southern oregon

Anyone who loves anything outdoors should never sleep on an opportunity to explore Southern Oregon.

I have visited my family in Medford many a time. However, every trip was usually for a birthday or a holiday. I hardly ever had time to actually go out and explore.

Well, a recent change in life events has given me the opportunity to spend some time here and do some proper exploring.

This week’s video has me exploring Southern Oregon at its finest. Come rain, sunshine, or snow, I consistently had my mind blown around every corner.

Have a Gander at Southern Oregon’s McKee Bridge

McKee Bridge in Southern Oregon

Back in 1917, a man named Jason Hartman and his son Wesley built a bridge on a plot of land donated by one Aldelbert Mckee.

Between 1917 and 1956, that bridge served as a way to help the traffic from mining and logging. That was, until the bridge was deemed unsafe for vehicular use, of course.

A restoration to the bridge’s roof allowed pedestrian access again in 1965. We remain grateful for the combined efforts that brought that to life. We owe a debt of gratitude to various volunteers throughout the years that we now know as the McKee Committee.

If you catch Oregon on a warm day, don’t miss out on an opportunity to take a dip in the swimming hole. Even better, grab hold of the rope swing and launch yourself in.

On the bridge itself, take a gander at the plywood nailed throughout as a purposeful place for grafitti. Personally, this was one of my favorite aspects of the bridge. More than that, people have (so far) remained respectful of that, for which I am grateful. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one.)

Also, those that keep an eye peeled for Little Free Libraries won’t be upset at the one out there.

Applegate Lake Showcases Southern Oregon Scenery

Applegate Lake in Southern Oregon

Calling all fishers to hang out on the 988-acre Applegate Lake.

This man-made lake came into being back in 1980, when the Army Corps of Engineers completed the dam that stands at a hefty 242 feet tall. 

You don’t have to be a fisherman (or fisherwoman) to enjoy this lake, either. Grab your mountain bike, your boats (just don’t go more than 10 mph!), your paddle boats, your canoes, your hiking boots, or anything else outdoor-related to enjoy a day (or two, or three) out at this lake.

Bird watchers should also get their fix of our winged friends enjoying their natural habitat. Plus, with a 17.5-mile trail that follows along the shoreline, there’s plenty of opportunities to see the lake and the wildlife from all sorts of various angles.

Lower Table Rock is Southern Oregon at its Finest

Lower Table Rock in Southern Oregon

Personally, I’m a sucker for volcanic activity. 

When I first visited Medford six years go after my sister moved here, my eyes instantly gravitated toward what I now know to be Lower Table Rock. I didn’t, at the time, notice there were two. The flat surface of Lower Table Rock called out to me, and I am ecstatic over the opportunity to experience it for myself.

On a previous visit, I’d done the Upper Table Rock hike with my sister and her family. On that hike, however, we didn’t take the time to stop and read the signs. Doing so on my solo hike up the Lower Table Rock, I discovered that both Table Rocks were formed by andesitic magma before being shaped by erosion.

This opened me up into researching some about different types of volcanos and different types of lavas.

Long story short: Andesitic magma, as opposed to basaltic or rhyolitic, comes from stratovolcanoes, as opposed to shield volcanos.

Science lesson aside, the hike and the views from Lower Table Rock are well worth the few hours of time it takes for completion. Although it is a relatively heavily-trafficed area, there’s still plenty of space at the top to spend some time on your own, perhaps even for a picnic or just some time gazing out over the valley and contemplating life.

The table rocks have been a staple for Oregon history, and even the view from the bottom beholds the wonders of these naturally flat-mountained creations.

Get the BEST View of Southern Oregon at Roxy Ann Peak

Roxy Ann Peak in Southern Oregon

Are you looking for an option for your four-legged fur baby? Roxy Ann Peak and the surrounding trails are a great option to bring along Fido and enjoy some of the best views in Medford.

Here’s the thing:

There are many warnings throughout the park that warn of staying off trails when they’re muddy. It adds to the difficulty, and with the bipolar flip-of-the-switch weather seen in Oregon, there’s no knowing what you’re going to get out here.

However, if you hit those trails on a clear day like I did, and you make it all the way up to the summit, you’re not going to regret it. At all.

Look off the left for an amazing view of Mount Mclaughlin. Keep your eyes peeled for the rim of Crater Lake. Squint off into the distance and you’ll even be able to see Mount Shasta. Take a breath and soak in the sights of the Southern Oregon mountainsides that surround you in every direction. Listen to the rustle of trees as you bask in the light breeze.

And then finish off the day with a visit to the Roxy Ann Winery to cap off the entire adventure. (Even though that’s actually still on my to-do list.)

Have you checked out any of these highlights? Where are some of your favorites? Any I missed? Let me know down in the comments, and be sure to check out my other Oregon adventures!