Winter Sanctuary Season Begins at Baskett Slough

Wilson's Snipe LG

Public access into major portions of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuges will be limited during the winter sanctuary season in order to provide undisturbed habitat for Canada geese and other wildlife.

By resting in undisturbed areas on the Refuge, often referred to as sanctuary, wintering geese replenish their energy reserves required for nesting and migrating. This sanctuary also reduces crop damage on neighboring agricultural lands.

The winter sanctuary for Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge will go into effect on October 1 and will remain in effect until March 31. Visiting hours are sunrise to sunset. To locate Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, visitors should travel west on State Highway 22 from Salem and watch for the wildlife viewing area signs, which are located on the north side of the highway at mile post 14.

A wildlife viewing kiosk is located adjacent to State Highway 22. This facility offers visitors excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and is complete with interpretive panels, a viewing scope, benches, and picnic tables. The kiosk is fully accessible and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Hiking on Baskett Slough during the sanctuary season is limited to the Rich Guadagno Memorial Loop Trail. The trail winds up Baskett Butte and is a popular hike which offers panoramic views of the Willamette Valley. Look for various raptor species cruising over the fields below the Butte. Restroom and kiosk facilities are located at the trailhead off Coville Road.