The new Whitewater Park is open today!

Bend Whitewater Park rendering

Bend’s new Whitewater Park, the project that took over the Colorado Dam and had all of the crazy construction going on next to the Colorado Avenue bridge, is officially open today at 5pm! (Here’s their Facebook page.) This project which has been going on all summer has created three new safe-passage channels under the Colorado bridge:

Floaters Channel
The channel nearest McKay Park takes the casual river floater under the Colorado Ave. bridge. Twelve minor drops in river elevation guide people toward the Drake Park take-out.

Whitewater Channel
The middle channel consists of four waves with various degrees of difficulty ranging from beginner to expert. Wave conditions are influenced by electronically controlled pneumatic bladders that influence wave shape, size and complexity.

Nature Habitat Channel
Though the Bend Whitewater Park is designed for river recreation, is part of a beautiful and natural river. Protecting the river is critical to the park’s success. Plant life helps protect river health and provide habitat for wildlife. There is no public access to this sensitive area.

The Source Weekly has an article on the opening today, and notes:

However, the project isn’t fully complete and there are some limitations to the opening. The floaters’ channel will be open to float through, but the whitewater channel can only be accessed from below the bridge, either from McKay Park beach or Miller’s Landing. Until further work is done on the whitewater channel, access will be closed to entering it from upriver of the bridge.

The soft opening will be held at tomorrow’s Pickin’ & Paddin’ event at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe.

Who’s looking forward to playing in the new Whitewater Park?