FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB CREW RESTORES 25 MILE BACKPACKING LOOP IN WILD ROGUE WILDERNESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB CREW RESTORES 25 MILE BACKPACKING LOOP IN WILD ROGUE WILDERNESS

Contact: Gabriel Howe, Executive Director
Tel: 541-708-2056
Cell: 503-545-4911
Email: gabe@siskiyoumountainclub.org

130 A Street #2B
Ashland OR 97520

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08 OCTOBER 2015

SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB CREW RESTORES 25 MILE BACKPACKING LOOP IN WILD ROGUE WILDERNESS

08 October 2015 | Galice, OR — A newly opened 25-mile backpacking route that explores the Wild Rogue Wilderness was recently restored by the Siskiyou Mountain Club, a southern Oregon non-profit that employs college interns and coordinates volunteer trips.

The loop includes the Mule Creek Trail 1159, Panther Ridge Trail 1253, Clay Hill Trail 1160, and a portion of the Lower Rogue Trail 1160. Many trail miles had been swallowed back into the Rogue’s steep slopes. Other trail sections were brushed in and full of downed logs, many killed by the 2005 Blossom Fire.

The loop has five trailheads, offering a number of day hikes as well, like to a massive outcrop called Hanging Rock that looms over the wilderness. The route features the pristine gorges of Mule Creek, old growth havens of Panther Ridge, oak and pine savanna of Clay Hill, and, of course, the Rogue River itself.

Two trailheads are near the historic settlement Marial, OR, and three others are accessed from Eden Valley, closest to the towns of Agness and Powers. Use the Powers and Gold Beach Districts Map and Oregon Road Atlas. An interactive map and gps data is available on the SMC website, www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/wilderness/wild-rogue

The SMC’s in-house Wilderness Conservation Corps, a trail crew of college interns, did most of the heavy lifting to restore the route. They are paid a per-diem and receive tuition reimbursement for academic work they complete over the summer.

Mikaela Lea, a 2015 crew member, says she enjoyed swimming the creeks most. “If you just swim down Mule Creek from where the trail crosses, there’s some really cool spots up there,” says Lea, 19. She’s a sophomore at Oregon State University, and she grew up in Brookings. Lea spent 57 days working on trails throughout southwest Oregon in summer 2015.

So did Kora Mousseaux, another of seven 2015 crew members, who says she preferred the Rogue River Trail section of the route. “It was a break from the steepness,” she says. “It was nice to be on some flat ground, by the water.” Mousseaux went to Phoenix High School and is a senior at Southern Oregon University. “Stair Creek is beautiful,” she says.

Mousseaux says the toughest part was the heat. “It hit over a hundred a few days,” she says. “It was smoky. Obviously there are steep trails, but the hardest part was the heat.” Mousseaux and her crew would work for 10 days at a time, living out of their backpacks, and camping at remote wilderness sites. “I did more than I thought I could.”

The crew cut hundreds of downed logs, clipped back miles of thick brush, and rebuilt over 8 miles of trail bench.

The Siskiyou Mountain Club is a 501(c)(3) public charity that formed to restore, maintain and promote primitive trails in the Siskiyou backcountry. We specialize in working from remote locations using traditional tool methods to recover beautiful trails.

Support for the project was provided largely by REI Medford and Oregon State’s Recreational Trails Program. The Carpenter Foundation, Autzen Foundation, Herbert A Templeton Foundation, Farnely Tyas Foundation, and 202 community members provided support as well.

“These trails provide an experience endemic to America,” says Howe. “It feels good to bring something so special back to life.”

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