Hiking is allowed in all areas open to the public. Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged. Please stay out of closed areas to minimize disturbance to plants and animals. Bicycling and running are allowed only on designated public access routes. These activities are not allowed on trails or roads closed to public vehicles.
Highway 22 Wildlife Viewing Kiosk
Open: Year Round
The Highway 22 Wildlife Viewing Kiosk is on the north side of Highway 22 about 2.5 miles west of the Highway 22/99W intersection. This kiosk is a great place to stop to view the hundreds of migrating waterfowl that use the wetlands of Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Canada geese, cinnamon teal, mallards, bufflehead and hooded mergansers are just a few of the species that you will see during the winter months. Look for great blue herons and shorebirds along the water’s edge. Bald eagles and red-tailed hawks can be seen flying over the refuge. Interpretative signs describe the various features of the refuge.
Rich Guadagno Observation Platform
Length: .75 miles Open: Year Round
The parking area is located just off Coville Road in the middle of the refuge. The trail starts with a moderate climb up to the top of Baskett Butte. Look for golden- and white-crowned sparrows perched on tree branches along the way. As you pass a junction, keep left and continue up the butte to the observation platform. At the platform you will get a great view of the many wetlands that encompass the southern part of the refuge. In the winter, you can see thousands of migratory waterfowl using the wetlands. Restrooms are available at the trailhead near the parking lot.
Rich Guadagno Memorial Loop Trail
Length: 1.0 mile Open: Year Round
The trail head parking area is located just off Coville Road in the middle of the refuge. The trail starts with a moderate climb up to the top of Baskett Butte. As you pass a junction, keep left and continue up the butte until you hit another junction. Turn right at this second junction and head toward the oak woodland. The trail winds through a mixed coniferous forest that includes Oregon white oak. In the spring this trail is great for viewing migratory songbirds. Listen for spotted towhees, ruby-crowned kinglets and Bewick’s wrens as you hike through the woodlands.
Length: .40 mile Open: Year Round
This trail is a nice out and back off of the Rich Guadagno Memorial Loop Trail during the winter sanctuary closure period. It takes you through oak savanna habitat on Baskett Butte. In spring and early summer this trail is a great place to see wildflowers on the refuge. Look and listen for acorn woodpeckers and white-breasted nuthatches pecking away in the trees.
Morgan Lake Trail
Length: 3.2 miles Open: April 1st - Sept 30th
This out and back trail starts at a parking area located at the junction of Smithfield and Livermore Road on the north side of the refuge. Park at the turnout and walk up the road a short distance to the banks of Morgan Lake. Look for Canada geese on the lake as well as mallards and cinnamon teal. As you continue, listen for red-winged blackbirds and marsh wrens singing in the cattails along the banks. The trail borders the edge of a farm field as you start your way up the backside of Baskett Butte. As you hike along the trail you will get a good view of the north part of the refuge. You will be able to see all of Morgan Lake and Moffitti Marsh. The trail will drop down and come to a junction. You can turn around and head back the way you came; turn left and take the Inter-tie trail that will connect you with the Baskett Butte trail; or turn right and connect with Moffitti Marsh Trail which will lead back to Smithfield Road.
Moffitti Marsh Trail
Length: 3 miles Open: April 1st—September 30th
This is an out and back trail, similar to the Morgan Lake Trail, but instead skirts the Moffitti Marsh. The trail begins off Smithfield Road. Park at the Morgan Lake trailhead parking area, and then walk west down Smithfield road about .25 mile to reach the gated trailhead. The trail will follow the seasonal Moffitt Marsh before angling east towards the refuge interior to meet up with the Morgan Lake and inter-tie rails. Due to the seasonality of the marsh, the trail is best enjoyed in late spring, when it is less muddy but the marsh is still full of water and the summer plant growth hasn’t obscured the marsh views. Look for dragonflies over the water and shorebirds pecking along the marsh edges. Great blue herons and great egrets are also often seen hunting in the shallow waters. Once you have reached the interior junction, you can return the way you came to complete the 3 mile hike, or continue on to one of the other refuge trails. If you turn left at the junction you can follow Morgan Lake trail back to the parking area.