Bend Residents Float the Deschutes River
When the summer temperatures soar, Bend residents relax in the water. Whether it is driving up to the Cascade Lakes and enjoying windsurfing at Elk Lake, paddling in a kayak on Todd Lake or water skiing and house boating on Lake Billy Chinook, Central Oregonians enjoy the water during the summer months. One of the recent additions to the water recreational opportunities in Bend is floating the Deschutes River. Unheard of 10 years ago, during warm summer days thousands of people enjoy floating through Bend's Old Mill District from Farewell Bend Park, past the surfers at the Whitewater Park and ending up at Drake Park at Mirror Pond.
Almost as fun as floating the river is sitting on the deck of one of the restaurants in the Old Mill sipping a cool drink and watching the floaters go by. The variety of floats is interesting and seeing people enjoying themselves as they float by or occasionally fall into the river as their float tips is entertaining.
If you don't have your own floating device, Park & Float, located next to The Pavilion on Simpson Ave across from the Old Mill near the dog park, offers everything you need to make your day on the river fun. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe offers rental of durable river tubes and complimentary life jackets for children and adults. You can also rent a paddleboard, surfboard or kayak. Several floating options are possible from Park & Float.
Floaters can pick a two-hour float from Riverbend Park to Drake Park or a one-hour float from either Riverbend Park or McKay Park. Floaters can also Ride the River Shuttle from Drake Park back up to Park and Float for $3 per day.
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