Ashland OR Swimming
Being close to numerous lakes and rivers, Ashland and Southern Oregon offer many spots to simply take a dip or to stretch out the swim and exercise.
Lower Reservoir of Ashland Creek and Lithia Park
One of the first spots for a swim that comes to mind is the “Lower Reservoir” at the south end of Lithia Park. The reservoir is small, so this is a better place to cool off than to go for a proper swim. As you head up to the reservoir through Lithia Park, there are also spots in the creek where you can wade in and submerse yourself, so be on the look-out for those areas if that interests you.
Directions: Walk south through Lithia Park where the trails will lead to the reservoir. Alternatively, you can head south on either Glenview Dr. or Granite St to the reservoir. Parking is available.
Emigrant Lake is another convenient and well-known spot for a swim and offers beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains and Pilot Rock. There is a swim cove located to the right, just after entering the entrance gate. Emigrant Lake County Park also offers a wide range of amenities for your visit, including restrooms, food concession, campsites, an RV Park, water slides and much more.
Directions: From downtown Ashland, head southeast on Siskiyou Blvd. Take a left onto Ashland Street and follow it past the freeway entrances and curve to the right (Ashland St. becomes OR-66/Greensprings Hwy). Turn left onto Emigrant Lake Road. There is a $4 daily parking fee per vehicle.
Daniel Meyer Pool
For those looking for pool swimming, Hunter Park has an outdoor pool facility that is open to the public from mid-June through Labor Day weekend. The pool, run by the Ashland Parks & Recreations Department, offers swimming lessons, teams and camps. More information can be found here.
Directions: From downtown Ashland, head southeast on Main St., and take a soft left on Main St. when Main St. and Siskiyou Blvd. divide on the south end of town. Follow Main St. just over a mile and turn right onto Walker Ave. Take your first left onto Homes Ave, and continue one block to the park and the pool.
Applegate Lake is located in the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest about a one hour drive from Ashland. There are various activities offered at Applegate Lake, so consider a hike, a kayak ride, or a bike ride to warm yourself up before cooling off in the reservoir waters of the Applegate River.
Directions: From central Ashland, head northwest on Lithia Way, which will merge with N. Main St./OR-99 just North of the center of town. Follow OR-99 about 9.2 miles, then turn left onto S Stage Rd. Continue 3.4 miles and turn right to stay on S Stage Rd. After .3 miles you’ll turn left to stay on S Stage Rd. into the town of Jacksonville. Continue through town and follow signs to OR-238/Medford-Provolt Highway. Continue for about 7.8 miles and take a left onto Upper Applegate Rd. Follow this road 15.6 miles to the road entrance to Applegate Lake Hart-Tish Park. There is a small daily parking fee.
Those that take the hour and a half car ride to Castle Lake are compensated with resplendent natural scenery. Nearly half of the lake is bound by cliffs and is a wondrous location to take a swim. There is a raft in the middle of the lake, which makes for a perfect place to rest in the summer sun.
We also suggest taking a hike uphill on the ridge on the east side of Castle Lake to a second excellent location for a dip. Heart Lake is a smaller than Castle Lake, but is deep enough for a swim. From Heart Lake, the views of Castle Lake, Mt. Shasta and beyond are simply breathtaking.
Directions: From Ashland, head to I-5 and go south towards California. You will travel south on I-5 into California, then take exit 738 toward Central Mt. Shasta. Turn right onto Lake St and then continue onto Hatchery Ln. Turn left onto S Old Stage Rd. Very quickly you’ll come to a fork where you’ll veer right onto W A Barr Rd. Continue on W A Barr Rd. for about 2.3 miles, where you’ll take a left onto Ney Springs Rd, then almost immediately a right onto Castle Lake Rd. Follow Castle Lake Rd for 7.1 miles to the lake.
Outdoor Recreation Safety Note: Please be sure to read our safety note on our Outdoor Recreation home page.
Ashland OR Swimming
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