By in Bend Park of the Week
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Drake Park is one of Bend’s most iconic parks. If you’ve visited Bend just once, you’ve probably walked the banks of Mirror Pond through beautiful Drake Park. This centrally located park is a familiar gathering place for residents as well as tourists. No matter the season or time of day, you’ll see people enjoying the landscape at Drake Park. On weekends throughout the year, Drake Park hosts popular events such as the July 4th Festival, Munch & Music series all summer long, and several 5K races.

Address: 777 NW Riverside Blvd.

Pros:  Lots of shade, pretty river views, benches, rolling hills, and plenty of area to spread out. Excellent people-watching opportunities.

Cons: Limited parking, very busy, goose poop.

Key features: There’s no playground and little infrastructure at Drake Park. What makes it so special is its large size, abundance of shade trees, location by the river and pockets of blooming flowers. You can take a casual walk on the paved path, watch the ducks and geese on the river, have a picnic beneath a towering Ponderosa, or practice your tumbling skills down a grassy hill.

While there is no playground here, Drake Park has the most variety of natural and man-made terrain features than any other city park. There are hills, trees, boulders, pathways, walls, fences, rails and benches. With a creative mind you could turn any corner of this park into a playground.

What you’ll see and hear: Children playing, Canada geese honking, tourists gawking, cyclists passing through, families spending time together and musicians filling the air with song.

Best use of the park: Relaxing by the river, people watching.

Parking: On neighborhood streets or in the Brooks St parking lots.

Bike parking: Yep, look for racks near parking lots, entrances and nearby businesses.

Fun fact: Drake Park is named after Alexander Drake, who owned the land prior to the city. The park was established in 1921 and was Bend’s first city park. As of 2017, there are over 80 parks and recreational facilities in the city of Bend!

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Personal trainer, student of movement, and outdoor explorer in the Pacific Northwest

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