Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge -
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.
From Salem go W on Hwy 22 for 12 mi to signed overlook with viewing kiosk on N side of Hwy (GPS 44 57.127 N, 123 16.157 W). Coville Rd and Baskett access: From overlook continue W on Hwy 22 for 1 mi. Turn R on Smithfield Rd and immediately turn R again, onto Coville Rd. View wetlands from pullouts along Coville Rd or continue E for 1 mi to Baskett Butte trailhead. Morgan Lake access: From overlook continue W on Hwy 22 for 1 mi. Turn R on Smithfield Rd, which zigzags N & E for 1mi, then turns N for 1.2 mi before turning E. Continue E 0.5 mi to gravel parking lot on S side of intersection with Livermore Rd.
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