Pooling your resources around Ashland

Summer's heating up and people are looking for ways to cool down. Ashland has several swimming holes that beckon residents to come hop in.

The Ashland Reservoir, walking distance from Lithia Park, is located above the park on Granite Street and offers several features that set it apart from others in the area.

It's cold! One quick dip in the chilly reservoir water collected from Ashland Creek will keep you cool enough to comfortably bask in the sun on the nicely maintained grass near the water.

The small spot is perfect for little swimmers to splash and practice their underwater skills with a gently sloping pebble bottom leading to the deeper water where the hottest souls dare dive.

A rope swing comes and goes at the site.

"It does show up periodically. When we are aware of them, we put it on the schedule and remove it," said Don Robertson, director of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department. "It's a liability issue — not that we're killjoys."

This site also offers bathrooms, a clear bonus to any outside free swimming hole and plenty of parking for those who drive in. Picnic tables in the shade provide a surface for a cozy day-long trip.

Emigrant Lake is another local favorite with an out of the way spot that gives big fun for the big kids, and those who feel like kids, with a large rock outcropping sticking up 10 to 15 feet above the water.

The water is warm and deep here which allows for back flips, dives and the occasional stinging belly flop. Little kids can play here too with shallow areas to keep them cool. The bottom is gooey and submerged plant life can give skittish swimmers a startle as it brushes against a bare leg.

This unique spot is located off Highway 66 on the old Greens Springs Road. It's an old dirt and gravel road that may not be suitable for all cars and parking is limited. There's no bathroom to be found, and no garbage receptacles or picnic tables.

For those who prefer the nicely maintained nature of public facilities, there are a couple to be found around Ashland, too.

The Jackson Well Springs offers a nice pool, soak pool and sauna for a fee. Kids can come in and play for $3 each and adults for $6. More information is available at www.jacksonwellsprings.com.

The Parks and Recreation Department maintains a public pool, where kids can take swim lessons. This pool is located at 1705 Homes Ave. For swim times and swim lesson information, see www.ashland.or.us or call 488-0313.

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