I absolutely love Oregon, and, having heard good things about Ashland, was looking forward to spending the weekend there with my family, camping at Emigrant Lake CG.
First off, I was shocked at how hot it was-- hotter than Sacramento this weekend. It was hard to escape the heat, especially on the parched hills of Emigrant Lake campground, so, we made our way down to Lithia Park. It is a beautiful park-- lots of trees, a nice creek, walking paths. But it didn't take us long not to feel welcome there, or in Ashland itself. My son & his friend rode their longboards down the street that borders the park, on the edge of the street, and were immediately stopped by a park cop telling them they couldn't ride boards "in" the park. My husband & I began walking our dogs on the paths in the park, and were immediately told dogs were not allowed in the park, but that we could walk them on the street that borders the park. I understand dogs not being allowed-- especially when many folks don't pick up after theirs, and seeing a doe & her 2 fawns in the park, I can see where they don't mix. So we split up, my husband walking the dogs on the periphery of the park, while I walked with the kids through the park. My hub took the dogs to the little square downtown, to sit down & wait for us. He was told there, "Dogs aren't allowed in the square or downtown". While walking through the park, I noticed signs that said, "no bikes, etc., etc. etc.", and that, when parking at the edge of the park, you must park forward, not backward. In addition to being turned off by all these rules that put a sour note on any fun to be had, there were many, many homeless-looking people hanging around, not only in the park, but in town. The town was crowded-- very busy with many tourists. Crowds at 100 degrees aren't my cup of tea.
When my husband & I met up later, we sat on the grass by the road at the edge of the park with our dogs, and the same park cop came up and told us our dogs were not allowed there, despite them being on leash, sitting down quietly next to us. Again, I understand dog rules, but I didn't feel welcomed, nor did I enjoy my visit to Ashland. As I told the park cop, "I"ll go back to Bend."