Bear Creek Greenway

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Bear Creek Greenway
Bear Creek Greenway 01.jpg
Bear Creek Greenway near Phoenix, Oregon
Length 17.9 mi (28.8 km)
Location Jackson County, Oregon
Trailheads Ashland, Central Point
Use Cycling, Hiking
Elevation
Elevation change 482 ft (147 m)
Highest point Ashland Dog Park trailhead
Lowest point Peninger Road trailhead
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy[1]
Season Year-round
Hazards Sharp turns, blind corners, occasional root bumps and other rough surfaces;[1] auto traffic at street crossing[2]

The Bear Creek Greenway is a 17.9-mile (28.8 km) biking and hiking path extending from Ashland to Central Point in the U.S. state of Oregon. Passing through Talent, Phoenix, and Medford, it roughly parallels Bear Creek, a tributary of the Rogue River. The Greenway is divided into two lanes for bi-directional traffic and is inaccessible to motor vehicles (except for county maintenance).[3][4]

History[edit]

A bicycle-only path in the Medford area may have been discussed as early as 1899, when bicycles were increasing in popularity. Jackson County collected $500 from a tax on bicycles that year for construction of a path,[5] but the project was not carried out. In 1973, former representative Al Densmore presented a bill to the Oregon Legislative Assembly, which authorized the Oregon Department of Transportation to build 3.4 miles (5.5 km) of the greenway that year.[5][6]

Later funding for the Bear Creek Greenway came in increments,[6][7] causing construction to take place sporadically over four decades. One source stated that even before Interstate 5 was built through the area a "Greenway Movement" was forming among supporters who desired "a chain of parks from Ashland to Rogue River connected by a trail".[7] When Densmore presented his bill, Jackson County began a land acquisition program that led to completion of segments in 1973, 1980, 1995, and 1998.[5][8]

By 2011, the Bear Creek Greenway was complete from Ashland to Central Point. All road crossings are handled by overpasses or underpasses except Suncrest Road near Talent, which requires crossing the street itself.[2]

The Bear Creek Greenway Foundation is seeking funds to add an additional 1.4-mile (2.3 km) section between Pine Street and Upton Road in Central Point.[2] The path may eventually link to the planned Rogue River Greenway along the Rogue River between Central Point and Grants Pass.[9] If completed, the combined trails would connect Ashland to Grants Pass with a continuous biking and hiking path largely protected from motorized traffic.[3]

Locations[edit]

Location Coordinates[10] Trail location[1] Elevation[11]
Ashland Dog Park trailhead 42°12′40.15″N 122°42′43.75″W / 42.2111528°N 122.7121528°W / 42.2111528; -122.7121528 (Bear Creek Greenway at Ashland Dog Park) 0.0 mi (0 km) 1,747 ft (532 m)
North Valley View Road 42°13′16.55″N 122°44′25.43″W / 42.2212639°N 122.7403972°W / 42.2212639; -122.7403972 (Bear Creek Greenway at North Valley View Road) 2.0 mi (3.2 km) 1,650 ft (500 m)
West Valley View Road 42°14′43.87″N 122°46′33.77″W / 42.2455194°N 122.7760472°W / 42.2455194; -122.7760472 (Bear Creek Greenway at West Valley View Road) 4.75 mi (7.64 km) 1,567 ft (478 m)
Fern Valley Road 42°16′48.87″N 122°49′10.57″W / 42.2802417°N 122.8196028°W / 42.2802417; -122.8196028 (Bear Creek Greenway at Fern Valley Road) 8.3 mi (13.4 km) 1,465 ft (447 m)
Barnett Road 42°18′56.39″N 122°50′59.47″W / 42.3156639°N 122.8498528°W / 42.3156639; -122.8498528 (Bear Creek Greenway at Barnett Road) 11.75 mi (18.91 km) 1,393 ft (425 m)
Table Rock Road 42°21′49.29″N 122°53′07.13″W / 42.3636917°N 122.8853139°W / 42.3636917; -122.8853139 (Bear Creek Greenway at Table Rock Road) 16.05 mi (25.83 km) 1,297 ft (395 m)
Peninger Road trailhead (Central Point) 42°22′46.48″N 122°54′02.32″W / 42.3795778°N 122.9006444°W / 42.3795778; -122.9006444 (Bear Creek Greenway at Peninger Road) 17.7 mi (28.5 km) 1,265 ft (386 m)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Moore, Jim (2012). 75 Classic Rides Oregon: The Best Road Biking Routes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 157–160. ISBN 978-1-59485-650-1. 
  2. ^ a b c "Pine to Upton" (PDF). Bear Creek Greenway Foundation. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  3. ^ "Bear Creek Greenway Foundation". Bear Creek Greenway Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 June 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-24. 
  4. ^ a b c "Greenway idea had legs, history shows". Mail Tribune. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  5. ^ a b "Since You Asked: Greenway slowed by lack of funds". Mail Tribune. 2001-10-02. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  6. ^ a b Landers, Meg (2009-05-30). "An unbroken path". Mail Tribune. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  7. ^ Zimmerman, Steve (2004-08-20). "One step closer". Ashland Daily Tidings. 
  8. ^ "Greenway". Rogue River Greenway. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  9. ^ Geolocated with Google Earth
  10. ^ Derived from Google Earth

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°16′27″N 122°48′54″W / 42.27417°N 122.81500°W / 42.27417; -122.81500 (Phoenix, Oregon)