It’s that time of year again to lace up your skates and hit the ice! The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink will officially open on Thursday, December 2019 through February 17, 2020. The outdoor rink, a division of Ashland Parks & Recreation, is located at 95 Winburn Way, across from the Lithia Park playground, around the corner from the Plaza, and at the corner of Nutley Street and Winburn Way.
The 2019-2020 Season will feature something for everyone… Bring the whole family! For more information on prices, schedules, lessons, programming, hockey, scholarships and all we have to offer you, visit AshlandParksandRec.org or call the ice rink directly at 541.488.9189. You may also call the Ashland Parks and Recreation office at 541.488.5340. Watch for details on the annual First Frost event that will be held in December this year. This gala celebration culminates the spirit of the outdoor rink and the holidays! Psst kids, tell your parents Chilly the Snowman and Santa’s elves will be at First Frost on Saturday, December 14. Complete details online at AshlandParksandRec.org.We hope you can experience one of the most magical places in Ashland… that little outdoor rink in beautiful Lithia Park, where the air is fresh, the white lights are twinkling and the music blends with the sounds of nature and blades on the ice… “Let’s skate!”Be sure to check the online schedule BEFORE coming out to the rink – ashland.or.us/IceRink. And, look for the holiday schedule for Christmas break.Follow us on social media… Facebook & Instagram @AshlandParksandRec
Ever since seeing pictures of the clear blue water of Spring Creek, I was dying to go! In August, we had the chance to go and didn’t hesitate.
We put in at Spring Creek Recreation Site and kayaked upstream to the headwaters. The current is so gentle that, whether you’re going down stream or up, it’s pretty easy to paddle. This easy paddling allows you to take in the beautiful scenery – especially the crystal clear, turquoise water! I didn’t get sick of staring at it the entire trip. When looking at the other kayakers moving across the water, it looks as if they are gliding on ice … and if you feel the water you’ll find it’s just about as cold as ice. I could only handle having a hand or foot in for a few seconds before quickly pulling out in pain.
Once you reach the headwaters, you can see where the spring originates from bubbling up out of the ground. Some people call the little hurricanes of sand “dancing sand.” My son jumped out and stepped in one and was surprised to find that his foot sank in quite a bit!
We picnicked in our kayaks before heading back downstream.
Another favorite part of the trip was seeing the Mare’s Eggs- a rare freshwater algae that only grow in a few places around the world. It grows in colonies that cover the bottom of the creek in certain areas. I could go on and on about how gorgeous this area is, but all you have to do is take one look at a picture and you’ll be dying to see it for yourself!
Some families bring their own kayaks or you can rent from
Lakes Wilderness Adventures. 112 W Chocktoot St, Chiloquin, OR 97624 (541) 591-0949
In an average winter, Crater Lake National Park receives 43 feet of snow! Ranger-led snowshoe hikes are a fun way to explore this winter wonderland while learning how plants, animals, and people survive the harsh conditions.
Every Saturday and Sunday (and some holidays) Crater Lake National Park offers free guided snowshoe walks. Ranger-led snowshoe walks are a fun way to explore this winter wonderland and learn how plants and animals survive the snowy months. Walks are offered to visitors ages 8+ on weekends December through April, with additional weekday hikes in late December and early January.
The two-hour walks start at 1:00 p.m. and cover one mile of moderately strenuous terrain. Walks are off-trail explorations through the forests and meadows at the rim of Crater Lake. No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary. Snowshoes are provided free of charge, but advance registration is required. Space is limited on walks. For more information and to sign up, call the park’s visitor center at 541-594-3100 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants should be at least 8 years old and come prepared with warm clothing and water-resistant footwear.
The weather that gives us spectacular winter recreation also presents people with challenging road conditions. Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, visitors should come prepared for snowy, icy roads, and limited visibility. Before you leave home, ensure that your vehicle is equipped for winter conditions and that you are comfortable driving on snowy roads. Visitors must have traction tires on their vehicles or carry chains, and know how to use them. Drive for the conditions; the posted speed limit is not always a safe speed. Visitors may encounter heavy snow removal equipment on park roads. Please drive slowly and give plows and other heavy equipment plenty of space.
Crater Lake National Park is open 365 days a year. The Steel Visitor Center is open every day except December 25, and food and gifts are available in the Rim Café and Gift Shop year-round except on Thanksgiving Day and December 25. For independent explorations, snowshoes are available for rent at the Rim Café and Gift Shop. Lodging and gasoline are not available in the park from mid-October to late-May.
For more information on winter conditions, services, and programs in Crater Lake National Park, visit our website at www.nps.gov/crla.
Driving through Riverbend Park in Roseburg, Oregon, you will see over 90 animated displays which are lit up by over 500,000 festive lights. This must see Holiday spectacle showcases many fun and unique lights shaped into everything from the classic Santa to dinosaurs and spaceships. New to the lightshow this year are character depictions from Disney’s Frozen. You will also be able to see the World’s Largest Nutcracker!
While you enjoy the lights be sure to tune into the local radio station provided at the entrance which will be playing Christmas music to complete your Holiday joy ride.
This family friendly event is not only a perfect outing, but the $10.00 per car entry fee also provides scholarships as well as funding for local community projects.
The Umpqua Festival of Lights opens at the end of November and runs through January 1st. You can drive through the park Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 pm to 9 pm & Friday and Saturday nights from 5:30 pm to 10 pm.
Wagon rides through the lights are also available on Friday and Saturday’s from 5:30 pm to 10pm and on Sunday’s from 5:30 pm to 9 pm for $5.
Before you enter the park stop by the Holiday Village to visit Santa, model trains, cookies, warm cider, and purchase souvenirs. The Holiday Village is open every night with free entry until Christmas Eve.
Gather your family and friends for a drive to the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights located at 380 River Forks Park Rd, Roseburg, OR 97471.
A wonderful tradition for the season.
Susan Creek Falls is located along the North Umpqua Highway SR138 about 12 miles East of Glide. We accessed Hwy 138 from Roseburg, Oregon.
The parking lot is on the left side of the road across from the Susan Creek Campground when you are heading east. There you will find an easily accessible paved parking lot along with a restroom and the entry to the trail.
The pleasant ¾ mile hike is on a well-maintained paved path with a slight grade to the falls. You will find lots of greenery, ferns, and the forest reclaiming fallen debris. There are benches along the way to rest or to sit and enjoy your surroundings.
Once you reach the falls you can walk right down to them and the creek. Picnic tables by the falls offer a very beautiful spot to enjoy lunch. There is a bridge crossing the creek offering a perfect viewpoint of the falls and the large mossy rocks and trees.
We went on a drizzly day and were lucky enough to be the only ones at the falls. Because of the weather we were also able to enjoy the falls without any mosquitos that you might find in the summer months.
Bring water to drink, lunch, and your camera. If you visit during the warmer weather be sure to bring some insect repellent.
This is a very family and kid friendly waterfall hike.
Keep Oregon Beautiful…If you pack it in pack it out!
Even if you didn’t pack it in, if you find it and can…pack it out… and please be courteous if you bring your dog…(hint).