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Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Dallas

#23 of 43 in Wildlife Areas in Oregon
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is located in northwestern Oregon, 10 miles (16 km) west of Salem in Polk County. Situated in open farmland near the eastern foothills of the Oregon Coast Range with the broad Willamette Valley and the Cascade Range to the east, elevations range from 185 to 414 feet (56 to 126 m) MSL. The Willamette Valley, with its mild, rainy winter climate, is an ideal environment for wintering waterfowl. The valley was once a rich mix of wildlife habitats with extensive wetlands, meandering stream channels and vast seasonal marshes. Today, the valley is a mix of farmland and growing cities, with few areas remaining for wildlife. The Refuge consists of 1,173 acres (4.75 km²) of cropland, which provide forage for wintering geese, 300 acres (1.2 km²) of forests, 550 acres (2.2 km²) of grasslands, and 500 acres (2.0 km²) of shallow water seasonal wetlands and 35 acres (0.14 km²) of permanent open water. In 1965, Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge was created to help ensure some of the original habitat remained for species preservation. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
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  • A sanctuary for the subspecies of Canada goose know as the dusky. Cool some were summering here and the family of two geese swimming with their goslings was beautiful. Birds every where, meadows, bush...  more »
  • This is a little-known gem. On a sunny day, it is great for walking, on rainy days the view is still beautiful. They have a covered viewing area.  more »
  • Baskett Sough is a great place to stop and stretch your legs while driving on Highway 22. You can bird watch from the shelter in the pull-off area or drive around the slough on the road that encircles...  more »
  • A great place for bird watching. We go almost every weekend. Convenient for handicapped because you are able to see several different kinds of water birds from your vehicle. Also, an occasional bald eagle, blue Herron, or egret. You need a good pair of binoculars. Birds are often just a few feet away. Nice parking area.
  • There are two trails at Baskett Slough. One trail, open year round, is a memorial loop in honor of an Oregon conservationist who was a big part of the wildlife refuge and who was tragically killed on flight 93 on 9/11/2001. It's a short loop with a little elevation gain. There is a spur from the loop to a nice viewing platform. We hiked on 4/2, two days after the seasonal trail opened for the season. Most of it is a pretty primitive trail - just mown grass - with the exception of a walk along paved road near the water. Spring rain has made the grassy mown path pretty muddy and wet, so plan ahead with your footwear. The walk back up Mt. Baldy is pretty steep but doesn't take too long, and there's plenty of space to catch your breath along the grassy slope. We saw several people with binoculars and birding guidebooks and heard quite a few birds. The geese still down in the slough were fun to watch and hear. A great hike on a nice day, but plan for mud in spring and that the outer trail down to the slough and Morgan Lake is closed October 1-March 31.
  • A gem hiding in plain sight. A great family hike in an hour or less.
  • A great place to stop and view nature. Fantastic views
  • Photography speaking I have never been thrilled here unless there is some sort of unusual weather going on. I have friends that love to photograph birds and really like it here, but again I really only find that interesting here with unusual weather. The place is just too plain and boring. My last trip out, 2 days ago, there was snow and I had a blast. I like going here (just outside as it is closed after dark) for dark skies. The trails were difficult (fun though) when I walked them but that was because it had been raining and they were muddy and slick.