Both residents and visitors love Ashland for its natural beauty, scenic backdrop and amazing recreational opportunities. The outdoors are a part of life in Ashland, whether it be a stroll through 93-acre Lithia Park, a morning trail run up to White Rabbit Trailhead or a rigorous mountain bike ride down from Mt. Ashland at 7600’. Catering to the outdoor lifestyle, Ashland is home to 50 miles of trails, 18 parks, multiple open green spaces, Oak Knoll 9-hole Golf Course and many recreational facilities that are managed by an active Ashland Parks and Recreation Department. Ashland sits at the base of the 15,000 acre Ashland Watershed that provides miles of trails for all types of responsible recreation. It also welcomes endurance events such as the Spring Thaw, Mt. Ashland Hill Climb, the Siskiyou Challenge and the Ashland Mountain Challenge.
Each season offers easy access, family friendly adventures and challenging terrain, depending upon what you seek. From an easy bike ride on the Bear Creek Greenway, a 20-mile paved multi-use trail that links Ashland to Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Central Point to the 55 mile, 5000’ climb for the adventure cyclist on the Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway, Ashland offers a variety of terrain for all types of skill levels to learn, grow and thrive. Ashland is within an hour’s drive of ten lakes and five major rivers. From the “splash and giggle” rafting trips for the entire family, to the Class V rapids for the guys or girls getaway, the Rogue and Upper Klamath Rivers offer boating, fishing, swimming and access (with a permitted guide) to one of the few Wild and Scenic portions of river in the country.
Are you a trailrunner, a tennis player or birder? There are many mini-cultures here in Ashland from the running culture that meets weekly to run up into the Ashland Watershed, to the tennis scene with Big Al’s annual Tennis Tournament or even the culture of pickleball.
Birders can enjoy an impressive count of 327 species of birds in Southern Oregon, noted by Rogue Valley Audubon Society, with the convergence of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges and Klamath Basin, only 60 miles to the east. The Klamath Basin is said to have the largest concentration of Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states.
There are ten golf courses within an easy driving distance of Ashland, including a Championship 18-hole course, Centennial Golf Course located in Medford. Running Y Ranch Resort is honored in Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses" and one of the “Sweet 16” by Arnold Palmer and his design company. Ashland’s own, Oak Knoll Golf Course is open to the public and offers 9 holes with beautiful views.
The weather caters to golfers, where sometimes in January, you can ski on Mt. Ashland and enjoy 9 holes in the afternoon out on the course.
Enjoy the mountain culture? Mt. Ashland and the higher elevations offer snow lovers miles of terrain to enjoy in winter with an average annual snowfall of 250” above 3000’. Follow your passion and find your culture here in Ashland.
For the rower in your family, the Ashland Rowing Club is a non-profit organization, open to anyone 12 and older, offering recreational and competitive outdoor and indoor rowing to the broader Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. ashlandrowing.org.
The Emigrant Lake Outdoor Center is a project to design and build a new Outdoor Center at Emigrant Lake to be used by all non-motorized sports including rowing, kayaking, standup paddle board and sailing. The Center will be a magnet in the Rogue Valley for competitive athletes and for those who wish to experience firsthand the natural beauty of the area. The Center will be sited on the lake shore inside the park which is run by Jackson County. The design and development of the project is being spearheaded by Rogue Rowing with the enthusiastic support of Jackson County, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Parks Service and the Oregon Marine Board.
For more information go to roguerowing.org.
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