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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Riverscream

KJ103 RiverScream

We all want to make memories with our family, right? We want something we can look back on 10 or 20 years from now to smile, laugh and reminisce. KJ103’s Riverscream is the perfect answer to that need. They have a zombie zip line and zombie-themed laser tag. There is a pirate’s zone for the younger children, ages 2-7, and whitewater rafting. There are a plethora of options available to make memories for the entire family. You can find all the information here.

All of this is great, the kids are important and memories with your family and kids are something you never want to lose, but what about us adults? When do we get to be a little loose and have a little fun without the kids? We love them, but we all need time apart to breathe. Once again, Oklahoma City has your back.

Haunt the River in downtown Oklahoma City provides a relaxing boat ride. The boat is decorated for the holiday, provides haunting music and light appetizers, but maybe most importantly alcohol is available. There is a cash bar on board, which can certainly help you relax and ease into the holiday season. Cruise privileges are not valid for groups of eight or more though. You can find all the information you need here.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, holiday, nightlife, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Oklahoma Regatta Festival

The 2018 Oklahoma Regatta Festival will take place Sept. 28 - 30 in the Boathouse District. This amazing three-day competition includes rowing, dragon boating, kayaking, white water rafting and family fun.

The weekend will also feature the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma race, OGE NightSprints, and food trucks and beer gardens. The races features teams from all over the nation competing on all levels of competition--collegiate, masters and junior rowing.

During the festival the 500-meter NightSprints are held when the sun sets. This creates a unique and intense atmosphere for everyone involved from spectators to competitors. Everyone is invited to bring something to sit on or someone to sit with, or both of course, and cheer the athletes on.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, free, live sporting events, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



A riverís rise

Riversport Rapids whitewater rafting

In many ways, the story of the Oklahoma River and the modern-day renaissance of Oklahoma City go hand-in-hand. The river and Oklahoma City had many ups and downs during their first century before the original MAPS program jumpstarted an unprecedented rebirth for both.

To help tell that story, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber launched a storytelling feature on www.greateroklahomacity.com/river depicting the rise of Oklahoma City’s river.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

So check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share it with you friends and family.

Boathouse District, MAPS, Oklahoma River, publication, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Mapping our way to the future

Chesapeake Energy Arena

The OKC Streetcar is set to begin normal operations in December. The new, state of the art convention center is due to open doors in 2020. We stand in an era of unprecedented growth, but new residents may not know how the decisions of Oklahoma City voters led us to this path.

Our remarkable productivity today was born after Oklahoma City experienced an energy downturn in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Hungry for a way to boost economic development and reinvestment, Oklahoma City Mayor Ronald Norick proposed the Metropolitan Area Projects, a capital improvement program to be funded by a temporary one-cent sales tax. MAPS was comprised of the following projects:

  • Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark - Finished in 1998, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark was the first major project of MAPS and served as the first testament to Oklahoma City’s renaissance and its close ties to the past.
  • Improvements to the State Fairgrounds – The State Fairgrounds received a new livestock show facility, horse barns, and several other necessary renovations by this project’s completion in 1998.
  • Creation of the Bricktown Canal – Completed in 1999 and improved in 2003 and 2004, the Bricktown Canal served as the first bridge to take back Bricktown from years of vacancy and crime. Now, the canal and the district are one of OKC’s main attractions.
  • Creation of the Myriad (now Cox) Convention Center – Home to countless shows, exhibitions, graduations, and other events, the Cox Convention Center has been a hub for state and nationwide activity since its opening in 1999.
  • Creation of the Spirit Trolley System – Predecessor to Oklahoma City’s growing public transit sector, the Spirit Trolley service began in 1999 and served the city for 11 years.
  • Improvements to the Civic Center Music Hall – Home to the OKC Phil, the Lyric Theatre and others, the Civic Center was renovated in 2001. Stage advancements, a five-story atrium, and acoustic improvements were among other renovations.
  • Creation of the Ford Center (now the Chesapeake Energy Arena) – Constructed in 2002 and considered the beating heart of Oklahoma City, the Chesapeake Energy Center is the home of the OKC Thunder and serves as one of the largest musical venues in the southern United States.
  • Creation of the Oklahoma River Recreational Area – MAPS turned a seven-mile span of the North Canadian River into a series of river lakes for public use. Construction of the dam system, trails, landscaping, and other amenities finished in 2004.
  • Creation of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library – The four-story library includes classrooms and a conference center, and is a part of the Metropolitan Library System. It was named for Mayor Norick upon its completion in 2004, marking the end of MAPS.

The first Metropolitan Area Projects differentiated from other improvements programs by funding projects debt free. As a result, MAPS and its successor programs, MAPS For Kids and MAPS 3, are model success stories that have spurred faster – and more fiscally responsible – investments than most cities throughout the U.S.

MAPS was a simple idea with a big impact, and it speaks as a testament to the ideals of Oklahoma City residents. When faced with crisis, we reinvent; when faced with a cause, we give; when faced with a quandary, we climb our way out. The Yes to MAPS campaign slogan in 1994 was “Believe in Our Future!”, and it seems like Oklahoma City residents believe more now than they ever have.

You can find out more about the history of MAPS, including interviews from prominent figures in OKC, at the City of Oklahoma City MAPS site here.

baseball, Bricktown, library, MAPS, Oklahoma River, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



MAPS 3 Update

Streetcar

The huge success of previous MAPS projects led to a vote in late 2009 that approved of a one-cent sales tax to pay for debt-free projects that improve our quality of life. MAPS 3 consists of eight different projects; several of the projects have been completed, and the last project is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

  • The MAPS 3 Convention Center to replace the current aging convention center is located directly south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This new center will help the city stay competitive in the lucrative convention industry for years to come. A 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 45,000-square-foot meeting space and 30,000-square-foot ballroom are all included in the $288 million budget for the convention center. Construction is underway on this cornerstone of the ongoing Core-to-Shore renaissance in downtown OKC, and it is expected to open by June 2020.
  • Construction is also underway to the immediate west of the new convention center for a 70-acre urban oasis christened Scissortail Park. Design plans for the park call for everything from a café and sports facilities to a lake and nature trails. Scissortail features two sections, a 40-acre north section scheduled for completion in 2019 and a 30-acre south section projected to be complete in 2021.
  • In a transformative moment for public transit in OKC, a budget of $131 million is being put towards linking major employers, businesses, attractions and residences in the downtown area. Construction for the modern streetcar transit system can be seen at a number of route sections along with safety testing at others in preparation for the streetcar service to begin this December. The streetcar project will connect Midtown, Automobile Alley, Bricktown and the Business District.
  • The State Fairgrounds hosts more than 200 trade shows and other events throughout the year, including several equine events that helped Oklahoma City earn the title of Horse Show Capital of the World. MAPS 3 added to the appeal of Oklahoma State Fairgrounds with the Bennett Event Center. Its design makes for a state-of-the-art flexible facility capable of comfortably accommodating a wide variety of shows and events. The 279,000-square-foot event center was completed in 2017 and its operations are in full swing.
  • Senior Health & Wellness Centers will connect OKC’s seniors with important services and also with each other. Two of the four planned centers are completed, with the third to be completed in 2019 and fourth in 2021. The centers will be spread around the city and have experienced operating partners in senior services.
  • The Oklahoma River has become an Olympic rowing destination, so MAPS 3 expanded on current operations by building the RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center along the river with additional improvements to existing rowing facilities. The whitewater park is suitable for beginners enjoying a summer weekend or elite kayaking competitions.
  • Former Mayor Mick Cornett emphasized a healthier community during his tenure and the MAPS 3 trails and sidewalk improvements promote a more active lifestyle by taking advantage of OKC’s natural beauty. Three trails were developed using MAPS funds: West River Trail was completed in 2015, Will Rogers Trail was completed earlier this year and Lake Draper Trail is set to be complete this fall. The trails wind through wetlands, wooded areas, natural landscapes, neighborhoods and more urban settings. MAPS 3 sidewalks are planned for the areas with a high demand for pedestrian amenities.

Stay up to date on all MAPS 3 news by signing up for the MAPS 3 newsletter or following the efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

community, downtown, MAPS, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks, public transportation, State Fair Park, streetcar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Choose your own adventure at the Boathouse District

Flat water kayaking

The Oklahoma River has the ultimate comeback story—all you need to do is look at the Boathouse District for tangible proof. What is now the glittering jewel of Oklahoma City’s outdoor recreation offering used to be a dry riverbed that required periodic mowing. Today, the Boathouse District is home to an Olympic training venue for rowing and canoe/kayak and the only permanently lit paddle sport racing course in the world, but even beginners and casual athletes can enjoy the facility through corporate rowing leagues and rowing classes.

If you want to get on the water, the Boathouse District offers flatwater kayaking and stand up paddle board rentals and a Learn to Row program that will teach you how to scull and sweep in only one month. But if you prefer to climb to new heights instead, the Boathouse District can also oblige with the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! Both the 700-foot zip line across the Oklahoma River and the 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail will make you feel like a kid again. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly anyone who appreciates the great outdoors will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River.

The easiest way to take in everything the district has to offer is through the RIVERSPORT Pass, which includes RIVERSPORT Rapids, Love’s tubing and river boarding, plus all land and flatwater adventures in the Boathouse District, at Lake Overholser and at Lake Hefner. No matter your activity level, the Oklahoma River and the Boathouse District are sure to have something for you to enjoy.

family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



The Rise of the Oklahoma River

Riversport Rapids Ribbon Cutting

Long before Olympic athletes were training along its banks, the Oklahoma River had many ups and downs before the MAPS program sparked the river’s renaissance. If you are dying to know more (and we can’t blame you), you can walk through the history of the Oklahoma River with a featured story on GreaterOklahomaCity.com.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th Century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

Check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share the story of the Oklahoma River with your friends and family.

Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Class V fun at RIVERSPORT Rapids

whitewater rafting

As only one of six manmade whitewater courses in the country, RIVERSPORT Rapids distinguishes Oklahoma City as the premiere location for whitewater sports, not just in the United States but around the globe. The whitewater center, which was funded debt-free by the MAPS 3 program, offers recreational rafting, kayaking and tubing experiences. And it’s not just for novices—people will also see elite athletes from around-the-world training and competing on the slalom channel.  

RIVERSPORT Rapids also offers a few more relaxing options if “rapid” is not really your speed. On Thursday evenings this summer, participants have the option of tubing with the rapids slowed down followed by a “floating film” after the sun sets.

In addition to adding fun and excitement to our community, RIVERSPORT Rapids also helps increase community safety. The center is available for swift water rescue training, offering a controlled setting where rescuers can learn the most advanced techniques for rescuing people from fast-running water.

If you want to sample all that you can experience at RIVERSPORT Rapids, attend the Oklahoma City Whitewater Festival, May 19-20. The celebration will feature the BoaterX extreme downriver kayaking competition and free whitewater kayaking clinics. Spectators can enjoy music, food and beer specials at the on-site Big Water Grill while experiencing all the action.

family-friendly, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Riverís Rise

OKC Whitewater Rapids

In many ways, the story of the Oklahoma River and the modern-day renaissance of Oklahoma City go hand-in-hand. The river and Oklahoma City had many ups and downs during their first century before the original MAPS program jumpstarted an unprecedented rebirth for both.

To help tell that story, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber launched a storytelling feature on www.greateroklahomacity.com/river depicting the rise of Oklahoma City’s river.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th Century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

So check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share it with you friends and family.

MAPS, Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Best of 2017

Riversport Rapids

Each year, we like to take a look back at some of our favorite posts of the past year. 2017 was a big year for our city and the groundwork was laid for several projects and initiatives that could shape our metro for decades to come.

  • Tinker Turns 75- Tinker Air Force Base is a major driver of the OKC economy and this year it turned the big 7-5.
  • Innovation District- Entrepreneurship has been in our city’s DNA since its founding in a single day. This year an effort in placemaking, centered around a proposed innovation district, took huge strides towards reality.
  • Craft Beer Explosion- The craft beer scene in Oklahoma City has been on the rise for a while with some local breweries who have won big honors. However, recent efforts to modernize our state’s liquor laws have set the stage for local breweries to reach a whole new level.
  • Various Venues- With the opening of several new venues, live music had a big year in OKC.
  • Infrastructure Investment- This fall OKC residents voted yes on a landmark infrastructure package that will invest more than $1 billion in our roads, bridges and public safety.
  • A River’s Rise- Check out our new storytelling feature on the rise of the Oklahoma River.
beer, community, Innovation District, live music, music, Oklahoma River, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What weíre thankful for

MAPS Whitewater Rapids

Since 2017 was such a big year for our community, and this is the week of giving thanks, we thought we would share some of the things we are thankful for.

  • A River’s Rise: The Oklahoma River continues to be an unexpected gem in the heart of downtown.
  • MAPS 3: The landmark initiative continues to make huge strides as we see more and more projects take shape.
  • The citizens: This year the citizens of OKC approved a $1.2 billion infrastructure investment to improve their community.
  • The Thunder: This year marks a decade of Thundering Up in OKC.
  • Innovation: Oklahoma City took the first steps in creating an innovation district based on the results of a Brookings/Project for Public Spaces study on OKC.
  • Beer: Recent changes in state law have resulted in an explosion of craft breweries in the metro.
  • Live music: The opening of several new venues have brought the live music scene in Oklahoma City to another level.
  • Tinker: This year marked the 75th anniversary of Tinker Air Force Base.
beer, community, Innovation District, live music, MAPS, Oklahoma River, Thunder, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Better Life: health

Family exercising on trails

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, Oklahoma City is putting its money where its mouth is by investing in world-class health amenities. Recent investments in trails, bike lanes and the Oklahoma River have made OKC an outdoor lover’s dream. Oklahoma City is home to a wide variety of active living experiences, ranging from 140 miles of walking, running, bicycling, and skating trails to 26,000 square feet of terrain for skateboarding, in-line skating and BMX freestyle biking and even whitewater rafting and kayaking.

To learn more about active living opportunities and health care options in Oklahoma City, check out the Health section of www.abetterlifeokc.com.

cycling, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, running, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A riverís rise

Riversport Rapids

In many ways, the story of the Oklahoma River and the modern-day renaissance of Oklahoma City go hand-in-hand. The river and Oklahoma City had many ups and downs during their first century before the original MAPS program jumpstarted an unprecedented rebirth for both.  

To help tell that story, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber recently launched a new storytelling feature on www.greateroklahomacity.com/river depicting the rise of Oklahoma City’s river.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th Century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

So check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share it with you friends and family.

MAPS, Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

MAPS 3 update

Scissortail Park Groundbreaking

So we tend to talk about the MAPS projects a lot. A whole lot. Just type in MAPS to our search bar and you will see an abundance of content. In our defense, MAPS is a pretty big deal around these parts. The program helped jump start our city’s modern renaissance and a lot of great things around our city can be traced back to one of the programs (Oklahoma River, Thunder, Bricktown Canal, etc.).

If you are new to Oklahoma City here is a brief refresher on each MAPS program:

The MAPS 3 projects are well underway and they will help change the face of OKC over the next couple of years. We thought it would be a great time to give a quick update on all the projects. It is important to remember that MAPS projects are built debt-free. That helps keep our city in great financial shape, but also means the projects take a little longer to build.

  • Downtown Convention Center- The design of the new convention center has been approved and construction crews will break ground in early 2018. Also, an agreement was reached with Omni to operate an attached convention center hotel.
  • Scissortail Park- Construction has begun on the new 70-acre park. The park will include everything from a café to sports facilities and a lake. The name was chosen from an online vote of residents.
  • Oklahoma City Streetcar- If you have been downtown lately, you know construction on the streetcar lines are well underway. Service is set to begin late next year.
  • RIVERSPORT Rapids- One of the first projects to be completed, you can now whitewater raft in the heart of downtown.
  • Bennett Event Center- Completed earlier this year, the Bennett Events Center added 279,000 square feet of exhibit space to State Fair Park.
  • Senior Health and Wellness Centers- The first center has opened and membership has exceeded projections. Three more centers will open throughout the city over the next three years.
  • Trails- This $40 million project will bring three new trail systems to OKC’s already robust network. The West River Trail is already complete with two more trails finishing up before the end of next year.
  • Sidewalks- This ongoing project is bringing much-needed sidewalks to every part of the city. Click here for a map of the progress.
Bricktown, downtown, MAPS, Oklahoma River, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spooky surprises on the river

Oklahoma River Cruise

Has the fall weather put you in the mood for a spooky surprise? Are you counting down the days until it’s time for the tricks and treats of Halloween? Why wait until October 31 to celebrate? Head over to the Exchange Landing and climb aboard an Adult Haunt The River Cruise!

This new take on the classic Halloween party will feature a decorated boat, haunted tunes, light snacks and a cash bar. Enjoy the scenery of downtown OKC in a way unlike anything you have experienced before!

The Adult Haunt The River Cruise will sail through the waters of the Oklahoma River each Friday and Saturday in October beginning October 13th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and reservations are required so don’t delay, buy your tickets today!

holiday, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Crew goals

Dragon Boating

Some of the best riversport athletes in the world will be in Oklahoma City on Oct. 5-8 as the Oklahoma Regatta Festival takes place on the Oklahoma River. For four days, 2,500 athletes will compete in rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and whitewater rafting during the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma Regatta and the OGE NightSprints.

The OCU Head of the Oklahoma races will include 2.5 mile races against the clock each day where participants from across the country will compete in collegiate, masters and junior rowing divisions. The 500-meter night sprints Saturday evening will surely be a sight not to miss – they take place on the only permanently lighted rowing race course in the world. And the friendly dragon boat competition with teams of 20 paddlers and one drummer will “Paddle for a Cure,” with all proceeds benefitting the local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

In addition to the racing, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival will include a family festival with food trucks and beer gardens – all with a first-rate view of the racing and the traditional post-race fireworks. Whether you are rolling with your crew or flying solo, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival is the perfect place to enjoy the first weekend of October in Oklahoma City.

View the schedule at riversportokc.org.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, festivals, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



From zero to hero

Regatta Festival

While it’s hard to imagine OKC today without the fantastic amenities that are available in the Boathouse District, the district is actually in its infancy. A seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River, known today as the Oklahoma River, was part of the original MAPS projects and was completed in 2004.

Prior to MAPS, the area had been a dry riverbed whose water was redirected to avoid flooding downtown Oklahoma City and the city had to mow it a couple times each year. The river actually got its name after local civic leader Ray Ackerman encouraged city leaders to name the area the Oklahoma River.

If you take a stroll through this area, prepare to see world-class boathouses with stunning architecture from Oklahoma City companies and universities. The recent addition of RIVERSPORT Rapids and the 70-acre Scissortail Park, which will stretch from the heart of downtown OKC to the Oklahoma River, will only add to the excitement of this unique area. If you haven’t, pack up the family and make the short trek to explore this growing area. We can promise you will be glad you did. 

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Better biking

Whether you’re a fan of road bikes, mountain bikes or the occasional unicycle, OKC has the trails for you and is getting more every day. With the passage of MAPS 3 in 2009, voters approved $40 million to construct miles of new trails to make the city more bike friendly than ever. Additionally, with the recent passage of the 2017 GO bonds, the City will dedicate even more money, $8.4 million, to new trails. Here are just a few of the multi-use trails the City currently has to offer:

  • The Oklahoma River trails are two trails that run along the Oklahoma River corridor and the Boathouse District that are 13 miles long. They also connect to several other trails such as the Bricktown Trail and Katy Trail.
  • If you’re interested in taking a cruise around a lake, take a look at the Bert Cooper Trails that circle Lake Hefner. These trails are 9.8 miles long and are near a variety of restaurants along the East Wharf so you can grab a bite to eat after a good workout.
  • One of the newest trails as part of MAPS 3 is the 7.5 mile long West River Trail. This trail offers some beautiful scenery and is connected to the Oklahoma River Trails and Overholser Trail.

If you’re someone who likes to chart their own path, take a look at the bike trail map. From here you can pick your own route and pedal to your heart’s desire throughout OKC.

Boathouse District, cycling, Lake Hefner, mountain biking, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Riding on the river

Equestrian River Trail

One thing that makes Oklahoma City great (in our humble opinion) is the mixture you get of urban vitality and wide open spaces. There aren’t many places in America where you can watch an NBA game and then whitewater raft just a mile away. No matter what lifestyle gets you going, you can find it in the 4-0-5.

Did you know you can ride your horse right next to the Oklahoma River? Well, you do now. If you have a horse and want to stretch its legs, then get to know the new River Park Equestrian Trail located on the south side of the Oklahoma River near the Stockyards. The 20-acre park is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily and offers parking suitable for your trailers. So hit the trails today.  

equine, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

If you build it they will come

What would you do if you had a dry riverbed that needed to be mowed periodically? If your answer is not “transform it into a world-class venue for rowing, canoeing and kayaking,” then you aren’t thinking like the leaders of Oklahoma River’s recent renaissance.

The seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River, known today as the Oklahoma River, was part of the original MAPS projects and was completed in 2004, a mere 13 years ago. Prior to MAPS, the area had been a dry riverbed whose water was redirected to avoid flooding downtown Oklahoma City. Thanks to residents’ approval of a one-cent sales tax in 1993 and again in 2009, the Oklahoma River is now a premiere center for riversports that attracts visitors from around the world. 

If you take a stroll through this area, prepare to see world-class boathouses with stunning architecture from Oklahoma City companies and universities. The recent addition of RIVERSPORT Rapids and the developing 70-acre downtown park which will stretch from the heart of downtown OKC to the Oklahoma River will only add to the excitement of this unique area. If you haven’t, pack up the family and make the short trek to explore this growing area. We can promise you will be glad you did.

family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Fun even without a paddle

Riversport Zipline

In addition to hosting the Regatta annually, the Oklahoma City Boathouse District serves as a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site year-round. But it also a place for a ton of family fun and adventure.

The newest addition to the river is RIVERSPORT Rapids, a MAPS 3-funded whitewater center that offers rafting, kayaking and tubing. The center opened in May and hosted the 2016 Olympic trials for canoe/kayak slalom.

You can also take your adventurous spirit to new heights with the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! Both the 700-feet zip line across the Oklahoma River and the 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail will make you feel like a kid again. For tamer entertainment, rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board for the day or test your skills on the climbing walls. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly anyone who appreciates the great outdoors will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River. All river adventures activities are currently open during the weekends. They will open for week-long fun in late May.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Best of 2016

Riversport Rapids

This time of the year is filled with “Best of Lists.” Best of music, best of movies, best of television … you get the idea. So why not us? So here are our favorite posts of the past year. Below is a good example of what this blog is all about so you can easily share with your friends and show them why this blog is such a good and entertaining resource. Consider it a “Here-are-five-important-things-a-newbie–to-OKC-needs-to-know” list:

  • With or without a paddle- Maybe no place in OKC had a bigger 2016 than the Oklahoma River. The opening of the RIVERSPORT Rapids gave citizens and visitors an experience you can’t find anywhere else, whitewater rafting in a metropolitan downtown.
  • Let’s hear it for the beer- The craft beer scene in Oklahoma City has been on the rise for a while with some local breweries who have won big honors. However, recent efforts to modernize our state’s liquor laws have set the stage for local breweries to reach a whole new level.
  • Area of innovation- Entrepreneurship has been in our city’s DNA since its founding in a single day. This year an effort in placemaking centered around a proposed innovation district took huge strides towards reality.
  • Making a mark on aviation history- Our city and state have played an underrated role in the evolution of aviation. From early pioneers like Wiley Post to astronauts like Shannon Lucid, the Sooner State has been on the forefront of aerospace innovation.
aviation, beer, entrepreneur, history, Innovation District, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hit the trail

equestrian park ground breaking

Itching to saddle up and experience our Western heritage for yourself? Civic leaders and community officials recently announced plans for an equestrian park on the Oklahoma River that will give you the opportunity to do just that. The park, on the Oklahoma River’s south bank, is just east of Exchange Ave. adjacent to Stockyards City. When it is complete, it will include a visitor center, a corral, an exercise area, open and covered outdoor arenas, and a riding stable that will be open to the public.

But you don’t have to wait to enjoy it (as long as you own a horse, that is)! The first phase of the development is open for visitors, with 20 acres and a 0.6 mile looped trail. Go ahead and hit the trail, pardner!

equine, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Haunt the River River Cruises

Oklahoma River Curise

If you’ve ever thought, “Hey, this Halloween party would be a lot better if it were on a boat,” you’re in luck. Consider the Haunt the River river cruises, leaving from the Exchange boathouse and arriving at scary-but-fun town, baby. Check out the schedule, grab your costume (or not), have your ID handy (it’s 21 and up) and get ready for a cruisin’ good time down at the river.

holiday, nightlife, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boats and rows

Regatta Festival

Some of the best riversport athletes in the world will be in Oklahoma City on Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 as the Oklahoma Regatta Festival takes over the Oklahoma River. For four days, 2,500 athletes will compete in rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and whitewater rafting during the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma Race and the OGE NightSprints.

The OCU Head of the Oklahoma races will include 2.5 mile races against the clock each day where participants compete for the best time. The 500-meter night sprints Saturday evening will surely be a sight not to miss. Events are held in different categories including collegiate, masters and junior rowing as well as kayak and dragon boat racing.

But the fun isn’t just limited to participants. In addition to the racing, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival will include a family festival with food trucks and beer gardens – all with a first-rate view of the racing and the traditional post-race fireworks.

View the schedule at riversportokc.org.

beer, family-friendly, festivals, food, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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With (or without) a paddle

Whitewater rafting

In addition to hosting the Regatta annually, the Oklahoma City Boathouse District serves as a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site year-round. But it also a place for a ton of family fun and adventure.

The newest addition to the river is RIVERSPORT Rapids, a MAPS 3-funded whitewater center that offers rafting, kayaking and tubing. The center opened in May and hosted the 2016 Olympic trials for canoe/kayak slalom.

You can also take your adventurous spirit to new heights with the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! Both the 700-feet zip line across the Oklahoma River and the 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail will make you feel like a kid again. For tamer entertainment, rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board for the day or test your skills on the climbing walls. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly anyone who appreciates the great outdoors will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River.

family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



The river that OKC built

OKC Boathouse District at night

What would you do if you had a dry riverbed that needed to be mowed periodically? If your answer is not “transform it into a world-class venue for rowing, canoeing and kayaking,” then you aren’t thinking like the leaders of Oklahoma River’s recent renaissance.

The seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River, known today as the Oklahoma River, was part of the original MAPS projects and was completed in 2004, a mere 11 years ago. Prior to MAPS, the area had been a dry riverbed whose water was redirected to avoid flooding downtown Oklahoma City. Thanks to residents’ approval of a one-cent sales tax in 1993 and again in 2009, the Oklahoma River is now a premiere center for riversports that attracts visitors from around the world.  

If you take a stroll through this area, prepare to see world-class boathouses with stunning architecture from Oklahoma City companies and universities. The recent addition of RIVERSPORT Rapids and the developing 70-acre downtown park which will stretch from the heart of downtown OKC to the Oklahoma River will only add to the excitement of this unique area. If you haven’t, pack up the family and make the short trek to explore this growing area. We can promise you will be glad you did.

family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Climbing for fun and fitness

Rock Wall Climbing

Another sport in which to consider participating is climbing. Challenge yourself and build fitness while getting a view you could otherwise only obtain by riding on a platform suspended by a few hundred remote-controlled helicopters. A number of notable climbing facilities are located in Oklahoma City, such as Rocktown Climbing Gym, Climb Up OKC, and the Sandridge Sky Trail at the river, among others.

adult sports, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, youth sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Explore your own backyard

Riversport Rapids Kayaking

Longtime readers know that Oklahoma City offers plenty of ways to get in touch with your exploratory side – without leaving the city limits. Read on for a roundup of ways that you can get adventurous right here in Oklahoma City.

Boathouse District, cycling, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rolliní on the West River Trail

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and explore your new hometown, and Oklahoma City’s extensive network of trails will help you do just that. Through MAPS 3, Oklahoma City’s current capital improvements program, the community will have invested more than $39 million in its trails by the end of 2017. MAPS 3-funded trails include the West River Trail, which opened in 2015. This outdoor trail, stretching 7.5 miles from Lake Overholser to the Oklahoma River Trail, provides residents a place to be outdoors and engage in bettering their health. With a scenic view winding through the trees along the river, the West River Trail offers you a little getaway the next time you are looking to get out and about.

Other MAPS 3-funded trails include the Will Rogers Trail (which will connect Lake Hefner to the Oklahoma River trails) and Lake Draper Trail. Both are scheduled to be complete by the end of next year.

cycling, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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