Ashland is known for its hiking trails that wind through the hills above town. There's something for everyone, from strong bursts of uphill terrain to a gentle, flat stroll. You can find yourself alone among the pine trees but still within cell service so you can Instagram your favorite shots of communing with nature. There's one trail that can fill all of those needs, and then some.
Called "2060" by those who hike it like a religion, the actual name of this trail is Forest Road 2060, or Lithia Loop Road on a city of Ashland trails map. Closed to motorized vehicles, it's favored by hikers, bicyclists and four-footed companions.
To access 2060, head to the Lithia Park swimming reservoir, just off Granite Street. Park there or continue to a second parking lot by the Fairy Ponds trail. The loop road is maybe 50 meters past that parking lot, but it isn't marked by any trailhead. A yellow fence to keep out any motorized vehicles marks the beginning of the hike. Sometimes mile markers written on plastic plates appear on trees.
If you're more of an intense hiker or mountain biker, the trail continues all the way up to Mount Ashland in a 13-mile-scramble. You'll pass side trails, including a mountain-bike trail that's also hiker-friendly, called Horn Gap. It starts 3.7 miles up from the trailhead and loops back down to Ashland. If you continue on either trail, you'll see pine trees, mighty oaks, black-tailed deer, and, if you're really lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it), you could spot a black bear.
The trail is beautiful in any season, from colorful fall though the snow-kissed winter to the hot Ashland summers, where dappled shade provides relief.
Amelia Covert Zeve is an Ashland High School student and freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.