Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
280.00 ft (85.34 m)
Trail type
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

In 1974 the South Slough became the first of what today is a network of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves under the auspices of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency. Primarily set aside as a research location to advance the preservation of estuary environments, it is available today as a recreational and educational resource that everyone can enjoy.

Located at the southernmost extension of Coos Bay, this estuary reserve covers 4,000 acres and encompasses the watershed for over a dozen creeks. The reserve contains forests, salt marshes, mudflats and water channels and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including black bear, elk, bobcats and salmon. There is an excellent Interpretive Center that makes a good starting place for a visit. There are several trails leading from two parking areas, and the shortest path to the shore of the slough is about a mile.

A great loop to explore much of the reserve involves taking the North Creek Trail from the Interpretive Center and following it all the way to the slough (1.5 miles), then after exploring the Sloughside Marsh and overlooks, taking the Railroad Trail south to the lower parking area and returning to the Interpretive Center via the road or the Middle Creek Trail. Total distance is about 3 miles. Dogs are not allowed on the North Creek Trail. On all other trails, they must be on a leash.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Beautiful wetlands and forest. Many possible loops. Uncrowded.


Dogs not allowed on trails.

Trailhead Elevation

280.00 ft (85.34 m)


Bird watching
Big vistas

Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Southern Oregon Coast + Rogue River, Oregon
Southern Oregon Coast + Rogue River, Oregon
Southern Oregon Coast + Rogue River, Oregon


Per their website, dogs are not allowed on the North Creek Trail, but can be taken on all other trails but must be on leash.
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