Located at 4494’ on the northern edge of the Siskiyou Mountains, Mount Isabelle offers incredible views of the Rogue and Applegate Valleys. Named after Forest Creek resident Jake Smith’s daughter, Elizabeth, this mountaintop served as an important fire lookout for Southern Oregon and today is a major communication site for Jackson County. From 1933 to 1967, Mt. Isabelle had a 14’ x 14’ “Aladdin” lookout perched on a 50’ wood tower. Aladdin’s were kits with windows on all sides costing $500 (FOB Portland). They were hauled in by mule trains and placed on mountain peaks all over the northwest. At one time there were 5060 lookouts of all types scattered across America. In a recent conversation with Annice, daughter of John and Marguerite Black (authors of the book “Ruch”), she said her sister Holly used to be the lookout. As a child in the early ‘50s, Annice used to ride with her father in a 1947 Willys Jeep loaded with supplies on weekly trips to the lookout during the summer months. Depending on the time of the year, water was drawn from the creek or the Oregon Belle Mine and hauled up the steep mountainside in milk cans. In 1940 the Forest Service developed a small spring under huge fire scarred fir on the west side of the mountain for a source of water a little closer to the top.
Join the Applegate Trails Association (ATA) on one of two separate guided hikes on historic Applegate trails. Both hikes start from the Isabelle trailhead on the Applegate Ridge Trail. And both hikes are about 2 miles total (out and back) with Isabelle Spring Trail rated moderate and the hike up to Isabelle peak rated moderate to difficult. We meet 9 a.m., Saturday, March 22nd, at the Bunny Meadows Staging area, located one mile up Forest Creek Rd at the intersection of Longanecker Road. Forest Creek Road starts from Hwy 238 4.9 miles southwest of Jacksonville or 2.8 miles north of Ruch.
Hikers should have appropriate clothing for the weather, sturdy footwear and water. Please leave your pets at home. RSVP hike leader, David Calahan (541-899-1226) firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure a place on this favorite hike. Please see Calendar page for other upcoming hikes. ATA would appreciate a $5 donation at sign in. Donations are tax deductible.
The mission of the Applegate Trails Association (ATA) is to create and preserve non-motorized trails in the Applegate Valley, providing recreational and educational access to public lands while protecting our natural resources.
The Applegate Trails Association (ATA) is a non-profit Oregon group formed by community residents to develop a system of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails in the mountains of the Applegate Valley.
ATA is cooperating with public land agencies, community organizations, and private landowners to preserve and connect historic trails for future generations.
Our aim is to conserve our valley’s valuable resources―the land, the views, and the biodiversity―for the non-motorized enjoyment of people of all ages and levels of ability.
Join us on a hike along the Applegate Ridge Trail (ART), our first project. As shown on the map, follow the ridges that overlook the Middle Applegate. Be prepared to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Applegate River Valley, the Rogue River Valley and beyond. Traverse the trail with serenity as you breathe in the refreshing mountain air and delight in the majestic forests that define the Siskiyou Mountains. Enjoy a journey into history as you imagine how Native Americans and pioneers first experienced this land. Lose yourself in reflection as you walk in the beauty above the Applegate Valley.
The Applegate Ridge Trail will be accessible from various trailheads in the Applegate and Rogue Valleys. Covering a broad range of ecosystems, our premier trail will showcase the rich flora and fauna of the Middle Applegate. With segments of varying lengths, the trail will appeal to trail lovers of all skill levels.
Because you enjoy hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding and believe in the value of an Applegate trail system, join us in the field. Help us rediscover old trails, build and develop new ones, plan and conduct ATA events, and more. Donations are always appreciated. If you would like to volunteer in any capacity, please call David Calahan at 541-899-1226 or email email@example.com.