With so many wonderful things to do in and around Central Oregon, we’re constantly looking for accessible activities our clients will love. Thankfully, there are tons of options around here that are suitable for all ages and abilities, creating a sense of inclusion, community, and most of all, fun! Socialization, physical exercise, and developing a variety of skills are some of the many benefits of being able to get out there to explore and participate. Whether it be doing arts and crafts projects at our Community Center, or going to the coast, allowing our clients to feel the importance of being an integral part of the world and helping them enjoy life is a top priority!
Accessible activities have the needs of people with varying abilities in mind. This can range from physical to mental abilities and considers necessary modifications in order to promote meaningful and enjoyable experiences for all. Accessibility helps eliminate the stigma around people with varying abilities being any less capable or healthy than others. Accessible environments also promote independence and make social integration easier when individuals want to branch out. Transportation, leisure, education, and employment are all areas in which you may see accessible accommodations in and around town. Our Community Inclusion Program focuses on activities that allow for community integration which is why we’re excited to continue to grow this invaluable program, serve as a resource, and try new things for the betterment of all clients’ quality of life!
We’ve tracked down quite a variety of accessible activities, both indoor and outdoor, for individuals or better for groups that we’d love to share with you! Use this short guide as a resource for accessible activity ideas in the area this spring!
Trails & Parks Around Bend
Tumalo Creek Trail (Difficulty: Moderate)- Shevlin Park covers around 1,000 acres of trails and recreational areas that are great for hiking, picnics, or enjoying the fresh flowing water. There are two accessible parking areas, Aspen Meadow and Aspen Hall. There is also a covered picnic area with tables, which makes for a great lunch spot!
The Tumalo Creek Trail itself is a mostly flat, packed soil and gravel trail that is usually accessible to those using a mobility device. For a more consistent experience, a paved road (Fremont Service Rd.) runs through the middle of the trail systems spanning around four miles and is just as perfect for taking in the lush trees and local wildlife in Central Oregon.
Old Mill reach of the Deschutes River Trail (Difficulty: Easy)- Take Farewell Bend Park to McKay Park on a paved surface reaching about two miles. This trail is a beautiful way to take in the river views and be amongst locals and visitors alike. It’s the perfect combination of nature and city-life with options to stop along the Old Mill shops or restaurants for a bite to eat.
Pine Nursery Park– This park is located on the East side of Bend and hosts about 159 acres of recreational area, picnic tables, paved trails, and tons of activities – to include pickle-ball courts! There is no shortage of movement out here so be prepared to immerse yourself in the energy! This is one of our favorite spots to take clients when we want a variety of activities to do.
Larkspur Park- Picnic tables, nature viewpoints, and a mix of packed gravel and pavement trails, this park is great for a day in the sun! You will also find accessible parking, restrooms, and a range of activities to watch or participate in. Larkspur is a great place to grab a picnic table and enjoy the many things it has to offer.
Riley Ranch- Although within city limits, Riley Ranch feels entirely remote. Trails out here are compact gravel and range in difficulty so plan accordingly. For easier options, there are many viewpoints and areas to rest and take in what makes this nature reserve so unique. Make sure to note that dogs are not allowed at this reserve, so leave your furry friends at home for this adventure!
Discovery Park- Discovery park is a beautiful, open area in the Northwest Crossing area with paved walkways and plenty of space to enjoy the sunshine. It’s also great for families and those who are looking for an off-leash dog area. This is a great option for an in-town day at the park.
Lava Lands- Pine trees, lava fields, and mountain views! There are tons of paved trail options and you can even drive to take in the wonderful views. Visit the Lava Lands Visitor Center for trail maps and up-to-date information upon arrival!
Painted Hills- If you’re looking for a nice day trip to take in some amazing views, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a great go-to. We recommend the Painted Cove Boardwalk for a short out and back trail. If you’re a fan of geology, you’re in for a real treat!
High Desert Museum- For those on-and-off weather days that we see so frequently here in Bend, the High Desert Museum is a great option! Accessible parking, restrooms, entrances, paved trails, and even sensory sensitive “Brain Break Bags” are available upon arrival. They always have new exhibits coming in and out, making every visit a new and exciting learning opportunity.
Hayden Homes Amphitheater- Concert season is just around the corner! Our amphitheater has it all from accessible parking to seating options. Make sure to visit their website to check this year’s line up and enjoy those warm, iconic Bend evenings!
Crater Lake National Park- Another day trip option, Crater Lake National Park has amazing viewpoints that are accessible as well as paved trail options for those who like to take in their natural surroundings. Have lunch at one of the many picnic areas or lodges and take a nice drive around the top rim of this amazing crater.
The list could go on! Oregon has so many options for a range of mobilities. We are truly so lucky to have access to such amazing outdoor adventures! We love to get out and enjoy the warm sunshine by going to local lakes, rivers, the safari in Winston, OR, the COCC track, and many other outdoor excursions that we mentioned above!
Oregon Adaptive Sports is an amazing local resource that connects the community with a multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities and equipment for any time of year. We recently spent a day with them at Mt. Bachelor and had an absolute blast! Our clients were able to find gear that worked perfectly for them and we caught a really great day on the slopes!
With the warmer weather on its way, we hope to get outside as much as possible to enjoy all that Oregon has to offer! See what adventures we’re up to by giving us a follow on Facebook and Instagram!