Walking the Wild Applegate: the vision of the Applegate Trails Association

The Applegate Trails Association (ATA) was created to manifest a vision: the Applegate Ridge Trail (ART). The ATA proposes connecting what is being called the “Jack-Ash” trail to ATA’s proposed Applegate Ridge Trail. This 80-mile trail corridor follows a series of footpaths, old roads, ridgelines and steep mountain slopes across the rugged spine of what early settlers called the 'Front Range.' The ridgeline — a mosaic of forest, prairie, woodland and brush — divides the Rogue and Bear Creek Valleys from the Applegate Valley in southwestern Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains. Together the trails will bridge that divide, connecting the communities of the Applegate and Rogue Valleys with a beautiful, non-motorized trail system that defines our region and who we are as a community.

In May, 2016, two ATA board members, Luke Ruediger and Josh Weber, hiked the entire 80 miles from downtown Ashland, Oregon, to Grants Pass, Oregon. Our goal was to turn this thru-hike adventure into a documentary that would raise awareness about the beauty of our region and build support for the creation of our proposed trail system and the benefits it will provide to surrounding communities.

A view from Bald Mountain in the Applegate Valley. Photo courtesy of G. Sexton

A view from Bald Mountain in the Applegate Valley. Photo courtesy of G. Sexton

Our film, “Walking the Wild Applegate,” documents Luke and Josh’s adventure into the stunning beauty and diversity of “wild Applegate,” following their route from Lithia Park in downtown Ashland, over the still snow-covered summit of Wagner Butte, across the arid slopes of Anderson Butte, though the Dakubetede roadless area, to the rugged foothills of the Wellington Wildlands outside Ruch, and finally to the Cathedral Hills trail system south of Grants Pass.

Read more about the Applegate Trails Association