In the center of Ashland, Oregon, there is a lovely stream called Ashland Creek. The Rogue River joins the creek just outside of town after it travels for about 12 miles from its source in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains. The city’s beloved creek has served as a source of creativity for countless artists and writers over the years.
The Ashland Watershed, a protected area that supplies the city with drinking water, is where Ashland Creek’s headwaters are found. The creek starts out as a small, babbling stream, but as it winds its way down the mountain, it quickly picks up speed. The creek’s first few miles are especially beautiful because they feature numerous little waterfalls and pools that make great places for swimming and fishing.
The creek widens and slows down as it gets closer to Ashland, eventually passing through Lithia Park, the jewel of the city’s park system. Established in 1892, Lithia Park is a 93-acre park that is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park has a Japanese garden, play areas, picnic areas, and many hiking trails. But Ashland Creek, which runs through the middle of the park and is encircled by lush vegetation and tall trees, may be the park’s most impressive feature.
The most well-liked activity in Lithia Park is strolling along the creek. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the water as it flows over rocks and under bridges on one of the many well-kept trails that follow the creek. The creek is a well-liked location for swimming and wading in the summer, and there are several shallow areas there where kids can splash and play. A great place for fishing, the creek is also home to a variety of fish, such as rainbow trout and steelhead.
The fact that Ashland Creek is heated by geothermal springs buried beneath the city is one of its distinctive characteristics. The creek receives hot water from the springs, which helps to maintain a constant temperature of warm water throughout the year. The wildlife that is drawn to this warm water includes ducks, beavers, and otters.
There are numerous places in Ashland where visitors can take in the beauty of Ashland Creek in addition to Lithia Park. The North Mountain Park Nature Center is one of them, and it’s only a few blocks from the city’s center. The nature center has a large pond that is home to a variety of waterfowl and a number of walking trails that follow the course of the creek.
The Railroad District, a historic area just south of downtown, is another well-liked destination. Although the neighborhood was named after the railroad that once passed through it, its charming homes and creative neighborhood are now its main draws. The district is traversed by Ashland Creek, and numerous parks and hiking trails provide views of the water.
Despite being so beautiful in nature, Ashland Creek has had a somewhat tumultuous past. The city has had to take precautions to protect nearby residences and commercial establishments because the creek has a history of flooding. The city even considered rerouting the creek through underground pipes in the early 20th century, but this plan was ultimately dropped due to the high cost.
The creek is much better protected now, and the city has put several flood prevention measures in place. These involve building fresh bridges and culverts, clearing the creek bed of trash, and sod-stabilizing vegetation planting along the creek banks.
Overall, Ashland Creek is a treasured part of the city and is adored by both locals and tourists. Anyone looking to unwind and get in touch with nature will find it to be a popular destination thanks to its natural beauty, warm water, and variety of wildlife.