By in Bend Park of the Week
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Pioneer Park is a hop, skip and a jump (or bicycle ride) away from the heart of downtown Bend. This beautiful, riverfront park offers shade in the heat of summer, a quick getaway for local residents and opportunities to watch wildlife. The park is connected to the Deschutes River Trail, a 19-mile long trail that traverses the City of Bend along the Deschutes River.

Address: 1525 NW Wall Street

Pros:  Mature shade trees. River views. Flower garden.

Cons: Can be a popular place for transients to spend the night. Early morning visits aren’t best here.

Key features: Pioneer Park has several unique features, making it a great place for urban playtime. There’s a rentable picnic shelter that provides picnic tables and cover from the weather. The “rose garden,” which contains many other flower varieties as well, is surrounded by lava rocks that are fun to traverse. Within the park there are a couple of stone stairways with rails, stone walls, benches, hills, fields, boulders and trees. You could come here everyday and find something new to explore.

What you’ll see and hear: Waterfowl, squirrels, cyclists, runners, walkers, loungers.

Best use of the park: Exploring the seasonally changing flower garden. Practicing playful movement skills.

Parking: There is a terribly awkward parking lot that is often not full.

Bike parking: None.

Fun fact: Bend’s first pioneers were white explorers passing through in search of beaver in the 1830’s. It wasn’t until 1904 that Bend was officially incorporated. There was little more than a newly built lodge and some ranches in those days. As of 2017, Bend’s population is over 91,000 people.

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

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