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U of O Student Drowns at Wildwood Falls

Monday, June 01, 2015


On Sunday afternoon a University of Oregon student drowned while swimming at Wildwood Falls. Wildwood Falls is a popular swimming hole located about 20 minutes Southeast of Cottage Grove, Oregon. 

The victim, Sidney “Tony” Anthony Nelson, was an undergraduate student majoring in computer science. Nelson was 19 years old, and a native Californian. 

The Register Guard reported that members of the Lane County dive team had recovered Nelson’s body at the bottom of a deep pool at the base of the falls. It was estimated that Nelson jumped from the falls around 4:35pm and had been underwater for nearly 5 minutes.

This is the 2nd time within a year that someone has drowned at this swimming hole.

Last July a boy perished while trying to save his younger brother, who had accidently slipped while on top of the falls. As the younger brother began sliding down the rocks the older brother jumped in to save his brother. Unfortunately, both boys ended up going into a narrow chute of water. Only the younger brother resurfaced. 


Related Slideshow: Top 20 Swimming Holes to Visit this Summer

This summer is expected to bring plenty of heat, so in order to cool off GoLocalPDX has you covered as to which swimming holes you should visit. If you're up for a drive be sure to check out some of these locations around Portland. 

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Hagg Lake

Hagg Lake, which is located in Northwest Oregon, is one of the closest lakes to the city of Portland. For that reason, this particular swimming hole is one of the most popular go-to spots throughout the summer season.

Fee $6 ($4 seniors)

50250 SW Scoggins Valley Road, Gaston, OR

For more information click HERE.

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High Rocks

If you consider yourself a daredevil we have the perfect location for you to visit. Just south of Portland are the High Rocks. The High Rocks are ideal for both, cliff-diving and just casual swimming. 

E Arlington St, Gladstone, OR

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Moulton Falls

Moulton Falls will undoubtedly have something for everyone. There are waterfalls, flat rocks for sliding and even flat water upstream that’s perfect for swimming. Unfortunately, the only downside is that it this location fills up quickly with people, so make sure to get there early.

27781 NE Lucia Falls Rd, Yacolt, WA

For more information click HERE.

Prev Next

Buck Lake

This lake is located about an hour away from downtown Portland. Those who choose to visit this spot won’t be disappointed. The water is so clear that you can see the rocks at the bottom of the lake. Buck Lake is defintely Instagram worthy.

16400 Champion Way, Sandy, OR

For more information click HERE.

Prev Next

Opal Pool

Opal Creek is one of Oregon’s most iconic swimming holes. The 25-foot deep swimming hole attracts visitors from all over the area. The only downside (or upside for some) is that in order to get to this spot you have to hike through a 3.5 mile logging road. 

Fee $5

2 hours Southeast of Portland

For more information click HERE.

Prev Next

Punch Bowl Falls

Not only is Punch Bowl a great hike this summer, but it's also a great swimming hole. Punch Bowl Falls drops into one of Portland’s most popular swimming holes. Just be aware that there is no diving or jumping allowed.

Trail #440, Cascade Locks, OR 97014

For more information click HERE.

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Siouxson Creek

This prime swimming hole will not disappoint its guests. The emerald green waters are finally warm enough for swimmers to come visit. 

NF-5701, Amboy, WA 

For more information click HERE.

Prev Next

Oneonta Gorge

If you are looking for a swimming hole that will cool you off on a hot summer day, then make a trip out to Oneonta Falls. Hopefully you’re also feeling adventurous since there are plenty of trees that are perfect for climbing and jumping off of.

40 minutes east of Portland

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Blue Lake

One of the most well known, family friendly lakes in Oregon is Blue Lake. Not only do they have activities for the whole family, they also have activities specifically for kids. Such as a playground and a kiddo garden.

Fee $5

20500 NE Marine Dr, Fairview, OR

For more information click HERE.

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Trillium Lake

If you want to go for a swim with one of the most scenic views that Oregon has to offer then check out Trillium Lake. This location is about 40 minutes outside Portland and has a beautiful backdrop of Mt. Hood to set the scene.

40 minutes Southeast from Portland

For more information click HERE.

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Dougan Falls

This swimming hole is located up south in Washougal, Washington. It’s one of the lesser known swimming holes, but it will still provide plenty of fun. Swimmers can jump off rocks if they’re seeking a thrill, or just chill by the waterfall if they want to relax. 

82 Dougan Falls Ln, Washougal, WA

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Glenn Otto Park

If you’re looking for a place to relax after tubing down the Sandy River, head over to Glenn Otto Park. This is one of the warmer locations that you will find this summer. 

1106 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale, OR

For more information click HERE.

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Timothy Lake

About an hour Southeast of Portland you’ll find Timothy Lake. With summer right around the corner this lake is not only perfect for swimming, but also for fishing and boating. There's also a campsite if you would like to make it a weekend event.

Fee $3

60 minutes Southeast of Portland

For more information click HERE.

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Triangle Lake

If you happen to be closer to Eugene, Triangle Lake is the perfect spot to spend the day. What attracts people to this lake are the rock slides, which is fun no matter how old you are.

30 minutes west of Junction City

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Wildwood Falls

Wildwood, which is located near Cottage Grove, is a very popular swimming hole over the summer. One reason this spot is so popular is because of the 20 foot cliff that people enjoy jumping off of. If you’re feeling brave then take the jump.

30 minutes southeast of Cottage Grove

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Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island is one of the largest lakes in the Portland area. Visitors who choose to visit this lake will also have the opportunity to kayak, canoe or rowboat. 

18330 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland, OR

For more information click HERE.

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Rooster Rock

Rooster Rock is one of the more secluded areas for swimming in near Portland. This swimming hole is hidden behind various mountains and trees. But be warned that the eastern portion is a clothing-optional beach.

Exit 25 & Highway 84, Corbett, OR

For more information click HERE.

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Marine Drive

Just north of the Portland Airport you'll find Marine Drive Beach. This beach is one of the most popular spots for residents of Portland and Vancouver. The best part is, as you relax you can watch the planes fly in. 

Approximately River Mile 110, just north of Portland International Airport 

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Lost Lake

Lost Lake is conviniently located in the Mount Hood National Forest. Although this is the second deepest lake in the Mount Hood area, there are still several safe swimming spots for children. 

Fee $6

9000 Lost Lake Road, Hood River, OR

For more information click HERE.

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Lake Merwin

About an hour away from Portland is Lake Merwin. Lake Merwin is a great spot to take the family for the day considering how scenic the surrounding area is. Pack a lunch and head out to this location!

24706 NE Columbia Tie Rd, Amboy, WA

For more information click HERE.


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