On my visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, my friends and I managed to hike a short way along the Bear Creek Greenway, which is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. The Ashland portion of it starts next to a dog park, goes briefly through a residential area, past the treatment plant, and then cuts out through fields and agricultural land in the foothills. We saw a few other hikers and lots and lots of bike riders.
I usually have a nice picture of the path and the scenery, but for some reason, I came away just with this one of the sign, taken by one of my friends. But you can catch a glimpse of the scenery behind it.
The path itself at this point is paved and wide enough to be a single-lane road. You can take it all the way to Medford and past it to Central Point if you want.
Bear Creek Greenway from Ashland
Bear Creek Park from Ashland Dog Park, Ashland, Oregon
Difficulty: Easy peasy
Panting stops: 0
Distance: 16.9 miles point-to-point
Elevation changes: 157 feet
Of course, if you hike the entire 16.9 miles, that makes it more than an easy peasy hike, but we just spent about an hour hiking in a little over a mile and returning. The path is paved. It looks like it was patched with concrete, but most of it is asphalt. It goes through some pleasant agricultural land, with lots of fields and Bear Creek running along beside it. We saw some beautiful wildflowers during our early summer hike.
At least the part we hiked was almost totally flat, and you can see by the small elevation gain over a long stretch that it would never qualify as a very difficult hike. The profile of the path shows that it goes steadily uphill all the way. Its consistency and length means that you can go as far as you want with little difficulty.
How to get there
From Downtown Ashland
From Main Street, turn north on Oak Street. Follow Oak Street to E. Nevada St. and turn left. Turn right on Helman Street, then right again on Perozzi Street. (Alternatively, you can turn north on Helman Street from Main Street and take it all the way to Perozzi Street. We were coming from the other direction.) Perozzi street ends in the parking lot for Ashland Dog Park. We parked there and found the trail going off from the west side of the parking lot.
Parking and Facilities
The dog park has parking for about fifty cars. There is also a restroom.