Winter in Parks

The Bend Urban Trails System, developed and managed jointly by the Bend Park & Recreation District and the City of Bend, connects our community and encourages recreation and non-motorized transportation throughout the year.

Trail Snow Removal
If Bend should have a snow event of 2 inches or more, Park Services will remove the snow from the following trails:

  • Coyner Trail from the corner of 15th St and Wilson Ave. to Juniper Park
  • Larkspur Trail from Bear Creek Rd. to Neff Rd. through Pilot Butte State Park
  • Pine Nursery Park Trail
  • West Bend Trail along Galveston Ave. and Skyliners Rd. from 17th S. to Skyline Ranch Rd.
  • Trails and pathways in Riverbend and Farewell Bend Parks in the Old Mill District
  • Pathways in Drake Park
  • Cascade Highlands Trail from Mt. Washington/Skyliners roundabout to Overturf Off-Leash Area
  • Haul Road Trail from the Bend Athletic Club to Mammoth Drive

Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Opportunities
When there’s a six inch or more snow event, most any park will work for snowshoeing and nordic skiing, but why not go exploring!

Snowshoe and ski adventures are numerous in Shevlin Park with more than six miles of trails and 600-plus acres. You can also make loops around Pine Nursery, Skyline and Big Sky Parks or on the Deschutes River Trail in the South Canyon.

You can enjoy out-and-backs along:

  • Haul Road Trail (unpaved section west of Mammoth Drive)
  • Cascades Highland Trail (unpaved section west of Mt. Washtington/Skyliners roundabout)
  • Deschutes River Trail north of Sawyer Park and beyond.

Shevlin Park, Cascade Highlands Trail and Haul Road Trail all feature surfaces that are relatively level and feature connections into the U.S. Forest Service trail system.

None of the parks or trails are groomed for skiing. Skiing is allowed during the day or in the evening by moonlight or headlamp.

Sledding
No matter what your age, when you’re sledding, you’re a kid at heart! While BPRD does not offer designated sledding areas, there are many parks with hills. Keep it safe and fun – plan your route (and an escape if needed) and post someone along the route to watch for other park users. Be careful not to damage park vegetation or other park amenities.

Off-Leash Areas
All winter long, BPRD’s eight dog parks are open for you and your canine friend to fend off any possibility of the dreaded cabin fever! For your creature’s comfort, consider booties or paw wax to protect your dog’s feet from ice and cold and bring water as the water fountains are turned off for the season.

Snow Sculptures
Whether you go classic with a carrot-nosed snowman or make a giant critter out of snow, just about any park can become a “snow sculpture gallery” with some imagination. Get the whole gang involved and create temporary masterpieces to share with your neighbors!

Take Care
Safety first means for successful fun! Here’s some tips to keep your outings safe:

  • For sledding, consider wearing helmets, especially for children, and be sure to scope your route for obstacles and hidden dangers.
  • Look out for ice and other slippery conditions. While BPRD crews do their best to clear snow from parking lots and walks, icy conditions can still exist. Consider traction devices on your shoes as well as use of poles.
  • Ice skating is never recommended on the river, on Mirror Pond or at any parks. Frozen rivers and ponds are unreliable ice surfaces and pose serious dangers. If you’re up for a skating session, join the fun at The Pavilion, the District’s newest recreation facility.

For your winter walking, hiking and biking adventures, here’s a few recommendations.

Pine Nursery Park Trail
Location: Northeast Bend
Trail Length: 1.4 miles
Surface: Paved
Accessibility: Yes
Off-Street Parking & Restrooms: Pine Nursery Park
Cleared of snow: yes

One of the newer trails in Bend, Pine Nursery Trail is a great loop trail anytime of year, but especially in winter because east Bend tends to get less snow and Park Services regularly removes snow from its surface. Relatively level, the trail offers great views of the Cascades as it gently meanders through the park.

Deschutes River Trail: Awbrey Reach
Location: Northwest Bend
Trail Length: 3.9 miles
Surface: Unpaved
Accessibility: No
Off-Street Parking & Restrooms: Sawyer Park
Cleared of snow: no

This northernmost section of the Deschutes River Trail is constructed on top of the buried Tumalo irrigation canal. It has an unpaved surface and includes a few moderate hills. Along the middle stretch of this reach, the river drops into a deep canyon, but the trail stays high on the canyon wall, offering spectacular views of the river below and of the Three Sisters in the distance. A steep climb up the Archie Briggs Canyon Trail connects to Mt. Washington Drive. Visitors can best access the trail from Sawyer Park. There is also limited on-street parking at Sawyer Uplands Park with a connecting route down to the river trail.

Larkspur Trail
Location: Northeast Bend
Trail Length: 1.8 miles
Surface: Paved and unpaved
Accessibility: Yes, some portions
Off-Street Parking & Restrooms: Pilot Butte Park & Larkspur Park
Cleared of snow: partially –  cleared north of Bear Creek Rd. to Neff Rd.

The Larkspur Trail extends between Pilot Butte State Park and Larkspur Park, passing through Pinewood Natural Area. Both Pilot Butte and Larkspur parks have ample parking and restroom facilities; Larkspur Park is also the site of the Bend Senior Center and the Rotary Centennial All Children’s Playground. Add an additional mile by climbing the trail to the summit of Pilot Butte or proceed north from the park on newly paved pathways to Neff Road.

Trail Management
The Bend Urban Trail System and the Deschutes River Trail are managed by the Bend Park & Recreation District. To report trail concerns, call Park Services at (541) 388-5435. After business hours and on weekends, call (541) 410-3319.

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