We love to hike! For me personally, it clears my head, grounds me, and helps me gain perspective. If I am in a bad mood all I have to do is hit the trails and my problems feel like they just melt away. Of course we would love to hit some of my favorite southern Oregon thinking spots like Forest Park in Jacksonville or White Rabbit out in Ashland but oftentimes we only have an hour or two to get my hike in between drive time and actually hiking so we head out to my haven, Roxy Ann Peak. We are so lucky to have this gem just 10 minutes from the center of Medford.
Gary and I usually head up at least once a week to run up the road for a great little training run. You don't even have to hike to the top to take in the views, as you go around the base of the peak you get views of the Table Rocks, Mt. Mcloughlin and actually the whole valley, often it is even above the fogline which makes it a great way to get above the dreariness of the extended foggy days we get in the valley floor sometimes. If you are more of a trail person the Mountain Biking Association just put in two new trails up there that I have already fallen in love with. One of them zig zags up the side and meets up with the road so I really get to enjoy the views and quiet and don't have to be on the paved road.
If we have time, I love to take the Madrone Trail up to the Mazanita Trail and up to the peak. It is a nice little trail that takes you up on a trail, through some rocky terrain and then takes you back up the road to reach the peak of Roxy Ann. I love seeing the changes in the terrain with the different trees and foliage as you get into the higher elevation
Every season is magical and keeps us going back for more just to keep us going up to see the changes. Even the winter is great for a hike or snow run because if you can't use the trails, you can just hike ride up the main road and it is kept pretty clear so you aren't dealing with a lot of mud.
Our kids love it too. If Olivia (4) and Ilias (10) are with us we just take the road up and it's perfect because it is nice and wide, giving them enough room to run around while not getting too close to the edge, making me one happy, not nervous mama. We have even taken Ilias up Madrone trail, and while it is a bit steep he made the hike all the way to the top. In fact, as long as we are well prepared with snacks and water even Olivia will take the trail. It all depends on how you train you kids. We figure that if they decide they can't handle it, we will just turn back. Usually they will stick it out for at least a couple of miles! One more big advantage is that it is dog-friendly. Just keep your dog on a leash and clean-up after them and you will be good as gold!
If you want to go, Roxy Ann is on the East side of Medford right off of McAndrew’s. It is literally only ten miles from the westside of town. Map is here.
For more hikes in the area check out my other two blogs 8 Kid-Friendly Hikes in the Rogue Valley and 5 More Great Southern Oregon Hikes to do With Kids.