One of the most scenic swimming holes on Thomas Creek, Broken Dam is located at Jordan Bridge, just off Highway 226, 8 miles east of Scio. Previously, the creek was spanned by Jordan Covered Bridge constructed in 1937. In 1988, the aging wooden bridge was replaced by a concrete one. The old structure was moved to Pioneer Park in Stayton.
Though this site is undeveloped, it attracts water enthusiasts who enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and rock jumping during the hot summer months. The creek warms up quickly to comfortable temperatures of 70-75°F in midsummer.
A broken old power dam partially holds water, creating an inviting calm swimming area near the dam’s wall with a depth from two to three feet. The creek passes the dam and cascades down into multilevel rocky pools and, finally, enters the narrow channel just before the Jordan Bridge.
The deeper water in the channel looks appealing for rock jumpers.
The beach above the dam is composed of river rocks and below the dam is rocky ledge formations.
The site can get crowded on the weekends.
The creek is closed to salmon and steelhead angling. Open to trout fishing from the end of May through October, catch-and-release only.
Warmwater gamefish angling is open during trout season. No catch limit.
Broken Dam - Thomas Creek | General Description
Managed: Linn County
Location: Near Scio, Willamette Valley
Activities: Fishing and swimming
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 450 ft (137 m)
Broken Dam is located:
- 25 miles southeast of Salem
- 26 miles east of Albany
- 65 miles northeast of Eugene
- 70 miles northeast of Portland.
- Take exit 253 in Salem for OR-22 toward Detroit Lake and drive 11.5 miles to exit 13
- Take exit 13 toward Stayton and bear right onto Cascade Highway
- Continue 1.9 miles on Cascade Highway to Kingston Jordan Road
- Turn left onto Kingston Jordan Road and follow it for 2.9 miles
- Bear slightly right onto OR-226 and continue 0.5 miles to the destination on the left.
Park your car along the road just before the bridge and find the trail to the creek.