Three Autumn Hikes Offered on the Table Rocks
Catch the colors of autumn from atop the Rocks! Building on their popular spring hike series, The Nature Conservancy and Medford District Bureau of Land Management are sponsoring three educational hikes in late September and early October. Join us for “Autumn Outings on the Rocks!”
There will be a ukulele hike for all ages and skill levels; a night hike to learn about bats; and a family hike that will focus on the changes and adaptations that take place as the seasons change at the Rocks. These hikes are led by specialists from around the region who will share their knowledge about the unique natural environments that make the Table Rocks an integral part of our region’s landscape.
Registration opens September 13. Information about the hikes and online reservations are available at https://table-rocks-hikes-fall2019.eventbrite.com. The hikes are free, but registration is required. For more information, contact the Medford District BLM at 541.618.2200, M-F, 7:45 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
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—or ½-mile accessible trail in the case of the Lower Table Rock Loop hikes. Participants should dress for the weather and terrain and bring water and snacks since hikes may last three to four hours. Restrooms are available only at each trailhead; there is no drinking water. Because of limited parking at the trailheads, carpooling is encouraged. To help protect this special place, dogs and vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
Rising dramatically 800 feet above the Rogue River, the iconic Upper and Lower Table Rocks—formed by a lava flow seven 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, September 28, 10 a.m., UPPER TABLE ROCK
Table Rocks Unplugged: BYOU (bring your own ukulele) and join Tish McFadden, founder and leader of the Southern Oregon Ukulele Players (SOUP), and Jeff Kloetzel, local musician and songwriter, for a musical trip along the trail. A sing-along and jam session will be held at spots along the trail and at the top of the rock. All skill levels and ages are invited to make music in nature. Music booklets will be provided. ( https://ukulele-hike-fall2019.eventbrite.com )
Table Rock Hikes/ 2
Saturday, October 5, 6:30 p.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK LOOP TRAIL
Batty About Bats: Join retired BLM wildlife biologist Tony Kerwin on a night hike to learn about the mysteries of bats as they come out to feed on flying insects. Dispel some common misconceptions about these amazing mammals that are critical to the ecosystem. Look for and listen to other creatures that are active at night on the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (1/2-mile accessible trail). Bring a flashlight and wear good hiking shoes. (https://bat-hike-fall2019.eventbrite.com)
Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m., LOWER TABLE ROCK LOOP TRAIL
Adapt, Hibernate or Migrate? Join Mandy Noel, environmental educator, and Kate Halstead, ornithologist, for a family friendly hike in the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (1/2-mile accessible trail) to learn how the wildlife and plants living at the Table Rocks prepare for winter. The hike will include activities for young naturalists. Dress for fall weather and bring your rain gear just in case! (https://family-hike-fall2019.eventbrite.com)
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 .