What we hoped would only take one summer is on it’s 3rd! We have saved up the riverfront parks. We started this project when the City of Bend decided to do some major overhauling of the property along the Deschutes river. I thought this summer would be the summer we finally concluded it all.
Plus, let’s be honest, river parks are much nicer when it’s warm out.
Unfortunately, when we went to go check out McKay Park, it was closed as part of the construction for the Colorado Dam Safe Passage.
We did get a chance to check out what is on the other side of the river, Miller’s Landing Park. This lot actually comes with some personal significance. My grandmother owned a house very close to the lot. When I was growing up, it was just an empty lot. I played a lot in it. I would launch inter tubes from there. I’ll even let you in on a secret, I even kissed a boy for the first time in the secret hideout that was created by a collection of large bushes. So, to see this lot transformed into a beautiful park was both amazing and heartbreaking.
The park has very limited water access. We really didn’t find any. There were breaks in the fence to the river. But, I wouldn’t really call it river access. I was slightly disappointed that there was no beach for my family to play on. If there was one expectation I had for this playground, it was river fun.
I am also surprised at the lack of picnic tables. For such a large space, there is very little seating.
There is a full bathroom. It is refreshing to see a park without a porta-potty. The park also has a decent sized picnic shelter when you can reserve for functions. There also seems to be a community garden as well.
Miller’s Landing Park was very beautiful. As with the large majority of parks within the Bend Parks and Recreation district, it is well manicured and cared for However, there seemed to be little for my family to do. It is a beautiful use of an empty lot. But, it feels a bit like a cubic zirconium. It’s lacking substance.
(A scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the least desirable and 5 is the most desirable)
Overall Score: 3.4
Miller’s Landing Park is a beautiful patch of grass with a community garden. It has no playground and no visible river access. There are breaks in the fence, so be careful if your with kids that might be really drawn to the water. There is a picnic pavilion for parties, and the parking situation is decent. There are actual bathrooms. You will also find a community garden. Miller’s Landing isn’t a bad park, but I wouldn’t call it a fun one.