“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”
– Distance: ~ 2.8 miles
– Min/max elev.: 2206’/3054′
– Elev. gain/loss: 1510’/-747′
Lower Wonder is mult-use path with bikes allowed to ride uphill-only. The trail starts at the Fairy Ponds parking area and proceeds north along Ashland Creek and then climbs up and around the large old quarry area with a series of switchbacks. The trail connects to the rest of Wonder or one can exit stage left to FS Road 2060.
While the average grade of this trail is only around 7%, there is a fair amount of climbing. Mountain bikers may find themselves trying to hang onto trees to catch their breath…ok, I’m conveying my own experience.
Views include Grizzly Peak, the City of Ashland, the tip of Mt Mclouglin, the east side of the watershed, Mt Ashland and more.
Lower Wonder is part of the joint FS-AWTA Ashland Trails project, started in 2011 and approved in 2014, and is one of the last sections of trail to be built as a part of that project. The upper section of Wonder–from 2060 to Fell on Knee–was finished in 2018. That section was all on FS lands. The lower section of Wonder is also on city lands and necessitated city approval as well. Extensive presentations over a period of two years to the Forest Lands Commission eventually elicited permission to proceed. The possibility of a future water treatment plant in the quarry delayed the process somewhat; it is possible that the trail will be re-routed on the lower end at some future date.
Lower Wonder construction began in the spring of 2019 with work starting in the middle, the so-called “crux” section because of its challenging steep slopes and large granite boulders. After satisfactorily building that section, trail construction continued through other challenging areas in 2019 and resumed in the winter of 2020. As of this writing, there is still some refinement going on, but the trail is effectively completed.
Written by Torsten Heycke 04/29/2020