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Parks and nature in Bend

Top parks

Scenic Viewpoint
“This Butte is a major focal point located in the center of Bend. It's approximately one mile up. You are able to drive or bike it or utilize the footpath to walk up the dirt path. The view will reward your efforts, offering visitors a sweeping 360 panorama of the Cascade Mountain Range, Calderas, Smith Rock and the City of Bend. There is ample parking and a restroom when you reach the top. The center platform has directional and tutorial information about the area. I suggest you stop at the Pilot Butte Drive-in at the bottom of the hill, grab a milkshake and head up in time to watch the sunset behind the mountains. They also display fireworks off the top on the Fourth of July, which can be seen from nearly everywhere in Bend. Open sunrise to sunset during peak tourist season. Closed during the winter months to drive, but you can still hike it. Best photo opportunities are in the mornings when the sun is shining on the mountains or at sunset. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate Distance: 1.7 miles out and back Elevation: 4,142 ft. Hike: 480 ft. Parking: On top or at lower base on the East side of butte Pet Friendly”
  • 61 locals recommend
Park
“Iconic Park of Bend, connecting the neighborhoods with downtown. Plenty of open fields along the river for a causal day of hanging out.”
  • 33 locals recommend
Park
“This is a beautiful park along the Deschutes river. Most certainly is the starting point for a lazy float in a calm section of the river that passes through the Old Mill district. In the summer heat, this is most welcome to cool off and have a great time. ”
  • 18 locals recommend
Park
“You have not visited Bend unless you have floated the river. It is a past time of this town, and it is a great way to spend time in this awesome town! Rent a float, park your car at Drake Park or Riverbend and take the shuttle to or from. Don't walk around the rapids! Ride the lightning!”
  • 19 locals recommend
Park
“Beautiful Mirror Pond. Relax, stroll and/or spread out a blanket, walk your dog. Local favorite. ”
  • 19 locals recommend
Park
“This is the Deschutes river portion that runs next to the Old Mill out door mall, LesSchwab Ampatheater and beautiful down river homes. Our family loves to float this river every summer! It's a fun relaxing float to people and house watch. You can complete it in a little less than 2 hours or meander for longer. Sometime if there is an early evening concert and it is above 90° out we'll float and listen to music. There is a fun rapid section too! I have seen many larg bruises on people coming out of the Rapids, BUT you can make without a scratch, I've done it! Stay to the middle of the rapids and lift your bottom up so it doesn't hit any high boulders and you should be good, I hope.... OR just get out before the rapids and walk on the trail aside them. ”
  • 17 locals recommend
Park
“Take a stroll by Mirror Pond or have a picnic next to the Deschutes river in Drake Park, Bend's oldest and prettiest park. ”
  • 14 locals recommend
Park
“There are a couple loops for walking/jogging. Shortest loop is about 3 miles, but you can extend it by going further north. There are multiple bridges to turn around and come back on the other side.”
  • 13 locals recommend

Playgrounds

Park
“You have not visited Bend unless you have floated the river. It is a past time of this town, and it is a great way to spend time in this awesome town! Rent a float, park your car at Drake Park or Riverbend and take the shuttle to or from. Don't walk around the rapids! Ride the lightning!”
  • 19 locals recommend
Park
“This is the Deschutes river portion that runs next to the Old Mill out door mall, LesSchwab Ampatheater and beautiful down river homes. Our family loves to float this river every summer! It's a fun relaxing float to people and house watch. You can complete it in a little less than 2 hours or meander for longer. Sometime if there is an early evening concert and it is above 90° out we'll float and listen to music. There is a fun rapid section too! I have seen many larg bruises on people coming out of the Rapids, BUT you can make without a scratch, I've done it! Stay to the middle of the rapids and lift your bottom up so it doesn't hit any high boulders and you should be good, I hope.... OR just get out before the rapids and walk on the trail aside them. ”
  • 17 locals recommend
Playground
“Just a mile down the street! A great playground as well as a field to throw/kick balls around!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Park
  • 2 locals recommend
Park
“Our 3-year-old's favorite park. 3 sets of play structures, good for various ages.”
  • 1 local recommends

Trails

Scenic Viewpoint
“This Butte is a major focal point located in the center of Bend. It's approximately one mile up. You are able to drive or bike it or utilize the footpath to walk up the dirt path. The view will reward your efforts, offering visitors a sweeping 360 panorama of the Cascade Mountain Range, Calderas, Smith Rock and the City of Bend. There is ample parking and a restroom when you reach the top. The center platform has directional and tutorial information about the area. I suggest you stop at the Pilot Butte Drive-in at the bottom of the hill, grab a milkshake and head up in time to watch the sunset behind the mountains. They also display fireworks off the top on the Fourth of July, which can be seen from nearly everywhere in Bend. Open sunrise to sunset during peak tourist season. Closed during the winter months to drive, but you can still hike it. Best photo opportunities are in the mornings when the sun is shining on the mountains or at sunset. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate Distance: 1.7 miles out and back Elevation: 4,142 ft. Hike: 480 ft. Parking: On top or at lower base on the East side of butte Pet Friendly”
  • 61 locals recommend
Other Great Outdoors
“Wanderlust Tours offers half-day naturalist-guided tours and trips throughout the year. Their knowledgeable and professional guides, in small groups, take you away from the crowds to seek out the quiet of Central Oregon Cascade lakes, rivers, forests, and caves. Highly recommend!”
  • 6 locals recommend
State / Provincial Park
“It’s a great place to catch a sun set and learn the names of the mountains. Closed to cars in the winter. Great little hike takes about an hour up and down. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Park
“Our 3-year-old's favorite park. 3 sets of play structures, good for various ages.”
  • 1 local recommends