Nature is one of the greatest classrooms where kids and adults can learn about wildlife, outdoor skills and get in shape. The Children's Forest of Central Oregon, Bend Park and Recreation District and U.S. Forest Service will celebrate all that nature has to offer with the annual Discover Nature Festival at Riverbend Park, Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 am to 3 pm. The entire family is encouraged to stop by and check out the 35+ outdoor, exploration and health-themed activities offered at this year's festival. Try to hit the mark at the archery challenge, relax with a bit of animal yoga, learn essential camping skills, race through the bike rodeo obstacle course or enjoy a fantastic book during story time. The festival is free so stop by Bend's beautiful Riverbend Park for a day filled with discovery and fun. For more information, visit childrensforestco.org/discover-nature-festival or call 541-383-5592.
Kayaking is one of the most challenging water sports to take on, and jumping into it can be intimidating for beginners. Luckily, amateur kayakers can learn the basics during the Let's Go Kayaking Program at Collier Memorial State Park, Sunday, Sept. 25, from 12:30-2:30 pm. Hosted by Oregon State Parks, the program will cover the ins and outs of kayaking, with groups paddling up the Williamson River. Master the rapids while taking in a unique and gorgeous view of the park that many don't get to see. This program is a great opportunity for anyone interested in exploring the rivers of Bend or who wants to test their physical capabilities in this adrenaline inducing sport. Kayaks and gear are provided. Due to a limited number of instructors and kayaks, as well as for safety reasons, groups are limited to five people. Interested must register ahead of time. Call 541-783-2471 ext. 24 for more information or to sign up.
Explore the beautiful and vast acres of forest between Bend and Sisters without ever leaving your seat ... well, your bike seat, that is. The Deschutes Land Trust is hosting a mountain bike ride through Skyline Forest on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 3-6 pm. This 10-12 mile ride, led by Brad Chalfant (DLT Executive Director) will take bikers along a potential trail network that may one day connect the two towns. Riders can also take in Skyline's fresh water springs, historic saw mills, and pacifying scenery. This trail is rated at the intermediate level, recommended only to riders who are comfortable covering uneven paths with potential obstacles and elevation changes. Hit the open forest for an afternoon of scenic and exhilarating mountain biking. The event is free, but spots are limited. Riders must register ahead of time, and are encouraged to bring their water and snacks, as well as proper equipment. For more information or to register, visit deschuteslandtrust.org or call 541-330-0017.