#40 Pine Ridge Park – Linfield Court

#40 Pine Ridge Park – Linfield Court

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Pine Ridge Park off of Brookswood Blvd, not too far from the Power’s exit off of the Parkway. The parking at this park is street parking, and limited. It is located next to Pine Ridge Elementary School. The park does sit close to the road, but there is a fence between the structures and moving vehicles, which is very reassuring for parents of kids who tend to run.

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The play ground itself seems to be gears to mostly the under 7 crowd, with very few options for bigger kids. There is one structure, a spinning contraption, that entertained my husband and I for quite awhile. This park only had two infant swings, and no regular swings. I suppose older kids could just run to the school’s playground for more challenging activities, if necessary.

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Pine Ridge Park does boast a picnic structure, with two tables underneath and one picnic table off to the side, seating approximately 20-30 (depending, right?). The structure is somewhat far from the play structure, making it a tough setting for a birthday party. The structure is in a more shaded area, and somewhat secluded, making it good for some other big gatherings.

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I will admit we did not venture far from the play area. We were having so much fun as a family that I forgot to check out the rest of the property. The Bend Parks and Rec website for this park says that there is a play “garden” for this park. I’m not sure what a play garden is, but I did not see one. The website also says there are multi-use trails and neighborhood connections. I’m not sure what that means, but we did see families walk to the park from all directions. For a Wednesday Evening, this park was actually somewhat busy. I think this park is very popular with it’s residents and probably is pretty full during peak park times.

I did not see any picnic tables around the property, nor was there much seating near the playground structure. If you plan to be at this play ground for long periods of time, and not at the picnic structure itself, I would plan on bringing a chair with you if needed.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 5
Amenities: 4
Safety: 5
Fun: 4

Overall Score: 4

Pine Ridge Park is a newer park. The play ground itself seems to be geared to younger children, leaving older kids with little to do other than to go to the neighboring Pine Ridge Elementary school playground. There is little to no seating around the play area, which means bring a chair if you are not comfortable for standing for long periods. This park does have a decent size picnic structure. There are multi-use trails for walking your dog. There is not particularly interesting about this park, that would make me want to make a special trip, other than the spinning ride-able.


 

 

#39 Sawyer Uplands Park – Yosemite Drive

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Sawyer Uplands Park is across the river from Sawyer Park, and there is a trail that connects both of these parks and the Deschutes River Trail. I did not take the time to walk the length of the trail, but I have heard that it is a little steep. The parking for Sawyer Uplands Park is street parking, but the neighborhood roads seem quiet and not well traveled other than by the local neighbors.

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The playground for Sawyer Uplands Park is unique and designed for multiple ages. Although there is not a typical play structure here, there is plenty to keep kids of all ages busy. We were happy to see a set of swings, but surprised ot not see a set of infant swings. The smaller structure is perfect for younger kids. There are a few picnic tables and benches (including one chess/checkers table) around the play area, with enough seating to keep parents off their feet. The play ground it set far enough away from most safety issues, like roads, to let me relax while my son played. The back of the play area is next to a slope, which is rocky but not too steep to cause concern.

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The rest of the park proper is grassy area. It is perfect for play catch with your dogs, or flag football. There were no picnic tables in the grassy areas. If you are looking for a private picnic, I would bring a blanket.

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The Sawyer Uplands Trails leads from them the paved path around the park towards the cliffs. I would watch your children closely if they are headed in this direction, as the cliffs do not have fences on the edge. The trail itself is through natural vegetation. I did notice at least two lizards running around the trail itself, making me think it may be a great place to take kids for a nature hunt.

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Off to the side of the trail was (at least) one picnic bench set next to the edge of the cliff. From this bench I could see Sawyer Park, the Deschutes River, some of the beautiful houses on the other side and a great skyline view of Bend. Because of the way the bench is facing, I bet it makes a great sunrise spot during some parts of the year. In general, it felt very romantic.

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In general, my family had a very fun time at Sawyer Uplands Park. The play structures really entertained our son. Even though he is a wanderer, we did haven’t any problems with that until after about and hour when we started to get bored. We were there on a Wednesday afternoon, but there was no one else using the park. There was one person who walked their dog to the park to play catch, but he and his pup were very friendly.

The park is missing some amenities that other parks seem to have. I was surprised, and disappointed, to see this park did not have any sort of large picnic structure. Sawyer Uplands Park might have made the list of best birthday parks in town otherwise. I also feel like the parks needs a few more picnic tables, for those looking for a little more romance and privacy. Because the park does not have any fencing around the cliff, I am nervous about letting my child get too far away without supervision. I am not sure if this is a safety issue, or not. There is a fine line sometimes between proper parenting and a park’s responsibility.

The Bend Parks and Rec website for this park is very limited in its description.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 5
Amenities: 4
Safety: 5
Fun: 5

Overall Score: 4.5

Sawyer Upland Park is a neighborhood park in the Awbrey Butte Area. The playground structure is very unique, and provides different venues for fun for all ages. This park does not have infant swings. There is also no picnic structure, which makes it unusable for large gatherings. The park has grassy areas, that may be a touch too small for flag football. Sawyer Upland Trail starts at this park and goes always the way to the Deschutes River Trail and to Sawyer Park.


 

#38 Mountain View Park – Providence Street

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Mountain View Park is on Providence Drive, on the other side of Neff Road from Providence Park. The first thing we noticed, however, was parking was not as easy to find. If you get to this park on Providence, you will end up on a dead end, which is the park’s parking lot. With only three regular parking spaces, there is not a lot of chance you will find one open during peak ours. We ended up having to drive around (hint, take a left on Byers if you don’t want to get stuck on a roundabout on your way our of Mountain View Park from the parking lot) to the other side of the park to find parking, which was street parking.

We were surprised to find the park so busy later on a Wednesday Evening. I feel like this is a sign that Mountain View Park is popular with local residences and their children. There was a group of teenagers play some rough housing game in the middle of the LARGE grass area. Fun to watch, but a reminder that some day our son will be a teenager, and then it might not be so fun to watch. In general, I think it might be possible that this park is so popular that during peak hours it is unusable.

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This park has the one of the largest grass fields we have seen. There are no trees or obstacles in the way of running around. This would make an amazing field for a pick up game of almost any sport. There is also a walking trail that goes around this field and through the park itself.

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There is also a half court basketball court with bench seating around it.

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The Bend Park and Rec website says the picnic pavilion can seat 8 people. Since there are two picnic tables, I would say you can fit 10-12 people comfortable, if you need extra space for a cake or presents. I feel like the pavilion is a long distance from the playground and the porta-potty, keeping it from being on my list of birthday party favorites.

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The play ground itself is massive, with to play structures focused on different age groups. There are also mini structures in between, including a couple silly mirrors. The play ground also sports two regular swings, two infant swings, and a special needs swing (yay!).

There is plenty of seating around the play area, though I would imagine on a busy day it may not seem that way. Though the play area is sat far away from the roads, it is right next to the parking lot, which could cause heart attacks for parents of wanders.

Mountain View Park probably suffers in my mind because it was done right after Orchard Park, which is our new favorite. There is nothing significantly wrong with this park, and the fact that it is has a special needs swing really appeals to me. I do think that on a busy day, this park feels like it could get choatic and uncomfortable (I’m not sure why I feel that way, though.)


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 5
Amenities: 5
Safety: 4
Fun: 4

Overall Score: 4.5

Although Mountain View Park suffers from no major flaws, it does not feel like a relaxing oasis from the world. There is some concern with the play area being so close to the parking lot and a road, which could give some helicopter parents of wandering children some problems. This park does have a special needs swing, which is rare for Bend area parks. The varied play structure gives this park a wide appeal, as does the expansive grass areas and the walking trail.


 

#37 Orchard Park – 6th Street

#37 Orchard Park – 6th Street

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I’ll be honest, we have two park jars going. We have a jar for the parks with playgrounds, and we have a jar for the parks without playgrounds. Our son needs a playground in order to be entertained. Since the jar of playground parks is getting pretty empty, we have stopped randomly picking parks. We now look at what we have left and formulate a plan. Since today was a four park today (see Farewell Bend Park and Gardenside Park), we really tried to figure out the best parks in terms of location.

Orchard Park has been right under our nose this hole time, it is probably the closest to our apartment. Because it was never picked out of the jar, I never paid much attention to it on our list. When I was looking at our big park map on our wall today, I realized how close it was. I also realized we could get Orchard Park and Mountain View Park in the same swing. (We should have done Mountain View Park while we were at Providence Park, but I didn’t even think about it.)

Orchard Park is street parking only, which is always a slight concern for me. I always feel better getting my son in and out of the car in an parking lot, and not having to worry about traffic. We ended up parking on the street that was farthest from the play structure, but street on the other side is closer. The neighborhood looks like it has been around awhile. When we finally laid eyes on Orchard Park we were surprised by what we saw. A large property with lots of rolling green grass, an almost brand new looking play structure, and a HUGE field for sports.

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The Bend Parks and Rec website is dead on in their description of Orchard Park’s features. This park features a half court basketball court, a “small” soccer field, a network of walking trails, and plenty of grass. The website says there is a play “garden” for all children, though I’m not even sure what that means.

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This park has all the space you need for a neighborhood game of basketball/soccer/baseball/football.

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Orchard Park also sports a cute two table picnic pavilion that could support 10-15 people. My husband and I both think it would make the best small birthday party park. It is a little concerning how access to the play area from the pavilion is set up. I wish there was a more direct route from the pavilion to the play area. If you go to the park, you will know what I mean. (At least if you are a helicopter parent like I am.)

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There is one play structure with multiple slides at different lengths and speeds. There are multiple, unique, ways of getting on to the structure. Orchard Park sports 2 infant swings and 4 (!) regular swings. There is one rideable, and climbable fake boulders. We also have begun to enjoy the spongy plastic cement ground covering over bark chips.

Our son seemed to enjoy this play structure more than we have seen other play structures. I am beginning to wonder if it is because it was less “cluttered” than some others. He seemed to spend time with every element.

We also say plenty of seating around the play structure, between the metal benches scattered around the edges and the picnic tables and benches. My husband did notice the picnic tables were scratched up slightly, but it should disrupt anything.

In general, Orchard Park was our favorite experience so far. I am interested to see what this park is like during peak hours (we were there on a wednesday evening.) If it still not very busy, and the people are friendly, Orchard Park may become our go to park!


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 4
Amenities: 5
Safety: 4
Fun: 5

Overall Score: 4.75

Everything in our souls, expect our desire to be fair, want to give this park 5’s across the board. Orchard Park has everything you could want, including walking trails, sports fields, and fun play ground structures. There is some concern about how the fencing and different “levels” are laid out around the play area, making it difficult to chase your child if they were to run in some directions out of the play area. Some of the picnic tables and benches are in disrepair. The walk trails will work great if in a pinch, and need to take the kids to the park and walk yourself and fido at the same time.


 

 

 

 

#36 Gardenside Park – Darla Place

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Gardenside Park is an unknown gem on the east side of bend. Nestled in the center of a tight-knit subidivision, Gardenside park is beautiful park. There is street parking, that seems rather limited. Gardenside Park is definitely meant as an area for the local residents.

We have been to this park twice now, and both times we have gotten a feeling that we are intruders. The residents in this area are not used to visitors to their neighborhood park, even though it is a public park ran by the Bend Parks and Rec district. I also find some of the residences are not very tolerant of children with special needs, especially needs that come with neurodiverse behavior. Although it is not the park’s fault, I do not think I will bring my family back to this park, because we felt so unwelcome.

The front of some houses come right out onto the park area. If you child is very curious, or tends to wander, you may want to make sure they aren’t tempted to play with the toys in someone’s yard.

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The play structure is large, with plenty of shade in the middle for a warm summer day. Even though there is one play structure, it seems to be split into activities that appeal to different age ranges. There are two regular swings and two infant swings. There are also a couple ride-ables. The dark green paint on the slides and the ride-ables did make them very warm on a summer day. I would not suggest this park in the middle of warm summer days.

There is decent seating around the play area, which is nice for resting while your children play.

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Gardenside Park has a large picnic structure, which would seat 20-25 people comfortably. Because of the, tight-knit nature of the neighborhood, I don’t know if I would recommending using this park structure without first reserving the space through the Bend Parks and Rec Office.

The park also has plenty of grassy area, especially for a smaller property.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 3
Condition: 5
Amenities: 4
Safety: 4
Fun: 3

Overall Score: 2

This park’s overall score is not a direction reflection of it’s individual scores. Gardenside Park is a beautiful park in the middle of a serene subdivision. The play structure is unique. The park in general provides the local children plenty of fun. The residents of the subdivision seem to be protective of this park, and not very welcoming to “visitors.” Although this park is a public area maintained by the Bend Park and Rec Department, I would treat it like the private park of a private community. If you have a child with special needs, I would also avoid this park unless you are a resident of the surrounding subdivision.


 

 

#35 Farewell Bend Park – Reed Market

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We pulled Farewell Bend Park from the jar weeks ago. Every time we went to enjoy this newer park, there were no parking spaces. Truth be told, Farewell Bend Park is extremely popular, both for it’s play area and for it’s other activities. We had hoped that enjoying Farewell Bend Park on a Wednesday morning would provide us with ample parking spaces and a less populated play structure. Although there were some open parking spaces, Farewell Bend Park was as busy it not more than other parks in town during peak hours.

There are parking lots on one side of Reed Market. If you are coming to the park from Century Drive, you will have to go all the way around and use the roundabouts to get to the parking areas. If you don’t mind parking farther away from the play structure, you can find more parking in the Old Mill District and walk to the park.

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Farewell Bend Park is more than just a playground. There is a boardwalk (?) that extends out into the middle of the river, with benches. This would make a wonderfully romantic spot. Also, on the far side of the park is a riverside beach. I believe many people launch from this beach for their floats through downtown Bend. The Deschutes River Trail runs the length of the park and connects the park to the Old Mill District to the northeast, to Riverbend Park across the river and to the new South Canyon Trail Bridge to the south.

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The large picnic structure can seat 20-30, and is right next to the play ground. There are also smaller shelters, with one picnic table each, around the park. There are also picnic tables scattered throughout the park.

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The play structure is very unique, with multiple slides and a well shaded interior. We were surprised to see dark green paint on the slides, making them overly warm on a summer day. I was also sad to see no swings of any time at the park either.

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Farewell Bend park does have a unique experience, with a large section of large climbable boulders. Some of these fake boulders are very tall, causing concern for some parents of smaller children. I would not suggest letting younger kids play on these without supervision. If you are a helicopter parent like me, then you will probably be tempted to stay within arms reach.

Near the play area is a bathroom facility, with actual bathrooms, which is an improvement to the porta-potties we see at the smaller parks.

I am also surprised that the Bend Parks and Rec website has such a small description of Farewell Bend Park. They do mention that the Kiwanis helped build this park, which may expend why it seems so unique compared to other parks in the city.

Farewell Bend is a large park, in the heart of bend and near many of our visitor’s favorite activities. It makes for a great place to enjoy the Deschutes River Trail, float the river, or grab a bite to eat at some or best restaurants. As a local, looking for a calm park to take our son to on a weekend afternoon, Farewell Bend will not make for an easy afternoon.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 5
Condition: 5
Amenities: 4
Safety: 5
Fun: 4.5

Overall Score: 4.75

Farewell Bend Park is not just a playground, but when judged for it’s facilities in this arena it falls a little flat. Farewell Bend Park is busy, constantly, and will rarely give you parking spot close enough to the park to give you an easy trip from the car. The playground does not have any swings. What Farewell Bend Park lacks it makes up for it with unique and interesting features, and a wide range of activities beyond the playground.


 

#34 Woodriver Park – Woodriver Drive

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We pulled Woodriver Park from our jar. It’s a park I have known about from growing up, especially since it was one of the few parks in that area before the Old Mill District was developed. It is in the middle of Woodriver Village. I was happy to see some very beautiful houses going up in the old neighborhood.

There parking is pretty sparse, and somewhat hard to spot across the street from the park itself.

I am disappointing to see that Woodriver Park does not have a sign like the rest of the Bend Parks, since it is listed on the Bend Parks and Rec Website.

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The park has a half court basketball court, which also seems to be lined for another game as well. The park does not have a picnic structure, and seems to only have one picnic bench/table. There is quite a bit of grass space.

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I would not say this park has a play structure. There are 4 regular swings, 2 infant swings, one ride-able and a slide. The slide is actually pretty tall. Our son enjoyed the slide and the swings, but there wasn’t enough to really entertain him for long period of time.

For a neighborhood park, Woodriver Village is a great option for kids in the neighborhood. With Farewell Bend Park and Blakely Park within walking distance, there are much better options, especially for younger kids. I wouldn’t recommend Woodriver Park for a trip of it’s own.


Ratings: 
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)

Size: 3
Condition: 4
Amenities: 3
Safety: 5
Fun: 3

Overall Score: 3.5

Woodriver Park is missing amenitites, including a varied play ground. In general, Woodriver Village pales in comparison to the newer parks in walking distance. I would not recommend this park for anyone looking for an adventure, especially with Farewell Bend and Blakely parks nearby. However, as a park for the Woodriver Village neighborhood, it does it’s job.