CONC Hikers Check Out Riley Ranch Reserve

Central Oregon Nordic Club members checked out one of the new hiking areas near Bend on Sunday, Dec. 31.

About a dozen members hiked from Riley Ranch Nature Reserve to Tumalo State Park.

Hiker Shari Hogshead describes the route as a “lovely one-way hike.” Of course, the one-way part added to the logistics in order to have vehicles to shuttle hikers back to their cars at the starting point.

Riley Ranch is one of the newest parks created by the Bend Park & Recreation District. The park, which opened Dec. 20, was formerly a ranch before it was bought by the district after a bond referendum.  The 184-acre nature reserve has 35 acres of canyon floor and a 30-acre band of rimrock cliffs, according to the park district website. There are views of Cascade mountains and the river canyon.

“Two groups formed, coming right out of the chute at the Riley parking lot — one group taking the shorter option at forks, the other four of us taking the scenic options (stay left),” says hiker Thom Iverson. “A good time was had by all and we managed to meet up at Tumalo to shuttle everyone back to Riley after a very pleasant hike.

“My GPS said 3.8 miles for the scenic group route.  Parking lot is already filling up at Riley, by the way. This might be a very popular park.”

(Photos by Thom Iverson, Jeanni Capell and Shari Hogshead)

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