Lithia Park

Lithia Park Ashland, Oregon is a stunningly beautiful 93-acre park in a garden setting situated within easy distance of 1-5 for either a quick pitstop or an afternoon detour. Located on the north end of Ashland, Oregon in their pedestrian-friendly downtown, there are several entrances to this sprawling park, but the easiest to access from the city center is on Winburn Way. Park either in the city square or follow Winburn around the side of the park, and cross one of the several arched bridges over Ashland Creek. At this north end of Lithia Park, you’ll find a duck pond and excellent play structure, complete with climbing wall/rock and rope tower. Near the play area is easy access to the creek, where kids can dip toes on hot days (unless signs dictate otherwise¬¶the creek is closed to waders during some summers).

Almost at the top!

Almost at the top!

If you have time, continue on the marked paths to the south end, where you’ll find tennis courts, a second (more inhabited) duck pond, and hiking trails.

On the way back to the car, let the kids peek into Small Change, an excellent toy and boutique-quality children’s clothing store at 5 N. Main. Little ones can climb up the ladder into an elevated loft (fully enclosed with a latching gate) where they are encouraged to play with a selection of toys while you peruse the offerings. The other shops along the square are fascinating to poke around in as well, if your kids have the patience!

Nate and Cal climbing the rope tower.

Nate and Cal climbing the rope tower.

Date last visited: June 2009

Distance off the interstate: About five minutes’ drive.

Bathrooms: Clean bathrooms are located by the play structure. Many shops and restaurants are also within walking distance.

Food Services: Downtown Ashland has a plethora of excellent restaurants, but our personal favorite with kids is Munchies, located right in the heart of the square, on the corner of N. Main. They serve great vegetarian fare as well as burgers, pasta, and Mexican selections. There are also several ice cream and candy shops along the same block, as well as Big Town Hero and vegetarian and Thai cuisine.

Directions: From I-5, take exit 19 and turn right at S Valley View Rd. Turn left at Hwy-99 and continue 2 miles. Take a slight right at Guanajuato Way, then turn right at Winburn Way.

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