South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

We decided to do some exploring on Seven Devils Road and, as we were driving, saw the sign for South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. So we pulled in to see what this was about. After visiting the Interpretive Center, we decided to check out a few of the trails to see what South Slough had to offer. We found a very dense forest with a variety of mushrooms, salt marshes, mudflats, & estuary channels. The walk offered some steep trails and a very creative boardwalk.

This hiking trail map is from South Slough's Online Brochure.

A rather creative person designed this section of the boardwalk.

Section of the trail that goes into the dense dark forest.

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is a hidden gem located on the southern Oregon coast. Covering nearly 4,800 acres, this protected estuary is a haven for all kinds of wildlife and a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

A Diverse Ecosystem

The reserve is situated in the Coos Bay Estuary, which is a sheltered arm of the Pacific Ocean. This unique location means the reserve encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including:

  • Coniferous forests and shrublands
  • Freshwater and saltwater wetlands
  • Tidal mudflats
  • Eelgrass meadows

This incredible biodiversity supports all sorts of plants and animals, including salmon, great blue herons, bald eagles, and more.

Managed for Conservation

One of the coolest things about the South Slough Reserve is that it's managed by the Oregon Department of State Lands. This means the reserve is protected and maintained for research, education, and recreation.

Exploring the Reserve

Visitors can explore the area's many hiking trails, paddle through the sloughs in a kayak, or join one of the reserve's educational programs to learn more about the local ecosystem. The reserve is particularly famous for its role in coastal research and monitoring. Scientists from all over the country come to South Slough to study things like water quality, habitat restoration, and the impacts of climate change.

Perfect for Nature Lovers

But it's not just researchers who enjoy the South Slough Reserve - it's also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The area's beautiful natural scenery and abundance of wildlife make it a prime destination for:

  • Hiking
  • Birdwatching
  • Photography
  • Other outdoor activities

There are even a few campgrounds and picnic areas where visitors can spend the night or enjoy a meal surrounded by nature.

A Must-Visit Destination

Whether you're interested in science, nature, or just getting outside for some fresh air, this reserve has something for everyone. So next time you're exploring the Oregon coast, be sure to add the South Slough to your list of must-see destinations!

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

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