Pack a picnic lunch, sunscreen and have a good pair of walking shoes on.
Good to know
This is a great springtime hike with lots of shade trees for cover. Be aware of runners that often use this trail for training. There are no bathrooms, so you might want to stop in Ruch at the grocery store along the way. That is where we usually go for potty breaks.
Anytime you can get a hike in during the week will be great, because there won't be as many people.
About This Day
These kid-friendly hikes are perfect for the whole family and one of the most fun things to do in Oregon with kids. The legend of Bigfoot is known by many and the thrill of a possible sighting will keep little ones on their toes. Follow the Collings Mountain Trailhead to the Bigfoot Trap. No bigfoots have ever been caught there, but keep adventurous children within hailing distance. Let little ones test their agility by hopping across the creek on logs and “treasure hunt” for sticks and rocks along the trail. If there’s any energy left to burn, try the Grouse Loop Trail, which starts at the other side of the parking lot.
This fun hike on Collings Mountain Trail is great for even the littlest nugget! It’s a very beautiful, well-shaded, easy hike with minimal elevation gain. There are creek crossings with both log and wooden bridges and nice wide trails for room to explore. Along the trail is the “bigfoot trap,” which was built in 1974 to catch...guess what? It never happened, and the trap is since been boarded up. Both our 11-year old and 4-year-old found themselves walking sticks to help them along the way. We pointed out different leaves and lichen for them to gather and add to their collections. Our 4-year-old stuffed her pockets with rocks.
DIRECTIONS Take south I-5 exit in Medford to Jacksonville. Drive through Jacksonville taking California St. south until you get to to the very small town of Ruch. You will take a left on Upper Applegate Road. Drive until you get to Applegate Lake where you will pass Hart-Tish Park, right when you see the bridge, park on the right or left side of the road where you will see the trailhead on the right side of the road. There will be a sign that says Collings Mountain trailhead with the symbol of a “bigfoot” on it.
TIP If you are going in the spring, make sure the kids are wearing hiking boots, or at least closed-toe shoes, because there is a bit of mud. When you get to the bottom of the trail, make sure to stay to the left crossing the creek, instead of going up the steep hill. That is actually a horse trail.
Grouse Loop Trail
15111 Upper Applegate Road, Jacksonville
A moderate hike along the Grouse Loop Trail with wide trails for your even your littlest nugget to explore.
DIRECTIONS Walk back to the parking lot across from Hart-Tish Park, and the Grouse Loop Trailhead is right there.
TIP Keep your little nugget within sight because there are a few areas where hands will need to be held.