Yreka's Greenhorn Park and Trails
Thought for today: Philippians 4:8 ..Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things..
Disclaimer: There is no assurance that any resource or activity I've found or described will be as 'accessible' as you might need. Information or links may be out of date. Use the information at your own risk and be sure to check with your health care professional for exercise advice.
We lived in Yreka briefly way back in 1973. It's a small historic town just south of the Oregon border off Interstate 5. The Greenhorn Dam and Reservoir was a major source of water for the City, but the quantity of water available during drought conditions was unreliable. As a growing town, the water for Yreka now comes from Fall Creek through a pipeline system. No longer needed as a municipal water source, and with a lot of community vision and effort, Greenhorn Reservoir has become a quite lovely park. In fact, I'd say it was a north state gem!
According to the Siskiyou Gardens Association web site, the formal history of Greenhorn Creek area as a park dates to 2003 when a Ford Family Foundation Leadership Institute team adopted the development of Greenhorn Park as its project. A year later, the city of Yreka purchased additional land to create a 400-acre preserve around Greenhorn Reservoir and a mile of Greenhorn Creek.
Directions: To get to the Park from historic downtown Yreka, travel south along Main Street, parallel to Interstate 5. Main Street turns into Fort Jones Road/Highway 3. Turn right onto Greenhorn Road or Ranch Lane; both shortly lead to visible park access.
Download the Greenhorn Park Trails Map.
I specifically wanted to visit Greenhorn Park as descriptions mention a wheelchair suitable paved trail around the entire reservoir. That feature alone made it worth the trip to Yreka to check it out. What I didn't expect was how very pretty and inviting the park has been made. It's absolutely beautiful!
Birders and wildlife lovers also enjoy Greenhorn Park - which means photo opportunities for me. Canada Geese, mallards, wood ducks, American Coots and other wintering waterfowl can be seen during the fall and winter months. US Fish and Wildlife occasionally offers guided walks around the Greenhorn Park area. Wildlife abound.
The aerial view of the map doesn't really show you how lovely the whole reservoir area really is. The reservoir is large enough to enable fishing (though no swimming is allowed). Wild waterfowl also use this reservoir as a stopover during migration. The leafy vegetation surrounding the reservoir is very photogenic in spring and fall and provides wildlife habitat. Greenhorn Park is a truly lovely hidden gem and Yreka is justifiably proud of what has been created for residents and visitors.
The restrooms at the park are new, ADA compliant and nicely landscaped. The parking areas are ample and fully paved. Keep in mind there are a number of community events staged at the Park, so you may have company. While we were there, it was just locals out walking around the reservoir and enjoying the day.
I had only allowed a morning to check out the Park. While I got some nice photos, I need to spend some more time there as it is a really nice photo location with lots of possibilities. If I time it right, there will be lots of birds, some spring or fall color in the surrounding trees, and I'll explore the broader photo opportunities. It may be possible to venture part way up some of the dirt trails, too, with my all-terrain rolling walker.
Mornings (and afternoons) at Greenhorn Park can be lovely. We were there in September, during the fall bird migration so there were lots of Canadian geese in and around the water and lounging around on the grass. Portions of the paved wheelchair-friendly trail around the reservoir are in bright sun while other areas are shaded so carry water as you walk or hike. There are a number of picnic tables adjacent to the trail as well where you can sit and watch the birds in the water. The picnic areas are generally well-packed dirt.
Here's the nice thing about this park. There really is something for every skill level. I can 'hike' along the relatively flat paved trail that goes around the perimeter of the reservoir. Other trails are unpaved and suitable for walking, running, additional trails are bike trails, and dogs can come too if leashed in most areas. Plus, it's only about 1.5 miles from town. Perfect! Be sure to add Yreka's Greenhorn Park to your trip plans!
*There are lots (and lots, and lots) of places yet to be reviewed for wheelchair accessibility and I am unlikely to get to them all. So that others may find some new places, I've compiled a draft list of locations that may be wheelchair accessible. These are POSSIBILITIES, no certainties. Some places may be complete duds. ATTENTION: this is a ROUGH draft list - mostly for my own use, so if you use this draft list, lower your expectations and do your homework! DRAFT SISKIYOU COUNTY ACCESSIBLE RECREATION LIST