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Morgan Lake Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Morgan Lake and Baskett Butte (bobcat)
Snow geese, Moffitti Marsh (bobcat)
White-fronted and Canada geese, Moffitti Marsh (bobcat)
Parvipes Marsh and Baskett Butte (bobcat)
The seasonal loop in the Baskett Butte Refuge (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Smithfield Road TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Moffitti Marsh
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 40 feet
  • High Point: 250 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: April 1st - September 30th
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

The northern segment of Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is open for six months of the year after the wintering season for waterfowl is over. This is a flat hike on refuge roads and across fields. Bring binoculars - there may still be dusky Canada geese and even snow geese in the fields in early spring. During summer, the refuge is a much quieter place, with some ducks on the marshes and small perching birds flitting through the reeds and thickets. You will hear the sounds of gunshots every few seconds: these devices are placed in local farmers’ fields to keep the birds in the refuge lands and out of theirs!

Walk on a maintenance track along a row of cherry trees and then reach an open field. Big root, or wild cucumber, blooms along here in the spring. The road bends left and heads up to Morgan Lake, an artificial reservoir. Watch for wrens and sparrows in the reeds here as swallows zoom and dip above the surface of the lake. Head along the west shore of the lake. Cross a ditch and then walk along the edge of an open field with the lakeshore on your left. Ahead you will see the two hills of Baskett Butte. You may pick up a path as you come to the end of the lake that follows a thicket to a road track. Rise along the slope of the hill. Go right at a junction and walk along the edge of an open field, with an Oregon white oak woodland to your left, to another junction below the saddle between the two buttes. Going left will take you up, via a tie trail, to the Baskett Slough Hike, which you can complete before returning to this spot to complete the lower loop. This diversion will add another 2 ½ miles to your walk.

To reach Moffitti Marsh, follow the gravel road north and then swing left to pass between Parvipes and Moffitti Marshes. The track heads up the west side of Moffitti Marsh, with farmers’ fields to your left. These fields display flapping white flags and resound with gunshots to keep hungry geese at bay. When you reach Smithfield Road, walk right to reach the trailhead parking area.

Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Trails open April 1st to September 30th
  • No pets allowed

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Corvallis Trails by Margie C. Powell
  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range & Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill

More Links


Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.