre). We whipped around that and made a brief foray out toward the second loop (Gimble) before caving-in to a snack and a sit. Then back the way we’d come, but descending the White Rabbit Trail rather than the Uhtoff.
Lots of trees, a few constricted views of the classics (Mount Ashland, Mount McLoughlin), and a wildflower here and there. It’s still early season but this year’s lack of sky water probably isn’t helping the bloom. Still, good exercise – 7.4 miles (11.9 km), with a heart-warming 1,700 feet (518 m) of gain – on a soothing day in the woods. 🙂HOME