Summertime and the livin’s easy… which means it’s the perfect time for barbecues, camping trips, and cooling off in a local swimming hole. Whether you prefer to dip your toes in a lake or a river, Lane County has plenty of great spots to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites that offer swimming along with camping, fishing, and plenty more summer fun:
Dorena Lake (8 miles east of Cottage Grove): Located in a lush, partially wooded area, Dorena Lake offers three parks for swimming, boating, water skiing, and overnight camping at Baker Park on the south side. Fishing is a favorite pastime, with anglers catching abundant bass, trout, catfish, and more. Wildlife viewing is also popular, as the lake shore is managed for wildlife habitat.
Blue River Reservoir (45 miles east of Eugene): Stay at one of two campgrounds at Blue Lake Reservoir so you have plenty of time to swim, boat, ski, standup paddleboard, and fish for hatchery trout. The water can be chilly from the snow run-off, but the views here are breathtaking.
Fall Creek State Recreation Area (20 miles southwest of Eugene): This 165 acre reservoir is a popular destination for not only swimming, but paddle and motorboats as well. There’s plenty to explore around the area, with ample hiking over numerous bridges that cross smaller creeks feeding into the main creek, which offer plenty of access to different swimming holes. Stay the night at one of the 39 campsites or RV group camp, or hang out for the day and utilize the picnic areas with BBQs and fire rings.
Wildwood Falls (17 miles southeast of Cottage Grove): Located on the scenic Row River, Wildwood Falls are about 15 feet tall and spill off a rock ridge into a large and deep swimming hole. Many people enjoy jumping off of the cliffs into the pool (always check the depth before jumping anywhere you go!), and there are different heights to leap from, depending on how bold one is feeling. It can get crowded at times, but is a beautiful spot during those hot summer days.