Welcome to Insight to Ashland

Ashland OR Walking

As Ashland finds itself at the base of two mountain ranges, you can take a walk most anywhere in town and still see gorgeous vistas and encounter incredible plant and animal life.  We encourage you to wander aimlessly as we believe you’ll find much to enjoy wherever your path leads, though we also provide a few fun walking options below for you to try for when you have the time and inclination.

Lithia Park 

Lithia Park is a magnificent spot for a walk as there is so much to see.  It also offers a wide variety of options for your walk, from walking the nearly 1.5 miles to the reservoir, or veering off at the many outlets to explore the other gems of the park.  Depending on your interests, you may want to visit the Japanese Garden, the two duck ponds, the playground, the reservoir for a summer dip, or the ice rink for a winter spin.  Follow your intuition and this map for the walk and adventure of your choice.

Directions: From the town plaza, just turn your head south where you’ll see the park entrance.

Hald/Strawberry Park 

Hald/Strawberry Park is perfect option for those looking for a location near to town that offers either a flat walking surface or for those looking for a bit more of a challenge ~ and either way, you are sure to be rewarded with some enjoyable views.

For the former option, simply walk down the road-width path from the parking lot off Grandview Dr.  This path leads roughly a half mile to Strawberry Lane and the intermittent openings in the trees provide some pleasant views of town and the Cascade mountains and Grizzly Peak.

For the latter option, and for virtually 360 degree views, head up any of the trails to the right off the road-width path, which lead to the scenic view point at the top of the hill.  At the view point you will find a few benches where you can relax and enjoy the peace and scenery.

Directions: From the central plaza, go northwest up Lithia Way.  Lithia Way will then turn into N Main Street and after a few blocks, turn left onto Manzanita St.  Turn left again on Scenic Dr. and then take a very sharp right onto Grandview Dr.  Continue uphill to your first left into a dirt parking lot.  There is no sign for the parking lot indicating it’s the parking lot to the park.

Ashland Ponds

This tranquil location offers an easy and accessible route to most everyone.  The trail loop itself is quite flat and only takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes round trip.  One should expect to see a variety of bird species, a mid-sized pond, Bear Creek and delightful views of the mountains.

Directions: From the town plaza, start down Main Street southeast and take your first left on Oak St.  Follow Oak Street over the railroad tracks and take a left on Hersey St.  Take the first right on Helman St. and follow that to Nevada St, where you’ll take a left.  Follow Nevada St a few blocks and take a right on Glendover St.  Continue to the end of Glendover St., where you’ll find the entrance to the park.

An Ashland Exploration

For those who would like to take a stroll to see some of what this great town has to offer, we offer you this route as an option.

Start off your journey from the center of town at the plaza.  Here at the plaza, be sure to try a taste of the healing Lithia waters at the fountain.  While the taste – for most – is less than pleasant, it is definitely an Ashland tradition!

Walk southeast down Main Street just one block to Pioneer St. and take a right.  As you walk up Pioneer St. you will see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theaters and box office.  The outdoor Elizabethan Theater is the second theater on your right and looms over Lithia Park.

Take a left here at the fork on Hargadine St.  As you follow Hargadine St., you’ll see nice views of the Cascades and will get a lofted vantage point of downtown.

After two blocks, take a soft right on Beach Ave. rather than continuing on Hargadine.  Then take a right on Gresham St. for three blocks and take a left onto Iowa St.  This part of the walk will provide a glimpse into the neighborhoods above Siskiyou Blvd.

Following Iowa St. will lead you to the small and quaint Triangle Park.  This is a good spot for a rest and a snack in the gazebo in the center of the park.

After visiting and passing through Triangle Park, take a right on the main road Siskiyou Blvd. and take an immediate right onto Beach St.  Continue up Beach to your first left, Henry St.  Henry St. will lead to Southern Oregon University, where you can explore the campus.

As you continue southeast through campus, you will come upon the Schneider Museum of Art just before Wightman St.  Consider pausing your journey here to visit Southern Oregon University’s art museum.

The next steps you take will lead you down another main road, east down Ashland Street.  After 5 blocks, take a left on Normal Ave., which will lead you past Mountain View Cemetery and to the Ashland Bike Path and Hunter Park.

At the bike path, turn left and follow it along the railroad tracks.  The path will provide some excellent views of the mountains in all directions.  Soak it in and enjoy!

Continue the journey along the bike path, past Garfield Park and eventually to Railroad Park.  You’ll know you have arrived as you’ll find a long and narrow park with a basketball court.  At the far end of Railroad Park, cross the park to A Street and take a right on A Street (at 6th St.).  Here you are entering the Ashland’s famous Railroad District and close to where the Golden Spike was driven on December 17th, 1887 which completed the railroad circle around the United States.  You’ll find a marker on the southeast corner of A St. and 5th St. commemorating this amazing accomplishment.

Meander down A St., possibly visiting an art gallery or two, and then take a left down 4th St.  4th St. between A and B streets offers some shopping and a cafe and is an adorable street in the Railroad District.

As you continue down 4th St., you’ll arrive at Main St, where you’ll take a right for the final leg of your journey through Ashland.  As you walk down Main St., you’ll have an opportunity to visit downtown and visit some of the businesses in the area that pique your interest.

After about 5 blocks you will arrive again at the town’s main plaza, and hopefully will have enjoyed your walk and will have a better sense of Ashland and what it offers its lucky locals each day of the year!

Outdoor Recreation Safety Note: Please be sure to read our safety note on our Outdoor Recreation home page.