Greenway extending to Rogue River
Many hikers and bikers have enjoyed the Bear Creek Greenway that connects Central Point to Medford, and even the extended greenway south of Medford heading toward Ashland.
But the Rogue River Greenway project is connecting Gold Hill to the city of Rogue River and is expected to be completed by the end of October. Jackson County Engineer Mike Kuntz is currently working the $2.2 million project that runs along North River Road from Del Rio Vineyards and stops about a half-mile north.
“Path Ends” sign along with a dozen orange cones indicate where the current project continues.
“The original seed money that matched the original grant was $50,000,” Kuntz said. “And that came from the Rogue River Greenway Foundation.”
The $50,000 “seed money” was the initial funding to get the project started, was raised mostly in part from the Race the Rogue event that happens each year.
Kuntz said that most of the funds came from a federal grant that came through the Middle Road Metropolitan Planning Organization, and $400,00 was provided by Oregon ODOT Ped Program.
Eventually, the Rogue River Greenway project will be connecting the final leg from Rogue River to Grants Pass. Kuntz said he isn’t sure what path they intend to take when that time comes. Kuntz said there are three possible routes: Foothill boulevard, Rogue River Highway 99, or following the railroad right of way.
The railroad in the past has expressed non-interest,” Kuntz said. “So, that’s probably not going to happen.”
“And then when it’s done, probably in a decade or two,” Kuntz said. “There’ll be a trail that’ll be continuous from Ashland to Grants Pass.”
Kuntz said the greenway projects that already exist have taken 30 years to put together.
For people wanting to hike and bike all the way to Grants Pass, the wait will have to continue. But eventually, there will be paved trails from Ashland all the way to Grants Pass.