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MEDFORD, Ore. — If you're looking for an autumn outing opportunity, look no further than "Autumn Outings on the Rocks!"— a series of guided hikes on Upper and Lower Table Rock in the coming months.
The hikes are organized by the Nature Conservancy and Medford District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and are scheduled for three days between September and October.
"Catch the colors of autumn from atop Table Rocks!" BLM said, adding that a similar series of hikes during the spring this year were very popular.
The autumn trips include 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. Registration opens September 13, BLM said.
Hikers will meet at the designated trailhead for a 2.5 to 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.
The hikes are free, but registration is required. Check below for more info about each hike, and follow the links to register.
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.
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.
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 on 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!
Additional information about Table Rocks is available at the BLM website here.