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Make a Day of It: Staying at Green Springs Inn and Mountain Cabins in Ashland

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is the Green Springs Inn and Mountain Cabins.

First, the running:

Keep these local races in mind when planning your next run-cation

These are just a few races within a short drive from the lodge. A more complete schedule can be found on the Southern Oregon Runners website.

The Green Springs Inn is located about 15 miles from Ashland, along a climbing road with a lot of curves and great views. For a spirited driver such as myself, that was an adventure within itself, for the more sedate driver it is a scenic road to enjoy at a moderate pace. The Pacific Crest Trail is accessible from two roads from the lodge, one point about a mile away, and the other is three miles distant.

Two other options for exploration are Lithia Park (18 miles from Green Springs) in the middle of Ashland which is home to a plethora of trails for adventures of variable length and the Hobart Bluff trail (2 miles from Green Springs) which is an out and back option of just over 2 miles in length.

Our Experience:

After piling the family into the car and driving nearly three hours to reach our destination, the views on Highway 66 prepared us for what was in store at Green Springs Inn & Cabins. As we left the hustle and crowds of Interstate 5 and climbed into the relative silence and beauty of the hills, the weight and worries of civilization were left behind. I had not heard of Green Springs prior to receiving the opportunity to stay at the cabins, but knew the Ashland area was a veritable mecca for runners due to the climate and trails after spending some time at Southern Oregon University in my college days. The lodge area is heavily forested and we saw deer, wild turkeys and many predatory birds as we approached the lodge area. Tucked into the trees with only the main building visible from the highway, we nearly drove right past it as we approached. The lodge is directly behind the main building, but the cabins are accessible via a gravel road, with enough space between them for each one to feel isolated.

The Green Springs Inn was purchased by the McGuire/Marsh family in 1994. In 2003, some adjacent property was sold to a logging company and planned to be clear cut. A sale was proposed and the family acquired the land with the help of a friend. The cabins were added to help cover the cost of the property. This allows people to enjoy the beauty of the area and makes it possible for the owners to continue maintaining the area.

We stayed in the Chinquapin Mountain Cabin. Utilizing all the sleeping areas, my daughters were thrilled with the loft bed above the bathroom and my son was slightly less excited about the hide a bed in the living room, which proved to be very comfortable. The cabin was well stocked and clean, while the design made the most of a small footprint. We spent a lot of time on the rather large deck and ate every meal outdoors. The kitchenette had the basics and worked well as we brought up enough food for the days we stayed there and cooked every meal. The only things we lacked for are the couple items we forgot to pick up from the store. The facilities worked well in every fashion and the mild weather coupled with long days meant that we made the most of it enjoying the natural  lighting and temperatures. There was wifi, which came in handy at times, but no TV, which was fine for my family. I was not expecting the cabin to have as many amenities as it did and felt like we were staying in a hotel room that had been transported to a much more ideal location.

Refueling:

Due to this outing being in the midst of a two week vacation and a multi hour road trip, there were plenty of opportunities to eat out. One of the aspects we enjoyed about this relaxing get away was the chance to enjoy low key home made food. On that note, we didn’t utilize the onsite restaurant, even though the couple times I passed through there were some large fresh cinnamon rolls that were beckoning to me from the display case. It was open from 9 am to 8:30 all week, and is located in the main building. They source their beef from a local free range farm and it is processed locally. Meals prices are comparable to most sit down restaurants and they prepare their food on site.

Playing:

The lack of a TV and a decision to minimize screen time on this trip made it fun to direct our energy outwards in a new environment. We played a few games of horseshoes on the pit that was almost directly across the road from our cabin. There was a bigger area with several pits near the main area. The deck offered plenty of entertainment, as we enjoyed the outdoor tub, roasted s’mores in the bbq and did a lot of animal watching. A basket in the kitchen had games in it, but we came prepared with a bag of our favorites. For the younger crowd, there is a playset, which our kids spend a little time on. The biggest draw about this trip was just being outside and we really enjoyed the time spent hiking ( and for me, running) on the Pacific Crest Trail. We headed up to the reservoir with the plans of going for a swim, but low water and a lot of muck derailed that idea.

It had been a long time since I had been able to enjoy a trip of this sort and was not sure what to expect. The amenities and views at Green Springs make the idea of staying in the big city a lot less appealing. With so much in life being about connectivity and the rat race, stepping out to the great outdoors is a definite release. The cabins were very comfortable and clean, while the staff there made every effort to ensure we were satisfied with the location. Our whole family agree that this is a place we would definitely like to return to.

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