Prescott Park’s Madrone Trail looks satisfactory after the day prior to this rain, with no standing water and some hoof prints from a black-tailed deer.

But Haley Cox doesn’t get 10 paces up the path before her feet appear like she’s carrying gray clown footwear.

Roxy Ann Peak’s infamous clay soil kegs up on her soles, displaying why the park’s trails overlooking the Rogue Valley are seasonal at first-rate.

Oregon Outdoors: Trail glazers 1

“It’s deceiving from the appearance of it,” says Cox, a planner for the Medford Parks and Recreation Department. “You wouldn’t recognize from the look of it that your footwear will be included with five kilos of mud.”

But this doubtful part of the park’s topography could severely decrease or disappear and the “closed when muddy” signs and symptoms ought to go along with it.

The town is in the midst of a test to look whether or not these seasonal trails can welcome hikers, runners, and bikers yr-spherical by resurfacing them with decomposed granite that, over the years, should glaze and harden the trails, so water runs off as opposed to soaking in.

With an assist from the park’s prolific biker gang — typically wearing their Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association using jerseys — park officers lately resurfaced the 1-mile, recently built Greenhorn Trail with decomposed granite in hopes it’ll form into a better path and now not simply wash down the slopes in destiny rains.

If it sticks, plans systematically resurface the park’s ultimate thirteen miles of trails to provide Roxy Ann Peak mountain bikers and hikers get admission to year-spherical panoramic views.

“We’re now not positive if this could achieve success in staying in all weather situations,” Cox says. “We’re definitely hoping it’s going to settle into the clay and come to be a lot more cemented in so it doesn’t stick with your shoes and tires and has a touch little bit of supply for consolation.”

A yr-spherical floor became a high-precedence for the association when it teamed with the town to discover, flag and in the end, help build more than 6 miles of recent park trails in 2017 — possibly the most important recreational infusion in eight a long time into the park at Medford’s eastern facet.

“It’s a wonderful asset that we have here proper in our backyard, and the terrain is lovely,” says Michael Bronze, the affiliation’s founder and a regular park rider. “But it’s unrideable in wintry weather. It’s excellent-sticky when wet. The dust sticks to the whole thing. This way, anyone can use them and experience them all wintry weather lengthy.”

The Greenhorn Trail is a great place to begin because it’s much less stressful than the Black Diamond downhill path, which additionally turned into built years in the past and speedy have become a favorite of mountain bikers here.

The Greenhorn Trail is certainly one of valuable few 12 months-spherical mountain-biking trails informal sufficient for riders unnerved with the aid of steeper, quicker routes.

“It also opens it up for a number of the less-skilled riders who don’t want to head on a bumpy, sticky path,” rider Bill Matson says.

The resurfacing is a new bankruptcy in the long story of Prescott Park, which has greater downs than the u.S.For this reason, the city, with the assist of Lion’s Club, customary the 1,741-acre park in land acquisitions in 1930 and ‘31, making it second simplest to Portland’s Forest Park in Oregon for municipal park acreage.

Its foremost characteristic is Roxy Ann Peak, whose 3,571-foot elevation stands 2,200 ft above the Rogue Valley floor.

The park is known for George J. Prescott, a Medford police constable, Lion’s Club member, and early park champion who turned into a shot and killed March 16, 1933.