Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Middle Fork (Applegate) National Recreation Trail

User Groups: Hikers and Horses
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5.7 miles
Season: April to Oct.
Level of Use: Light / Moderate
Elevation: 2860 to 4200
Connecting: Frog Pond Trail, Cameron Meadows Trail.

The Middle Fork National Recreation Trail (Middle Fork NRT) is a beautiful hike or horseback ride that follows the Middle Fork of the Applegate River. This trail offers opportunities for swimming in the emerald pools of the river, fishing for brook trout, or picnicking along the rivers edge. This is a good hike to view brilliant autumn colors! While several springs are found along the trail, the water sources have not been tested and may be unsafe to drink. Water treatment is recommended.

The upper section of this trail is not recommended for horse use due to the narrow tread and rocky creek crossings. The trailhead on the 1035 road provides the best access for a horse back rider with reasonable turnaround room for vehicles with trailers.

Beginning on Forest Road 1035, the Middle Fork NRT passes through lush fern grottos, unique pothole formations and deep swimming holes. The forest displays a mixed deciduous stand of alder, dogwood and big leaf maple. After 3.4 miles the trail crosses Forest Road 1040 at the Frog Pond Trailhead.

The upper section of the Middle Fork NRT is within the Red Buttes Wilderness for approximately 0.5 miles. The forest changes dramatically to mixed stands of old growth Douglas-fir, white fir, incense cedar, and ponderosa pine. Huckleberry, hazelnut, and vine maple form a dense understory. The Middle Fork NRT ends on Forest Road #1040600 at Bean Gulch.

Applegate Ranger District
6941 Upper Applegate Road
Jacksonville, OR 97530
Tel. 541-899-3800

Ashland Ranger District
645 Washington Street
Ashland, OR 97520
Tel. 541-552-2900


Access #1 (Rd. 1035 Trailhead, elev. 2860?): From Applegate (Star) Ranger Station drive south on Upper Applegate Road 13 miles to the junction with Carberry Creek Rd. (Just after crossing the Carberry Bridge over Applegate Lake). Turn left and continue 1.5 miles to the junction of Forest Road #1040 and #1050. This junction is a wide spot in a gravel road just south of the California state line. Turn right on to Rd. #1040 follow for 5 miles to the junction with Rd. #1035. Continue straight ahead on to Rd. #1035 and proceed 0.1 miles to the trailhead sign and large parking area on the left.

Access #2 (Frog Pond Trailhead, elev. 3920?): Follow directions as above to junction of Rd. #1040 and #1050. Turn right on Rd. #1040 and follow for 12 miles to the Frog pond Trailhead sign and bulletin board. The Middle Fork NRT may be accessed above or below the small turnout on the road.

Access #3 (Bean Gulch Trailhead, elev. 4200?): Follow the directions stated above to the junctions of roads #1040 and #1050. Turn right on Rd. #1040 and follow for 14 miles to the junction with Spur Road #600. Turn left and drive 0.2 mile to the trailhead at the end of the road.