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Showcasing the Applegate Valley’s hiking trails

The Applegate Valley stands out for its community-led hiking trail system. Our local trail groups secure permits, break and maintain trails, and design user-friendly maps.

Another essential piece of trail-making is informing the public about the trails. In 2023, The Applegate Trails Association (ATA) received an Innovation Grant from A Greater Applegate to create promotional materials. Specifically, the money was applied toward website improvements and a brochure to showcase their trails-to-date as well as their future vision to realize the Siskiyou Skyline Trail. This 90-mile “backbone trail” will run along the ridge between the Applegate and Rogue Valleys.  When completed, it will connect the Pacific Crest Trail, near the California border, to Grants Pass. It will also incorporate connector trails, loops, and Day-Use areas.

Aside from giving local hiking fans a heads-up about the trails, the brochure caught the attention of the State. Several of the ATA’s trails have now been designated as Oregon Signature Trails. This christening highlights iconic and tourist-worthy destination routes.

ATA also applied a portion of the Innovation Grant toward an exhibit at the Siskiyou Crest Festival. This festival drew attention to the special qualities of the region, which is home to endemic species and an unusual array of micro-climates. There were guided hikes, panels, and keynote speakers, like David Rains Wallace, the author of The Klamath Knot and Luke Ruediger, a local trail advocate and Director of the Applegate Siskiyou Alliance.

ATA Chair, Mark Hamlin, praises the festival for educating the public about the region. “The mountains around are beautiful,” he explains. “But a deeper appreciation grows with understanding. The Festival helped foster that.” Hamlin hopes that future festivals continue to broaden that understanding and attract more people from outside the Applegate Valley to explore and appreciate the region.

ATA works closely with another local group, the Siskiyou Upland Trails Association (SUTA), to make the trail system possible.

The project received support from A Greater Applegate because it meets one of the goals set forth in the “Steward and Sustain” section of  the Applegate Valley Vision. Of the grant, Hamlin says, “We are grateful. I think the money went a long way.”