Sure, there’s a lot of theater to enjoy in Ashland, but let’s not forget that this city – as far south as it’s located – is still part of Oregon. And that means it has a bounty of outdoor beauty to offer visitors. So for a quick and gentle experience with natural tranquility, wander over to Lithia Park.
Lithia Park is tucked right into the heart of downtown Ashland, and is a hub for residents looking for the peace of the outdoors. Expect 93 acres of elegant, English-style gardens, duck ponds, dense green lawns, magnolia trees and more. There’a also a playground, a winter ice-skating rink, and an amphitheater.
Another lovely thing about this park is that it’s the perfect segue to the multitude of trails in the nearby Siskiyou Mountains. In the summer months, the aroma of ponderosa pines, California incense cedars, and madrone trees will entice visitors to explore the slopes, especially with easy trails leading from Lithia Park. The southern end of the park connects to a vast trail network, including the popular Alice in Wonderland, White Rabbit, and Caterpillar trails. There are also opportunities to access mountain bike trails from the park.
As a fun note, Lithia Park was designed in the early 1900’s by John McLaren, who famously designed San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. He was commissioned to make improvements to a new public space that was previously owned by a flour mill. McLaren turned the area into the rambling acres of what is now Lithia Park.