5 Trails to Explore Near Jacksonville, OR
Let’s look at 5 popular hikes near Jacksonville, OR. These hikes are easily accessible within minutes up to an hour drive from Jacksonville and offer a true experience of the topography and landscape of the popular Rogue Valley area.
1. East Applegate Ridge Trail
The East Applegate Ridge Trail (EART) is a 5-mile point-to-point trail just west of Jacksonville, OR. The trail winds its way through meadows filled with wildflowers and offers spectacular valley views near parking and picnic areas.
The EART is rated as moderate, but only has minor ups and downs (357ft elevation gain), which makes it a safe choice for most skill levels. It’s important to note that this trail offers little shade, so bring plenty of water and sun protection when you go.
2. Tunnel Ridge Trail
This easy, quick hike, just 1.7 miles out and back, is located at the Tunnel Ridge Recreation Site. The trail is rated as easy, but finding the tunnel can be a bit tricky. From the Tunnel Ridge Trailhead, hike about ¾ miles until you reach the junction with the Sterling Mine Trail. That puts you almost on top of the tunnel, but you have to travel up the trail a bit further, about 300 feet in either direction, before you can see the tunnel entrance.
The Tunnel Ridge Trail is great for all skill levels, and perfectly suited for walking, hiking, or trail running but be sure to duck before entering the tunnel. For a longer hike, begin at the Little Applegate Trailhead or the Bear Gulch Trailhead, which offer more mileage in a beautiful forest setting before reaching the tunnel.
3. Grizzly Peak Trail
The trail up to Grizzly Peak is a popular, heavily-trafficked 4.7-mile trail just outside of Ashland, OR. If you don’t like to share the trail with others, stay away from this one, but there’s a reason why it’s so busy: the great payoff at the top. The highest point of the trail enjoys a 180-degree view of the valley where Ashland sits, surrounded by forested hills, with mountains of the Cascades peeking above. The climb might be a workout, but it sure is worth it.
Still, this might not be the hike to bring small children, or for inexperienced hikers, as some parts of the trail can be steep or slippery with loose rocks. If you bring sensible footwear, plenty of water, and take your time making it up to the peak, you’re sure to enjoy the experience.
To avoid the crowds, try making it to the trail head before dawn, so you can watch the sunrise over the valley. It’s sure to be a sight you won’t soon forget.
4. Lower Table Rock Trail
Table Rock is a large landform that rises above the flat valley floor just beyond Medford, OR. From Jacksonville, it’s less than a half hour drive. The two highest points are accessible by the Upper Table Rock Trail and the Lower Table Rock Trail. The hike to Upper Table Rock Trail is shorter, but the views are similar.
Lower Table Rock is only 42 feet below Upper Table Rock, but the moderate, 6.2 mile hike is a longer, more enjoyable experience, offering great views along the way.
On a clear day from the top, you can see well across the valley. Here, the Rogue River curves west close to the base of Table Rocks before heading south again. While much of the way up is shaded, the section at the top — where you’ll want to spend some time — is not. Be sure to bring plenty of water or pick a cooler day to hike.
Jacksonville Rail Trail
The Rail Trail is located in Jacksonville Forest Park, which hosts over 30 miles of multi-use trails. The great variety of trails offers an exceptional opportunity to chart your own course, but don’t miss the Rail Trail. It takes you along a former railroad bed from 1916, used to transport lumber from the surrounding hills. Just off the trail, you’ll see a replica of a trestle at the site of a train wreck that claimed the life of the engineer.
This trail is mostly shaded and flat, which makes it an easy hike in Jacksonville for all ages and skill levels. At just under a mile, the Rail Trail makes a short day hike, but it can be combined with other trails in the park for a longer experience. Some other highlights to check out include Granite Falls, Cascade Crest Vista, and Pipsissewa Summit.
More Things to Do Around Jacksonville
When you’re done hiking for the day, the adventure doesn’t have to end there. Here are some ways to keep the exploration going:
- The Vineyards at Stage Pass has their very own hiking trail, click the link to view the Trail map
- Explore restaurants, shops, and the historic downtown of Jacksonville
- Relax creekside with a craft beer in Ashland
- Visit Jacksonville’s bustling neighbor, Medford, and stop at nearby wineries
- Plan your own Rogue Valley wineries tour to get the full experience
- Catch a show at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival
Tour a Master Planned Community and Private Trails at Stage Pass
The master planned community, The Vineyards at Stage Pass, is conveniently located minutes from Jacksonville and just steps from some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in Oregon. Our gated community offers miles of private, maintained trails that meander around the community, offering the chance to see wildlife and take in impressive views of the Rogue Valley Wine Country and Lower Table Rock right from your doorstep. Schedule a tour of our community and see for yourself.