The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve was established in 1974 to better understand what affects the health and productivity of the various habitats of the Coos estuary, and to determine a way to restore and prevent further habitat destruction. The Reserve contains over 4,700 acres of freshwater wetlands and ponds, salt marshes, eelgrass meadows, open water habitats and forested uplands. Visitors will see animals such as black-tailed deer, black bear, coyote, beavers, seals and bald eagles. There are also many varieties of plants, many of which are only found in this area.
Be sure to stop at the Visitors Center before heading out on the trails. Major activities at the reserve include K-12 and adult education, ecological research and monitoring and wetland restoration. The reserve is open from dawn to dusk every day and is located about four miles south of Charleston on Cape Arago Highway. For more information, call 541-888-5558.