The Red Queen Trail / Snark Loop is a 4 mile loop off the beaten path above the swimming hole. A nice alternative to Bandersnatch.
Driving – A 2 minute drive from Ashland Plaza. Head south through town on main street and turn right on Gresham at the library. You’ll dead end into Holly so turn right. Up that steep hill and you dead end into Terrace where you’ll turn left. Terrace hits Ashland Loop Road at the top of the hill and you’ll turn left at that round concrete cookie AKA the Crowson Reservoir.
Parking – Park on the side of the road just past the UFO shaped reservoir.
The Adventure – The newly renamed “Lower Red Queen Trail” has a new sign just above the giant cement disk AKA Crowson Reservoir. The old deer trail is now a human trail, thank you AshlandTrails.org. So long fallen trees and homeless camps! However, the hill is still just as steep as it always was. You will break a sweat right off the bat. Thanks for nothin AshlandTrails.org.
About 1/2 mile in, you’ll cross the BTI mountain bike trail. There’s a little trail called Jub Jub uphill to the left, but that’s tiny and boring. Staying on the Red Queen Trail, you’ll join The Bandersnatch Trail for a hundred yards or so and then, you’ll split off downhill onto “Snark”. Really, you’ll hike along the hillside for a mile or so. It’s pretty great, very open with some moderately tall pine trees. Finally, you’ll drop down and hit the Waterline Trail or maybe it’s now officially called Jaberwocky. Turn right and head downstream along Ashland Creek back towards the swimming hole.
This “Snark Loop” is actually like, 5 trails. But let’s not get hung up on labels, okay man. We are now on Waterline and that runs about a mile and connects back to the BTI mountain bike trail. Oh, you may have encountered bikes on Waterline already, but now you really need to keep your ears open for those adrenaline junkies flying downhill. Remember, multi-use trails are for everybody, even people who wear full body armor for fun.
As you emerge onto Glenview Drive above the swimming hole you’ll see a dirt parking lot to your right. There’s a trail that heads uphill from the parking lot that goes up to Ashland Loop Road and you’ll take that and trod. up. hill. to. your. car… whew.