Hikes and tours
There’s no better way to see the value of conservation than by getting out onto the land. Each spring, our expert hike leaders and outdoor educators offer a series of nature outings open to members and the community.
Some of these events are on public lands, but many will take you on to private conservation properties that you may otherwise never have a chance to experience. Learn about birds, butterflies, lichens, and more. Most hikes are FREE but require pre-registration to reserve a spot. These hikes fill up quickly, so make sure to sign up well in advance. See our calendar or eNews in early spring for a current schedule.
We are so grateful to our marvelous and talented volunteers who lead hikes for us every year. These volunteers include some of the best birders in our region, world-class ecologists, and people who love to share their passion for this gorgeous place we call home. Thank you Larry Smith, David Steinfeld, Karen Grove, Steve Sheehy, Brandon Breen, Tish McFaddeen, Jeff Kloetzel, Kat Whyte, Jeanine Moy, Jeff LaLande, Molly Allen, Tom Atzet, Kristi Mergenthaler, Linda Kappen, Norm Barrett, Randy Frick, Gary Schaffer and Jim Livaudais!
Support for these community conservation hikes and outings is generously provided by the following foundation.
Upcoming hikes and tours
The Imperatrice property, owned by the city of Ashland, is located on a large landslide that provides an excellent location to view the entire Bear Creek Valley and the various geological formations that are found within the valley and adjacent ridges. We will walk about 1.5 miles uphill to get to the top of the landslide where we will eat lunch and then loop back down completing this 3 mile hike.
Hike with botanist, naturalist, and SOLC Stewardship Director, Kristi Mergenthaler, on this beautiful property east of Ashland.
Local biologist and writer Brandon Breen will lead a birding trip on this private property along the Rogue River outside of Eagle Point. Habitats include oak woodland, grassland, chaparral, and an extensive floodplain forest with large black cottonwoods and black oaks. Birds may include Lewis’s Woodpecker, Western Bluebird, Oak Titmouse, Pygmy Owl, and Bald Eagle, as well as spring migrants.
Learn about this iconic rock while hiking 3 miles roundtrip. A BLM Interpreter will share information at stops along the way up to the top. Interpretation includes geology - the formation of the Table Rocks, conservation, history, and the flora and fauna found alongside the trail.
Take a walk with Steve Sheehy, a self-taught lichenologist and enthusiastic guide, at the Rogue River Preserve. During this outing, we will examine the various habitats of the Preserve to uncover the lichen diversity.
BYOU (bring your own ukulele) and join Tish McFadden, founder and leader of the Southern Oregon Ukulele Players (SOUP) and local musician Jeff Kloetzel, for a musical trip on the Preserve. A sing-along and jam session will be held next to the Rogue River.
Join a fisheries ecologist (Randy Frick), forest ecologist (Tom Atzet), and soil scientist (David Steinfeld) for an exploration of this riverfront property near Eagle Point.
Learn to speak “botanese” using the Rogue River Preserve as an outdoor laboratory with botanist and SOLC Stewardship Director, Kristi Mergenthaler.
Here’s a chance for families to explore the Preserve. Bring your little ones and let them discover the wonders of nature. There will be a guided activity as well as lunch by the river. Some walking and lots of exploring. Recommended for children three years and older. Folks should bring their own picnic lunch to enjoy along the river.
Join naturalist and artist Jeanine Moy and the Vesper Meadow Education Program for a family-friendly morning of nature-sketching under broad skies and among meadow flowers.
Jeff LaLande, archeologist and local historian, will lead an evening driving tour of Upper Bear Creek Valley. Stops include Hill-Dunn Cemetery on Emigrant Lake, Mountain House, and Hugh Barron Ranch on Old Pacific/Old Siskiyou Highway. He will talk about the history of native inhabitants and early whites in the area.
Explore a privately conserved mountain forest and meadow property near Mt. Ashland. We’ll joyfully catch and release butterflies and bumble bees and identify wildflowers with butterfly enthusiast and educator, Linda Kappen, and botanist and SOLC Stewardship Director, Kristi Mergenthaler.
Hike Series Registration Information
Registration: Most Southern Oregon Land Conservancy hikes are FREE. Registration for each hike opens one month prior to the hike and can be made online. We encourage everyone to register online. It's easy and quick and can been done anytime from anywhere. A confirmation email with directions will immediately be sent and a reminder will be emailed two days prior to the hike. For more info or help with registration call 541.482.3069 or email email@example.com.
As much as we love our furry friends at SOLC, pets are not allowed. SOLC does make exceptions for ADA service animals. Companion animals, however, are not allowed.
Cancellation: Your confirmation email will allow you to cancel your registration if you cannot make the hike. Please cancel as soon as you know you cannot attend so we can invite people on the waiting list. Please go to the Your Account, Log In section in your confirmation email to cancel or change your registration. Or give us a call (541-482-3069).
Waiting lists: Don't be afraid of waiting lists! Folks on the waiting list often get invited to the hike, so please add your name if the hike is full. And, if we add new hikes to our series, you'll be the first to know about it.
Members only hikes: Curious about member only hikes? Members of the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy are invited to MEMBERS ONLY hikes. Not a member? Click the DONATE button to become one today. It's easy and there are many levels that fit your giving ability. Members are also invited to attend events throughout the year like our New Member Dinner and Annual Member Picnic.