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Accessible directly from downtown, Lithia Park is Ashland's "crown jewel." "Lithia is a 100-acre vista of emerald lawns, tennis/pickleball courts, a sand-pit volleyball court, picnic areas, colorful landscaping, and playground equipment," according to [Ashland.Or.Us](http://www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=14083).
But most importantly, it's filled with miles and miles of hiking trails! The route mapped here outlines an out-and-back route to the far upper reaches of Lithia Park at Lithia Reservoir.
This hike is a bit rougher and steeper than the [Lithia Park Loop](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2693301/) hike, negotiating a few steeper sections of singletrack trails crisscrossed with roots.
But on the grand scheme of hiking trails, this 2.4-mile round-trip hike is still very easy and approachable. Despite the incredible ease of access, this hike serves up gorgeous scenery in an idyllic forest.
Ashland Creek flowing through the park provides a melodic backdrop of running water and picturesque scenery.
In a few places, water has been diverted to form small ponds, which create a habitat for ducks, geese, and other animals.
And the final destination is a tiny but beautiful reservoir high in the hills, which controls water flow to provide a consistent water supply for the town of Ashland. The forest in Lithia is comprised primarily of deciduous trees, which turn beautiful colors in the fall.
The diversity of the trees in Lithia is dramatically higher than the natural forests surrounding Ashland.
You'll observe all kinds of trees, from maples to oaks, aspens, and more.
Consequently, Lithia is especially popular in the fall, providing one of the best places to enjoy fall colors in all of Southern Oregon. This short out-and-back route can be extended significantly if you so desire.
Above the reservoir, you can hike high into the mountains on much longer trails in the Ashland watershed! One final note: there are quite a few restrictions in Lithia Park.
Most notably, dogs are not allowed on any trails here.