Riley Ranch Nature Reserve and Rockbridge Park now open
Nestled along the east side of the Deschutes River, Riley Ranch Nature Reserve, which opened in December 2017, is composed of 184 acres of former private ranch land. Bend’s second-largest park is relatively untouched in some places and the land features open meadows, juniper and pine forests, unique lava flows, cliffs and the river’s rocky canyon. The park is host to many native plant species, migratory birds and wildlife.
If trail running or hiking is of interest, Riley Ranch has several loop options to explore. The Juniper Loop is 0.7 mile and the Sage Flats Loop is 0.9 miles, which combine in a figure-eight pattern for a 1.6 mile-loop. Additionally, Robin’s Run, a trail section that travels down the canyon rim, connects to the Canyon Loop, which is 1.25 miles. From the Canyon Loop, hikers and joggers can access the Oregon State Parks Trail, which extends 1.3 miles from Riley Ranch to Tumalo State Park.
Traveling to Tumalo State Park and completing the three loop trails at Riley Ranch is approximately 6.5 miles
Note Riley Ranch Reserve is a nature reserve and is managed differently than other Bend parks. Bikes and dogs – even those on a leash – are not permitted. Bikes and dogs have a greater impact on wildlife and the landscape when compared to pedestrians. Riley Ranch provides a different experience for park users with numerous wildlife viewing opportunities as well as a place for people who are less comfortable around dogs or bikes.
Riley Ranch Nature Reserve
19975 Glen Vista Road, located west of O.B. Riley Road in northwest Bend
This community park in northeast Bend opened last October and offers a variety of outdoor activities with a lunar-scape skatepark, a 9-hole disc golf course, a bike skills course and paved and unpaved paths throughout its 36 acres.
Rockridge, which is next to Lava Ridge Elementary and Skyview Middle School, was designed with a minimal footprint to maintain over 60 percent of the original terrain as natural.
The natural play area is a central experience to the park. This play area features a Juniper “log forest” where children can navigate smoothed and repurposed trees, which were harvested from local Bend parks. Children can also create their own natural adventures on log steppers, boulder scrambles and a climbing tree.
Within the park, there is a small playground, a large picnic shelter, picnic tables, drinking fountains, seasonal restrooms, paved and on-street parking.
20885 Egypt Drive, next to Lava Ridge Elementary