There’s so much to do down at the Boathouse District these days, there ought to be some sort of a basic guide to it all—so here it is.
Starting on the east and moving to the west –
RIVERSPORT Rapids is OKC’s artificial whitewater rapids facility. The only facility of its kind in an urban environment, Class II – IV whitewater rafting is available along with other programming, like “quiet hours” tubing, “dive-in” movies, live music and more.
The SandRidge Sky Trail is an 80-foot tall adventure course that lets you climb your way around all kinds of obstacles and then experience the thrill of coming back down either by simply climbing, going down one of the Sky Slides, an arrested freefall experience known as the “Rumble Drop” (the author’s personal favorite, BTW) or even zip your way across the river and back on the SandRidge Sky Zip.
Alongside the Sky Trail is the Youth Zone, which is, strangely enough, a zone for youths to take advantage of some adventure-type activities if they’re just not quite old or tall enough to enjoy the full shebang. Features include a Kids Zip, Cloud Bounce, Sky Tykes adventure course, a bunch of pebbles to mess around in if your kids are at that level, and more.
Just north of the Sky Trail across the parking lot are the Pump Tracks, which are great places to test your skateboarding, BMX and/or mountain biking skills and perhaps skin a knee or two (just kidding, be sure to bring helmets and pads – they’re required!).
Next to the Sky Trail is the CHK | Central Boathouse, which is home to the UCO rowing program as well as an art gallery and cool live music performance venue. Check out the schedule of upcoming events.
Moving further west we have the Devon Boathouse, home to the OCU rowing / canoe / kayak programs as well as the USRowing National High Performance Center. There is a great event space here as well if you have dreams of being a riverside bride or groom. You can also access high-tech Olympic-caliber training facilities if you’re so inclined by obtaining a Lifestyle Pass, like an endless pool, ergs, free weights, a dynamic propulsion rowing tank and more. (Psst, there’s even an altitude chamber for simulated high-altitude hypoxic cardio, but we don’t think they generally let the public use it—too bad.)
Next to the Devon Boathouse is the iconic Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, which appropriately enough sits on the finish line of the racecourse and houses timing and judging facilities, race control areas and more. There is a welcome center on the first floor with a gift shop and terraced outdoor seating for watching the boats finish the race just below.
To the west of the Finish Line Tower is the “community boathouse,” the Chesapeake Boathouse. This facility is home to Masters, juniors, corporate rowing programs and more, and is where you want to go if you’d like to rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard for the day and get out on the river yourself.
The Chesapeake Boathouse also has bike rentals if you’d like to take a spin on the Oklahoma River Trails, which consist of paved multi-use trails on both the north and south banks of the river. These are great places for jogging, cycling, in-line skating or just walking if you prefer. The author is out here multiple days and nights every week getting in a few miles on foot or bike, so we’ll see you out there (be sure to stay to your right, keep your dog on a leash and wear a light at night or else he might yell at you).
Open days/hours for paid attractions are seasonal, so be sure to check out the current schedule before you head down to the river. See you on (or around) the water!