Roxy Ann Peak

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Roxy Ann Peak on my own two feet.

Location: In Prescott Park of Medford, Oregon

Length: 4 miles of trail. (Most of it is a loop.)

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Foot Traffic

The trails along Roxy Ann Peak are open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Some local avid runners can be found running loops around the peak in any weather. It’s also a good workout for cyclists, considering the climb in terrain. But the majority of people are hikers like I was. While I could occasionally get a moment alone, on the main trail I could expect a fellow hiker to walk around the bend at any given moment.

I’ve only ever walked Roxy Ann alone. Okay, that’s not entirely true, since I have faded memories of my family going there when I was very young. But in the couple of times I’ve walked this in my adulthood, I’ve always felt safe going solo.

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Foot Feelings

Roxy Ann has a special meaning to me this year. It was my first walk of 2017. I was a bit pressed for time on New Year’s Day, so I didn’t have time to make it to the summit. Seven weeks later, I finally made it to the top.

Besides being a good workout, Roxy Ann Peak is ideal for its stunning views overlooking the Southern Oregon city. As the crowning feature of Medford’s largest city park, Roxy Ann gives you a birds-eye view  of what some travelers may just see as a town for vineyards, rivers, and access to Crater Lake National Park.

I especially like that Roxy Ann is walkable year-round. It was snowing fairly heavily on January 1st, and yet I was not the only one who thought it was a perfect day to go for a hike. While the rain can wash out some of the side trails, the main path is well-maintained since it doubles as a service road for employees who need to work on the mountaintop antenna.

Roxy Ann Peak definitely got my blood pumping, but it did so in such a fun way it didn’t feel too much like a workout. I think many people can enjoy this walk, including families and individuals, active and non-athletic alike. If nothing else, go for the views.

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Trail Tips

-Drive up the gravel road as far as you’re allowed. You’ll find a closed yellow gate and probably several parked cars where you’ll have to stop, as only pedestrians are allowed beyond that point. But driving to the gate is a nice head start.

-There are several side trails you can take, but since they are always more muddy and eroded than the main trail, I have not walked any of these.

-You’ll eventually walk to a fork in the road. You can choose to go either way, as this is the beginning of the loop around the mountain.

-Keep a lookout for the trail to the summit. It’s not clearly marked. After a steep hike, you’ll get to the antennas that top the peak.

-Don’t worry if you don’t have the energy to hike to the summit. You can actually get better views of the city below along the main trail anyway.

-Make sure to bring water! You can also carry a meal as there are a few areas for picnicking.

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Trees of Mystery

 

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Walking Trees of Mystery on my own two feet (along with Bigfoot!)

Location: Klamath, California- right on Highway 101 in the heart of the Redwood forest

Length: According to the official Trees of Mystery information, the trail itself is 8/10ths of a mile. This does not include the side trail options, so all together it was probably well over a mile of walking over hilly terrain.

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49’2″ Paul Bunyan and his sidekick Babe the Blue Ox

Foot Traffic

This past weekend was my first time walking through the Trees of Mystery. But I did take a pit stop at its parking lot last summer to see the famous Paul Bunyan statue. It was definitely more populated in the summer! Fortunately, the Trees of Mystery gains enough foot traffic to justify being open year-round.

This trip was actually an overdue Christmas gift to my entire family, so my parents and sister were along for the walk. We passed by several other groups also walking the trail, but much of the time we got to enjoy the solitude around some interesting natural features.

Foot Feelings

I appreciate walking attractions. With such a famous walking attraction just a couple hours from my home, my only wish with this experience is that I made it here sooner. I think the admission fee to the trail is what has hindered me for so long.

Before we entered, we enjoyed the features located right in the parking lot. There’s a fun little area in front of the two giant statues depicting the mythical logger Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

After we passed the ticket booth, we were immediately in the Kingdom of Trees. There were a lot of unique trees, both redwood and otherwise, that you can’t see anywhere else. We crawled through one of the trees and took photos with most of them. I especially liked the Cathedral Tree, which was a cluster of trees that grew together and created a backdrop perfect for a small wedding ceremony or Easter service.

The Forest Experience Trail is the most educational part of the walk. Scattered throughout this portion are signs that inform visitors the unique facts about the area’s trees.

Next up was a trail that didn’t require walking- the SkyTrail! The gondola car on this ride comfortably seated all four of us with room to spare. Out the windows, we could see the giant trees of the area pass below us. After several minutes of enjoyment, we got to the top. There is a lookout deck where we looked at the surrounding area, even all the way out to the ocean! We could have taken the strenuous Wilderness Trail back down, but we decided to double the fun by riding the SkyTrail back.

After photographing a few more unique trees, we entered the Trail of Tall Tales. This part of the forest was filled with woodcarvings about Paul Bunyan and other like characters. It was an unique, artsy way to end the walk on an upbeat note.

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Trail Tips

-Take time to enjoy the stroll. It should take about two hours if you stop to enjoy everything.

-While this is a slightly tiresome walk, the Trees of Mystery staff is willing to give rides to those who cannot physically walk the trail. This way, they can at least enjoy the SkyTrail.

-Many people forget to stop at the last exhibit of the trail. The End of the Trail Museum just past the exit is filled with lots of native artifacts from the area. Because it’s located inside the gift shop building, it’s free for anyone to visit, even if you didn’t walk the trail.

-Picnic tables are scattered throughout the trail, especially near the SkyTrail. Because we didn’t want to carry our lunch with us, we ate after we walked. There is a picnic area open to all next to the parking lot.

-If you drive five miles south into Klamath, you’ll start seeing signs for the Tour Thru Tree. This is one of three redwood trees that you can drive through. Because I drove my car through the other two trees while road tripping this summer, I wanted to take advantage of the proximity to drive through this one as well. For $5, it’s a great photo opp!

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Tour Thru Tree, a short drive south of Trees of Mystery

 

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Big News Coming to JessicaLippe.com!

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My short-lived experience on the Pacific Crest Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Monument. The hike just to get to the international trail was several miles, so my exhausted self only spent a few minutes on the official PCT.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been dreaming up how to bring this site into 2017. I felt that it needed more structure and more focus. I’ve finally come up with a plan, and it starts with a name change. Jessica Lippe Uncommon Adventures will soon be…

Jessica Lippe On Foot

This name change will reflect the new focus of walks and hikes. And with this name comes a schedule.

Fridays will now be called “On Foot Friday”, with a new post about a different hiking trail or walking path each week.

Occasionally, you can also enjoy Sunday Specials, Throwback Thursdays, and the fan favorite, Money Mondays.

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Ending a walking tour in Nice with a hike up Castle Hill.

Here’s everything you need to know (and some that you don’t!) about this new development.

Will the web address change?
Nope! You can still find me at JessicaLippe.com

So are you no longer writing about gear, attractions, accommodations?
Actually, I hope to write more about them! While my goal is to make every post walking-related, there will be a focus on what I see and do on each of these walks. The starting point might be a unique lodging, or the walk itself might be within an attraction. I have plans later this month to go for a walk inside a famous attraction. (Hint: It’s not Disneyland, although that would be a fun walk to write about!)

Will you delete the old posts?
I don’t plan to at this time. I still think you can glean a lot of ideas by looking into the archives. In fact, some of them are already walking-themed!

Will this only interest hikers?
I hope not! I’ll certainly be writing about mountain hikes, but they will be balanced out with city strolls and other kinds of walks. Maybe I’ll even write about indoor walks. I’m not that into hardcore adventures that only the most physically fit can endure, so I will take more travels that more people can enjoy. The point is, when you use your own two feet, you open up a world of possible adventures.

Where will you be walking?
Wherever my feet take me! But in seriousness, whenever I take a trip, whether Spain or San Francisco, I fit in a few interesting walks. Now I’ll have the opportunity to write about them. When I’m not on the road, I’ll still write about the plethora of interesting hikes I’m taking near my home in Southern Oregon.

Can I still get travel tips from you?
Of course! I hope to weave in travel tips in my explanation of each walk.

What else will be in these Foot Features?
Each walk is different, but here is some consistency you can expect: Length (either official or my own estimate, depending on resources available), Foot Traffic (what the culture and people are like there), Foot Feelings (my personal thoughts on the sights, scenery, and difficulty), the name and location.

When will this start?
The first On Foot Friday Feature will be February 17, 2017.

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Walking up the Eiffel Tower is so much better than taking the elevator!
Do you have any thoughts, suggestions, compliments, or complaints as we transfer to Jessica Lippe On Foot?