Take a Hike: Norling Gulch Loop

The six-mile loop is one of the longest trails among the web of 24 that make up Jacksonville Forest Park.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 10:37 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2019 10:37 PM

Speech to Text for Take a Hike: Norling Gulch Loop

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jake says, "a rainy spring in southern oregon has thrown a curveball to the hiking community. there have been trails i haven't been able to get to because of snow, so i've had to scale back some ambitious plans. with that in mind, today i'm at norling gulch loop, a trail we've never profiled before, but one that's only 15 minutes outside of medford. it's everyone's favorite four words. let's take a hike." a part of jacksonville forest park and among a web of 24 different trails... the norling loop is one of the longest and most strenuous. we set out for a six-mile hike that'll have you climbing about 15 hundred feet. a pair of warnings start us off... if panoramic views of the rogue valley are your thing... this is not your hike. if you enter without a map of the loop, you will get lost. the trail system is so massive, it's a challenge to stay on the right one. general rule of thumb for the early portion is to keep the creek either in sight or within earshot. jake says, "the first half of the hike has been an adventure. going off trail quite a few times cost me both time and energy. but now i make the turn back and the rest of the way is pretty much all downhill and about three and a half miles left to go." because the climax of the incline comes at an easy 32 hundred feet, it's a hike that fares well in colder temperatures and wet weather. i could also see it being ideal in the heart of the summer, as practically the entire trail is shaded. about three quarters of the way through, we come across an opening in the trees. it's the best view from the hike and hopefully it gives you a clear head to solve the rest of the signage on your way to the finish. jake says, "the main reason i prefer point to point trails is i like a summit to validate all my hard work. still, my legs can tell i've just hiked six miles and in these early conditions that's all i can ask for. in jacksonville, jake garcia, newswatch
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