THRIVE: Outdoor Recreation
With the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains and open spaces, outdoor recreation buffs can easily find opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, golfing, river rafting and fishing. The 18 parks within Ashland’s city limits offer casual nearby locations for picnicking and nature walks.
Ashland is justifiably proud of the 18 parks within the city limits. Lithia Park is the largest and most central park in Ashland and is often described as the city’s crown jewel. It consists of 93 acres of forested canyon land around Ashland Creek, stretching from the downtown plaza up toward its headwaters near Mt. Ashland. North Mountain Park (less than a mile from Mountain Meadows) following Bear Creek, encompasses a Nature Center, demonstration gardens, several acres of wildlife-friendly open space and trails, and several sports playing fields
Southern Oregon is a hiker’s mecca, with everything from easy local hikes starting in Ashland, to wild and beautiful hikes in the surrounding Rogue Valley and the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the area.
The 18-mile Bear Creek Greenway connecting Ashland and Central Point is a bike-riding favorite in the Rogue Valley. Mountain bikers have a variety of destinations in the Umpqua and Klamath National Forests. Mountain Meadows residents can take long loop tours together on nearby biking trails.
Ashland skiers have their own mountain – Mt. Ashland – less than 10 miles from the town center. The full-service ski area offers an easy ski day for local residents, and seniors 70 and above ski free. Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon (185 miles) and Mt. Shasta Ski Park in northern California (86 miles) provide additional skiing opportunities.
There are nearly two dozen golf courses in the Rogue Valley, including Centennial Golf Club (18 holes, Par 72, 7,309 yds.) and Eagle Point Golf Club (18 holes, Par 72, 7,099 yds.). Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland (9 holes, Par 36, 3,020 yds.) is nearby.
River Rafting and Fishing
The nearby Rogue River is a favorite for rafting and kayaking, with rafting companies offering multi-day river experiences. The Rogue and other Southern Oregon rivers and streams provide at least 50 places to fish within an hour’s drive of the Ashland/Medford area.