Outdoor Adventure and Natural Wonders
The rivers, valleys and mountains of Southern Oregon offer a plethora of outdoor adventures and natural wonders. Crater Lake, Oregon Caves, the Rogue River, hiking, snow shoeing, and river rafting. All within a short drive.
Right here in Jacksonville
Segway of Jacksonville – Not especially physical, but an adventure none-the-less. Riding a Segway is something people of all ages can do, you just have to have good balance. You can take a guided tour or just rent a Segway and take it out on your own. They will give you the training you need to drive one of these devices.
Jacksonville Woodlands Trails – Over 20 miles of trails to hike or run right here in Jacksonville, including narrative signage of the gold mining sites along the way. You will get to experience a series of micro-climates and see the related wild flowers, trees and shrubs. The trails include a native plant arboretum.
Forest Park – Going just a mile outside of town gets you started on another trail system that is great for hiking and mountain biking. This is a recent addition to the city's park system and a group of volunteers is actively working on expanding the existing trails.
Within the immediate are - the Rogue Valley
Table Rocks Hike – Jacksonville was originally named Table Rock City in recognition of the most distinctive local geological formation. It is just a 15 minute drive over to TouVelle State Park to get to the base of the table rocks.
These are moderate hikes and take about 2 hours if you take time to enjoy the sights from up on top. TouVelle State Park is named in Elizabeth TouVelle's honor as the land, formerly TouVelle owned orchards, was donated by her husband as a memorial.
River Rafting & Jetboat Tours – For a ride on the wild side check out the options for tours on the scenic Rogue River. Jetboat tours from Grants Pass allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife with a few thrills thrown in. Expect to get wet, but it isn't physically demanding. On the other hand, river rafting demands more physically, but gives you a much more intimate and thrilling experience with the river. There are half-day, one-day and multiple-day excursions to suit a variety of skill and interest levels. Our recommendations include Hellgate Jetboat Excursions, Indigo Creek Outfitters, and Rogue Klamath River Adventure.
Downhill Skiing - Just a 40 minute drive to Mt. Ashland for down hill skiing. There are a variety of trails for differing skill levels, short lift lines and a nice lounge.
Regional Day Trip - Oregon Caves National Monument
Aneasy 1.5 hour drive gets you to Oregon Caves National Monument which encompasses more than just the cave system. Above ground is a remnant old-growth coniferous forest wih three hiking trails and featuring a Douglas-fir tree with the widest known girth in Oregon (see picture a the top of this page). Below ground is a marble cave system created by natural forces over hundreds of thousands of years in one of the world's most diverse geologic realms.
Tours are available from late March through early November. The guided tours are a great way to learn how the geology, fossils, cave life, bats, watershed, old-growth forest, and human history make Oregon Caves significant. During the summer there are also off-trail tours and candle light tours. While you are there, check out the Chateau. During the summer season there is an old fashioned diner with a u-shpaed counter and a full-service restaurant.
Regional Day Trip - Crater Lake National Park
Just 2 hours away is Crater Lake National Park, widely known for its intense blue color and spectacular views. This definitely shouldn't be missed. During the summer, visitors may navigate the Rim Drive around the lake, enjoy boat tours on the lake surface to Wizard Island, have lunch or dinner in the historic Crater Lake Lodge, or hike some of the park's various trails including Mt. Scott at 8,929 ft.
The winter brings some of the heaviest snowfall in the country, averaging 533 inches per year. Although park facilities mostly close for the snowy season, visitors may view the lake during fair weather, enjoy cross-country skiing, and participate in ranger-led snowshoe hikes.