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Best New Recreation Opportunity 

Bend Whitewater Park

Staff Pick

Bend Whitewater Park

Bend Whitewater Park

Nothing puts a kink in an otherwise lovely summer day like having to take a land-based detour on your float down the Deschutes. Of course, it's better than the serious bodily harm that can come from freefalling over the dam. So we're pretty psyched about the approaching completion of the Bend Whitewater Park (aka the Colorado Dam Safe Passage Project).

With three channels, and adjustable wave heights, there will be something for everyone. A protected riparian habitat for birds, fish, and frogs; a whitewater channel for kayakers and brave SUPers; and a safe passage for folks floating on tubes and boards.

Now, as long as the construction crew cleans up after itself, it should be smooth floating down the Deschutes from here on out. (ER)

2nd Place: The Simpson Pavilion.

The wait is a bit longer for the sports pavilion that will feature the first in-town ice skating rink Bend has seen in years. Score! And, the site will likely host some sporting and other events for OSU-Cascades, creating a hopping university district on the west side.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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