Connecting the loop trails from Smithfield Road (Morgan Lake and Moffitti Marsh trails) and the trails available from the Coville Road trailhead is the intertie trail. This creates one large hiking area from what would have been several smaller trails.The trail runs along the summit of Baskett Butte, through oak savanna (which is a rare ecosystem...more
The covered viewing kiosk allows for some great views of the Cackler Marsh part of Baskett Slough, and further off it is possible to see some of the farm land where the Canada geese like to winter. The Kiosk also features a free viewing scope that allows for some very good up close looks at the various birds.While the free of charge viewing scope...more
The entrance to this trail is a small gravel parking lot at the intersection of Smithfield Road and Livermore Road. The trail wanders through grass fields along the edge of Morgan Reservoir, which in the summer is a small pond but in the winter is a much larger area of water.Wildlife is always somewhat unpredictable, and the reason why this trail...more
Much like the Morgan Reservoir Trail, the Moffitti Marsh Trail come south from Smithfield Road and runs along wetlands areas as well as fields of grass. At the end of the trail it is possible to continue on the Intertie Trail to the loop trail around the summit of Baskett Butte, or to return north to the Smithfield Road parking area by either going...more
While closed to all vehicles except those used by refuge staff, seasonal hiking access is available to the refuge service road that runs between the Cackler March and Dusky Marsh. These are the two large wetlands on the south side of the refuge, and are the two largest wetlands in the refuge.Access to this trail must start at the Coville Road...more
As a starting point for the two all-season trails in the Wildlife Refuge (Baskett Butte Loop Trail and the Baskett Butte Observation Platform trail), as well as one of the several starting points for the seasonally open trails (the Inter-Tie Trail, the Morgan Lake Trail and the Moffitti Marsh Trail), the Coville Road Trailhead is a fairly important...more
The Baskett Butte Observation Platform and the trail to it have been dedicated to a certain former manager of the Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge who was killed on September 11, 2001 when United Airlines flight 93 was crashed in Pennsylvania during the now famous terrorist attacks.
The text of the sign seen in photo 1 says:
"This, the 1000th National Recreation Trail is named in honor of Rich Guadagno - a dedicated Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Manager and an American hero who perished on Flight 93, September 11, 2001."
"Rich was manager at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge (1992-2000) and helped preserve this habitat and the species dependent on it. His life's passion, protecting the natural environment for all American's and future generations, lives on in the nature you see around you. Creatures you may catch a glimpse of, or the vistas of habitat you encounter on this trail are, in part, due to Rich Guadangno's efforts."
"The Fender's Blue Butterfly flittering by on its way to another patch of Kincaid's Lupine, both endangered species, have a chance to survive because of Rich's and other's dedication to conservation."
"This National Recreation Trail, meandering through the Oregon white oak savanna of the refuge, connects us to nature, to each other, and to our shared cultures. It provides us the opportunity to enjoy our natural surroundings by listening to the wind in the trees and hearing the songs of birds echoing through woodlands. Thank you Rich!"
According to the Department of Interior press release, below, the memorial trail includes the trail up to the observation deck as well as the loop trail around the summit of Baskett Butte.
Dress for the weather, whatever that may be. The trails at the top of Baskett Butte are in the shade, but nothing else is, so this place gets pretty hot on oppressive summer days.
Photo Equipment: Much of the wetlands is well outside the range of normal vision, and you will be helped a great deal by having some telephoto equipment (not just photography, but also such items as spotting scopes and good binoculars).
Please see my Telephoto Equipment Tip which is located at
While it is located off the boundaries of the National Wildlife Refuge, there is a seasonal flooded field pond located just northwest of the intersection of Coville Road and Highway 99W. This pond frequently has some sort of bird life in it during the winter. Usually what is found isn't extremely unusual, but it is always worth a look just to...more
The summit of Basket Butte is one of the last places in the Willamette Valley where it is still possible to find Icaricia icarioides fenderi, or the Fender's Blue Butterfly. The male of this wonderfully colored butterfly is absolutely beautiful in the right light (which, unfortunately, we don't usually get in the Willamette Valley, but I did what I...more
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