Are you interested in time travel? Do you want to stretch your body and your mind? Do the creatures of the night…and the day… capture your imagination? If you are interested in learning about insects or birds, storytelling or cultural history, yoga or music—or all of the above!—we’ve got a hike for you! “Explore More!” at the Table Rocks in May and discover something new.
The Nature Conservancy and Medford District Bureau of Land Management are offering free, guided educational hikes on weekends in May. Hikes are led by specialists from around the region who will share their knowledge about the unique natural and cultural environments that make the Table Rocks an integral part of our region’s landscape. Dig deep into nature and enjoy the magic of nature’s classroom at the Table Rocks!
Hikers will meet at the designated trailhead for a 2.5–4.5 mile round trip hike up 800 feet along a moderate grade trail. Participants should dress for the weather and terrain and bring water and snacks since hikes to the top may last 3 to 4 hours. Restrooms are available only at each trailhead; there is no drinking water. Due to limited parking at the trailheads, carpooling is encouraged. To help protect this special place, dogs and vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
Registration for May hikes begins April 16. Information about the hikes and online reservations is available at https://TableRockHikes2018.eventbrite.com
. For more information, contact the Medford District BLM at 541.618.2200, M-F, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Rising dramatically 800 feet above the Rogue River, the iconic Upper and Lower Table Rocks—formed by a lava flow about 7 million years ago—are prominent features of the Rogue Valley. The wildlife and more than 200 wildflower species, including the extremely rare dwarf wooly meadowfoam that grows nowhere else in the world, are protected by the Table Rocks’ designation as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
Saturday, May 5, 9:00 a.m., UPPER TABLE ROCK
Camp White: “The Alcatraz of Boot Camps”
: Travel back in time with BLM archaeologists Jennifer Sigler and Lisa Rice to the WWII era when Southern Oregon was a major training center for the U.S. military. Participants will be led on a guided exploration of the remains of the Camp White artillery range which includes pillboxes designed to practice infantry drills. Because there is no trail, wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Limited to 15 individuals.
Saturday, May 5, 10:00 a.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK LOOP TRAIL
Tell Me a Story
: A very special hike for kids and their favorite adult! Join members of the Storytelling Guild on a trek along the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (1/2 mile accessible trail) and listen to legends and tales about the Takelma Indians who once lived in this area. Learn about the cultural history of the Table Rocks. Stories are suitable for all ages.
Sunday, May 6, 9:00 a.m., UPPER TABLE ROCK
Walk with Words
: Dave Harvey and members of the Oregon Poetry Association, Rogue Valley Unit, will share poems inspired by nature and the Table Rocks along a hike to the top of the Rock. Hikers are encouraged to bring a favorite or original poem inspired by nature to share. In addition to pausing along the trail for reflection and the reading of appropriate poems, there will be time for a “free write” at the top. Those interested are encouraged to bring writing tools.
Saturday, May 12, 9:00 a.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK Yoga on the Rocks: Join local yoga teacher Jamie Harris of Soul Shine Yoga & Massage at the trailhead for some basic yoga postures designed to stretch and prepare your body for the hike to the top. During the journey up the trail, emphasis will be on breath and moving meditation. At the top, hikers will experience balancing postures with names pulled right out of nature. No yoga experience is necessary.
Saturday, May 12, 7:30 p.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK LOOP TRAIL
Whooo Comes Out at Night?
BLM wildlife biologist Steve Godwin will lead a night hike to look for and listen to the creatures of the night on the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (1/2 mile accessible trail) He will attempt to lure pygmy, great horned and screech owls–no guarantees! A short presentation about the unique characteristics and adaptations of the common bats, owls and other animals that are active at night in this area will precede the hike. Bring flashlights and wear good hiking shoes.
Sunday, May 13, MOTHER’S DAY – NO HIKE
Saturday, May 19, 9:00 a.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK
Bug out on the Table Rocks
: Hike with Dr. Bill Schaupp, entomologist with the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Health Protection, to observe and discuss the incredible insects that live on or flutter by the Table Rocks. On this hike, you will gain a deeper appreciation for how insects live and their essential role in the environment.
Sunday, May 20, 10:00 a.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK
Table Rock Unplugged
: BYOU (bring your own ukulele) and join Tish McFadden, founder and leader of the Southern Oregon Ukulele Players (SOUP) and local musician Jeff Kloetzel, for a musical trip along the trail. A sing-along and jam session will be held at the top of the rock. All skill levels and ages are invited to make music in nature. Music booklets will be provided.
Did you know? A few facts about the Table Rocks
▪ The 4,864 acres of the Table Rocks are jointly owned, managed and protected by The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management.
▪ The area around the Table Rocks was inhabited by Native Americans at least 15,000 years prior to any European-American settlement.
▪ The Rocks are named for their location along the Rogue River – Upper Table Rock is upstream and Lower Table Rock is downstream.
▪ There is an airstrip on Lower Table Rock that was built in 1948.
▪ More than 50,000 visitors annually hike the Table Rocks making it one of the most popular hiking locations in Southern Oregon.
▪ The Rocks are home to more than 70 species of animals and 340 species of plants including 200 species of wildflowers.
▪ The vernal pools at the top of the Rocks are one of the few places that are home to a federally threatened species of fairy shrimp, Branchinecta lynchi.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have helped protect 130 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.