In 2020, “Negro Ben Mountain” was officially renamed Ben Johnson Mountain after the early Black blacksmith who lived and worked there in the 1860s. With the change, Ben Johnson Mountain became one of just a few geographic place names in Oregon named for a known Black person.
Now Oregon Black Pioneers wants to celebrate that renaming with a weekend of outdoor fun and historical appreciation! Along with co-sponsors Siskiyou Mountain Club, Southern Oregon Historical Society, and Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, Oregon Black Pioneers has planned two days of community events in historic Jacksonville, Oregon, culminating in a hike up Ben Johnson Mountain on Sun. June 6th, 2021!
Tickets are $20 for the Saturday wine perks and evening picnic. Sunday’s hike is FREE, but donations are greatly appreciated. See our Eventbrite page to purchase!
11:00 am 4:00 pm (drop in at your leisure) – Registrants will receive exclusive benefits of a Wine Club Membership for the day at Schultz Glory Oaks (755 Slagle Creek Road, Grants Pass, OR 97527). Free wine flights are also available for registrants at Quady North tasting room (255 E California St, Jacksonville, OR 97530).
4:00 pm – Evening picnic at SOHS’s historic Hanley Farm (1053 Hanley Rd, Central Point, OR 97502). Enjoy music, self-guided tours, and wine for purchase by Quady North. BYO food, or purchase from Freddie Lee’s Seafood Smorgasbord (vegan options available). Bring a towel, lawn games, etc.!
11:00 am – 4:00 pm (dop in at your leisure): Basecamp at picnic area of Cantrall Buckley Park (154 Cantrall Road, Jacksonville, OR 97530). Oregon Black Pioneers, Southern Oregon Historical Society, and Southern Oregon Laboratory of Anthropology will have history booths, snacks and water, and information. Hike up Ben Johnson Mountain begins from parking area 5 miles from here up Cantrall Road (see image below).
11:00 am – 4:00 pm : Open self-paced hikes up Ben Johnson Mountain (trail begins from parking area at 42°12’02.6″N 123°06’05.6″W)
Hikes are self-directed and self paced; drop in any time between 11:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sun. June 6th. Waters and snacks will be provided.
After checking in at Basecamp at Cantrall Buckley Park, cars can drive five miles up a paved road to large parking area at 42°12’02.6″N 123°06’05.6″W (hiking all the way from Basecamp is discouraged). From parking area, a gate marks the beginning of the trail. A representative from Siskiyou Mountain Club will be present to point out the trail, answer questions, and offer water and snacks. Trail is an out and back, 1.1 miles each way. The trail is gravel and wooded. Hiking boots, sun protection, insect repellant, and water bottles recommended.
Oregon Black Pioneers is committed to making this a memorable experience for all participants irrespective of physical ability.
The 1.1 mile hiking trail to the top of Ben Johnson Mountain is NOT ADA accessible, but guests are encouraged to drive as far as the parking area for scenic views and a connection to the Ben Johnson story.
All other weekend event activities are accessible to all attendees (local activities and evening reception at Hanley Farm on Saturday; base camp history booths at Cantrall Buckley Park on Sunday).
- Wine Country Inn in Jacksonville is offering discounted room rates ($129 per night) to event attendees between Fri. June 4 and Sun. June 6. Only 10 rooms available; You must call to book (541-899-2050) and mention this event. Discount ends after May 19!
- Cantrall Buckley Park has ample camping sites available on a first come-first served basis.
- Search for additional hotels and nightly bookings throughout Jacksonville, Medford, and surrounding communities.