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Bend, Oregon: Surprises along the urban trails

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Each walk on Bend's urban trails provides us with much to see and think about. This fall a trip to Bend to enjoy the colorful foliage was another reason to get out and walk. Bend has a good selection of Urban Trails. You can use the trails for exercise, walking your dog or finding scenery to photograph. Of course walking downtown and enjoying the shops and brew pubs is not to be missed, either.

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On a beautiful warm fall day we decided to walk the Deschutes River Trail starting in the Old Mill District. As we walked, we noticed a change in the water level and how the river flowed into the pond. We've always enjoyed the beauty of Mirror Pond and were surprised that it had changed. Mirror Pond, featured on Bend postcards for over 100 years, was not the same. As we walked we noticed the river was low and barely moving. The dam that held the water for the pond was failing and the town wasn't quite sure what should be done. As it stands now, we may only have Mirror Pond as a memory, emblazoned on Deschutes Brewery labels for Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

As we continued walking the trail we enjoyed the cliffs rising over the river and noticed a new sculpture (well, new since we had been there last). At the bridge in Farewell Bend Park, “Two Bits,” a sculpture depicting two draft horses pulling a large log, caught my eye. The timber business has been very important in Oregon and in Bend's history. Even now, it has been found that using horses instead of machinery for logging, makes less of an impact on the forest. The logging horse statue was created by the artist, Greg Congleton, by welding together many found objects including a singer sewing machine, hay trolley, tiller wheels, fire extinguisher, shovels, rakes, chain saws, horse shoes, wrenches, gears and even plows. The piece was installed in 2011.

When you walk this urban trail, you are never far from the Old Mill District where you can find shops, riverside dining and even take in a movie.

More Information

Urban Trail Map (download pdf)

Deschutes River Trail Map (download pdf)

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