From a canoe or sea kayak, as you pass tide flats, salt marshes, forested areas, and open water, you can really begin to grasp the richness of the estuarine habitat at the South Slough Estuarine Reserve (541/888-5558, www.southsloughestuary.org). The estuary here has two main branches, offering plenty of territory for a day of exploration.
Although the waters are placid, they are strongly influenced by the tides—be sure to consult tide tables when you plan an outing. Wind can also affect your trip: Know that in the spring and summer, the prevailing winds are from the northwest; in the winter they’re from the southwest. At all times of year, the wind blows hardest in the afternoon.
Kayaks can be rented just outside of Charleston at High Tide Rentals (91124 Cape Arago Hwy., 541/888-3664).
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel