If you've already fully explored the southern side of Shevlin Park, this short little hike north of Aspen Hall along the banks of Tumalo Creek may not appear all to different. Like the rest of the park, the journey along this glacially-fed creek will take you through a high desert ecosystem full of old-growth ponderosa pines, western junipers, tall sagebrush and the occasional western larch.
This trail will take you, however, to a secret swimming hole. Just a half-mile downstream from Aspen Hall, the Tumalo Irrigation District (TID) constructed a small diversion dam* back in 1913, and upstream of it is a small reservoir that makes for an ideal and quiet place to swim on those scorching-hot midsummer days.
* For nearly a century the Tumalo Creek Diversion Dam blocked access. Then in 2009, TID, with the support of numerous conservation agencies, built a vertical slop fish ladder to reconnect the 2-mile stretch of creek downstream of the dam with the 12-mile stretch of the upper Tumalo Creek, which leads all the way up to the natural stopping point, Tumalo Falls.