Tag Archives: Slough

Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge- Morgan Lake (Spring 2019)

Directions: Take I-5 south to exit 260A. Take Salem Parkway for about 5 miles and take a right onto Marion Street. Cross over the Willamette River and drive for a little over 9 miles on Highway 22, take exit 16 and soon stay left for McMinnville. Take a left at the junction for 99W and drive for 3 miles to Smithfield Road. Continue on this gravel road for about 2.5 miles to a parking area on the left.

Head out on the gravel path that quickly takes a left and goes up a small hill. At the top of this hill you will get a good view of Morgan Lake and the two hills that make up Baskett Butte. Keep going on the gravel trail that dips down and back up to a grassy field. The trail is pretty much nonexistent here so just follow along near the lake.



Eventually you will see the trail again when you get towards the end of the lake. Continue on a bit farther until you reach a trail junction, this is the end of this hike so head back out the way you came in. This junction has tie trails that lead to other parts of the refuge if you want to extend your hike.


The lake was pretty empty, we did see a few mallards and shovelers but that was it. The fields had a ton of geese and there were plenty of birds in the trees and bushes. Definitely bring your binoculars!


Distance: 3 miles (easy)

Elevation: 45 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: No. Dogs are not allowed in the refuge.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: Morgan Lake is open April 1-September 30

Popular: No

Warnings: None

Spring Hikes

Hope everyone is enjoying the new season! Here are some of our favorite spring-time hikes 🙂


If you’re looking for flowers:

Pittock Mansion

Rowena Crest & Tom McCall Nature Preserve

Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Field)

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival


Hikes that open in spring or that should be done before it gets too hot:

Larch Mountain

Painted Hills

Smith Rock



Tunnel Falls

Fairy Falls

Dry Creek Falls

Pool Of The Winds

Falls Creek Falls

Mist Falls



Spring kayaking:

Columbia River Slough

Sturgeon Lake




Best Of 2015!

Here is our list of the top hikes we did in 2015!

Columbia River Gorge (Oregon side): *Tunnel Falls* We love the Eagle Creek Trail and this year we finally made it all the way out to Tunnel Falls. We definitely weren’t disappointed!


Columbia River Gorge (Washington side): *Strawberry Island* This was a nice secluded hike that had amazing views of the Gorge and lots of birds.


Mt. Hood: *Zigzag Canyon* This hike is absolutely beautiful. You get amazing views of Mt. Hood all throughout the hike. We did this hike in late June and the Lupine were in full bloom!


Oregon Coast: *Bayocean Spit* Who doesn’t love a hike that’s right on the beach?


Washington Coast: *North Head Lighthouse* You can actually go up in this lighthouse. The views are great!


Portland Metro/Outer Portland: *Oak Island* This is one of our favorite hikes on Sauvie Island, the place is covered with cows!


Washington: *Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Fields)* Go here in the spring when the lilies are blooming, it’s very pretty!


Willamette Valley: *Abiqua Falls* This waterfall is becoming more and more popular and we definitely understand why. It’s not the easiest waterfall to reach, but it’s definitely worth the scramble.


Central Oregon: *Smith Rock* We absolutely love this place. There is so much to see you almost need more than one day.


Kayaking: *Scappoose Bay* This was the first place we took our new kayak. There’s lots of places to explore here.


*Overall best hike of 2015*

Painted Hills!

Hands-down the most interesting place we’ve ever been to. The colors are beautiful and the views up at Carroll Rim are amazing! We HIGHLY recommend this hike!

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Honorable Mentions: *Lower Twin Lake, Youngs River Falls, Lost Lake (hike and kayak), Tom McCall Nature Preserve (go in the spring!), and The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.*

We’d love to hear what some of your favorite hikes of 2015 were!

Wishing everyone happy hiking in 2106!

Columbia River Slough Kayak- Airport Way Launch Site (Spring 2015)

Directions: Take I-84 East to the 181st Street exit. Head north and the road soon turns into Airport Way. Follow Airport Way until you reach the parking area on the left. It’s not a marked parking area and kinda sneaks up on you so be sure to keep an eye out (the cross street is roughly 166th)

From the parking area head down the gravel trail to the metal dock. You can go a couple ways here and we chose to head left toward the headwaters.

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Starting out you will head under an overpass and soon come to the Big 4 Corners (it’s signed). Stay right and continue paddling through the tree lined slough. The slough is relatively deep but full of grass and lily pads. In the beginning you’ll mostly be paddling through wooded areas with the chance to see a lot of Herons and small birds. About a mile in it’ll open up to more grassy areas where there are Osprey and Red-tailed Hawks. We also saw an Egret which was great. Keep your eyes peeled for small turtles as well.

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In the more open areas there are some pretty Wild Iris as well as some other flowers. We paddled out for a little over 2 miles. We turned around when it started to become more and more industrial. You will start to notice more businesses and start seeing the railroad tracks. Turning back here made for a nice 4-4.25 miles outing.

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This is a great option for people who are wanting to see wildlife. There were numerous birds along the slough. It may not be the most scenic but it’s still pretty. Another positive would be that it’s not very busy, we only came across maybe 3 or 4 people.


Distance: About 4 miles (easy)

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Warnings: The area around here is a bit sketchy

Scappoose Bay- Kayak (Spring 2015)

For our first adventure in our new kayak we decided to try out Scappoose Bay. It has many different areas to explore and we definitely didn’t get to it all in one day.

Directions: Take Highway 30 through the town of Scappoose. Take a right onto Bennett Road and cross the tracks. After crossing the tracks take a left on Old Portland Road. Follow this road until you see signs for Scappoose Bay Marine Park on your right.


You can paddle around the bay and see the cows and geese that are all along the shore. There are lots of sloughs and little inlets to explore that are very calm and easy to paddle. Some of these can have very low water levels though.


There is also the Multnomah Channel and access to Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island. As well as access to the Columbia River.


We mostly hung around the bay and went down a few sloughs. The bay is full of different types of birds including many Herons and Eagles. We also saw turtles and a good amount of fish. The water was very calm making for a nice relaxing four hours out on the water to birdwatch.



Distance: Varies

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $3 parking fee (pay with bills or card, it ate our coins)

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Warnings: None

Bachelor Slough Kayak (Spring 2015)

The weather last weekend was perfect so we decided to get out and do a little kayaking.


We went up to Ridgefield, Washington and kayaked around Bachelor Slough in the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. It was a great spot for birding and just a nice relaxing paddle. We were out on the water for about three hours and managed to see many birds (Cliff Swallow nests are pictured below), as well as other wildlife.

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If you’re looking for a great place to rent kayaks, Ridgefield Kayak is a great option. They were very nice and the kayaks and gear were in great shape. They also do kayak tours and lessons.


Distance: Varies

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes on weekends

Warnings: None