Deschutes River Trail

Oregon

Deschutes River Trail Facts

States: Oregon
Counties: Deschutes
Length: 12.5 miles
Trail end points: Kirkaldy Rd. and Mt. Bachelor Ct.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7698506
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Mountain Biking, Walking

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Deschutes River Trail Description

Deschutes River Trail meanders over 12 miles through the heart of Bend in central Oregon. Most of the trail follows the river for which it’s named, providing terrific views and recreational opportunities. The trail is easy to access as it links a number of parks, including Sawyer Park, Pioneer Park, and Riverbend Park. Many of these sites offer parking, drinking water, and restrooms.

If you’re looking for a nature experience, the northern half of the trail is your best bet. Here, pine and juniper trees line the trail as it winds through wide canyons with some climbs over rolling terrain. Keep your eyes open for wildlife. The trail is surfaced in gravel on this end, becoming largely paved south of Pioneer Park (1525 Wall Street).

The southern end of the trail goes through the popular Old Mill District, where you’ll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries to enjoy.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at these parks along the trail, from north to south:

  • Sawyer Park (62999 O.B. Riley Road)
  • Pioneer Park (1525 Wall Street)
  • Riverbend Park (799 SW Columbia Street)

Deschutes River Trail Reviews

I rode this trail north from Pioneer Park - just past the park, after you cross the river, it is gravel, as noted before - coarse dark gravel that I think is brought in, as it is deeper to the edges. Anyway - I have a hybrid bike, so my tires are barely 1.5 inches or so as noted in the other review. Most of the trail was fine, but with my tires and gearing, there were hills I elected to walk up - and one that I chose to ride up, my back tire spun a lot in the sand/gravel. That said, I loved the trail and would do it again in a minute. Great views and well marked. I saw very few other cyclists or hikers on the trail.

On the next day, I was going to do the south end. We went to Farewell Bend park and could not find parking so parked in a side street. My husband brought up the parks and rec map of the trail, and it had several places on the west side of the river marked as no biking. The legend on the map just said unpaved, so it was confusing to say the least. Based on this and various other factors, I elected not to ride the south end, so I really don't know what the no biking areas are.

I entered the trail by turning onto 1st NW from Portland Ave NW. There is limited parking but easy access. We traveled North from this point. The surface is almost all fine gravel or sand, 1.5 inch tires or wider preferred. Several steep but short climbs over the next few miles made more difficult by the loose surface. However, the scenic views are worth the trouble. We are glad that we took the time to seek out this trail.

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