Located in the Willamette Valley is a hidden gem many people don’t know exactly how to get too! I lived in Dallas several years before figuring out how to get to this wonderful run/hike/walk area.
Ten miles west of Salem off hwy 22 take a right onto Smithfield Road. Immediately take a sharp right onto Coville Road. If you are going to run, park off the road to the right. You’ll be parallel with Hwy 22. If you start running, go down Coville. It is a gravel road but is typically mashed down pretty good, making running just fine. Coville road will take you to the left and give you some rolling hills. If in season, there’s plenty of blackberries for a quick snack. You will go by a beautiful bird lookout, both to the left and to the right. There are often people parked along this section looking out with binoculars. They usually wave when I run by. About a mile and half down Coville, to your left will by Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. There is a place to go to the bathroom (it’s pretty rustic, but great for runners). There’s a parking lot if you would rather drive in and not park on the side of the road. I run past this area, staying on Coville road for another 1.5 miles. You will eventually come to S Pacific Hwy W, with a beautiful vineyard to look at. This is where I turn around. I simply run back for a total of 6 miles.
If you were to venture into Baskett Slough park area, just know it is not made for runners. It’s is a wonderful area for walking, bird watching, hiking and family friendly. You can walk strait up (stay to the left) Baskett Slough Trail to Mount Baldy. Rich Guadagno Observation Platform is a great view and you can capture some great photos up top. If you take the trail to the right, you can walk the trail through the wooded area. It’s about one mile. You can venture off this loop for even a longer hike. Just take the trail to the left as you get about halfway through the wooded trail.
This is a very peaceful run. The rolling hills gives the six mile run character and spunk! I would say this is a safe area to run alone, although I never chose to run alone out here because I’m a chicken. It’s always a quiet run, and I only see maybe one other walker or runner and a few bird watchers on the gravel road. The park area is hit and miss with the number of people there at a time. When I have gone I typical see less than ten people the whole hike.
Hope you find this area as enjoyable as I have.
- Baskett Slough (parking at the Dallas Park n Ride is a good option)
- 6 miles out-and-back
- Run Link (this includes running from Dallas)