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Reno’s Riverwalk District is Among America’s Coolest

Travel and LeisureReno’s Riverwalk District recently charmed its way onto Travel and Leisure’s list of “America’s Coolest River Walks”.  Home of the monthly wine, beer and art walks, it’s a fun and unique attraction in Reno’s vibrant downtown area, and locals will attest to its beauty and popularity.

The Riverwalk through downtown Reno is approximately 1.5 miles long loosely bound by Arlington Avenue Bridge (upstream) and Lake Street (downstream). A 12-mile pedestrian path connects two urban whitewater parks- one in the heart of Downtown Reno that includes Idlewild, Barbara Bennett and Wingfield Parks and the newest whitewater attraction at Rock Sparks in neighboring Sparks.

The $1.5 million park in Reno is more than 2,600 feet long and beckons kayakers, rafters, swimmers and water enthusiasts to test out the class II to III rapids as well as 11 drop pools. The improvements and recent additions in Sparks include riverbank landscaping, shade structures, play structures, parking and better access for people with disabilities.

According to the engineer who designed the park, Wingfield Park Island in Reno has been a historic location for community recreation and gathering since Reno was established. The outdoor venue houses a myriad of attractions and performances year-round. The most popular is Artown during the entire month of July.

Engineers designed both whitewater parks in a way that entices and encourages the entire community to participate in the river. Temperate weather and clean water quality, and of course, the whitewater improvements themselves permit people of any age and skill level to experience the cool, crisp waters of the Truckee River. From a toe-dip in the river to an adventure on a raft or kayak – it’s a day well-spent.

After a day of people-watching, picnicking and soaking in the rays on the Truckee, the Riverwalk district offers a wonderful selection of good eats and drinks – Silver Peak, Spread Peace Café or the Wild River Grille are just a few. Go on and see, taste and feel for yourself!

Tahoe Whitewater Tours: (775) 787-5000, 400 Island Ave. Reno, Nevada 89509

Reno is Voted America’s Best Whitewater Town!

Reno WhitewaterOutside Magazine has named Reno the Best Whitewater Town in the country in its annual “Best Towns” feature. The Biggest Little City’s downtown rafting and kayaking park on the Truckee River was chosen for its prime location, lush surroundings and outdoor amphitheater in Wingfield Park. It’s no wonder the location is home to the annual Reno River Festival, attracting hundreds of world-class participants and tens of thousands of spectators each year.

And that’s not all! Outside Magazine also listed the new Aces baseball stadium, affordable housing and renovated downtown area among other reasons to love Reno, as well as the newest whitewater park at Rock Park in neighboring Sparks.

The year-round downtown Reno Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield offers adventure in the heart of the casino and arts and culture districts.  The $1.5 million park is more than 2,600 feet long and beckons kayakers, rafters, swimmers and water enthusiasts to test out the class 2-3 rapids and the 11 drop pools, providing easy access for kayaking maneuvers with a consistent supply of fresh water. The success of the first element of the Truckee River Whitewater Park was followed by a second installment of whitewater adventure. The City of Sparks constructed a whitewater park at Rock Park. Along with pools for kayaking, tubing and rafting for all skill levels, the improvements include riverbank landscaping, shade structures, play structures, parking and better access for people with disabilities.

RiverThe Truckee River also flows through the Reno Riverwalk District, filled with unique shops and restaurants and home to the wildly popular monthly wine and beer walks. The river pathway connects Reno to the beautiful new whitewater park in Sparks. The 12 mile path is perfect for cyclists and pedestrians.

To see Outside Magazine’s Reno listing, click here.

To learn more about the endless water adventures in Reno Tahoe USA, click here.

Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home.

40,000 expected for this weekend’s Reno River Festival

riverfestlogoIt’s a right of spring in the Sierra Nevada: The snow starts melting and the kayakers come out to play at the Truckee River Whitewater Park. The park, a manmade playground featuring rapids and pools, sits right at the entrance to downtown Reno, Nev., and it’s the host site of the annual Reno River Festival, taking place this weekend (May 8-10). One of the premier kayaking competitions in the country, the festival  offers a great time for visitors to Reno-Tahoe with live music, vendors and events all weekend long.

From humble beginnings

What began as a way to showcase and attract attention to the park for whitewater enthusiasts has grown with a multitude of events – some connected, some not so connected to kayaking. Last year 40,000 athletes and spectators made their way to the river’s edge for great weather and a great time under the spring sunshine.

The festival has followed the trajectory of the popularity of whitewater kayaking. In the U.S., there are few parks designed specifically for whitewater kayakers and only Reno’s is central to a metropolitan core.

Something old, something new

In addition to professional and amateur freestyle and boatercross kayaking events, the Reno River Festival features the Run Amuck fun run, where the goal may be the best costume, not necessarily the best finishing time. For a more spiritual experience, try yoga in the park or take in a fly-fishing casting demonstration. Each day’s party atmosphere is highlighted by live music in the park, craft beers and retail vendors. Dress code? Shorts and sandals.

More on the way

The wave of popularity in whitewater kayaking continues to grow and the Truckee River may become its epicenter in the West. Downriver, at Rock Park in Reno’s sister city of Sparks, a second iteration is under construction and ready to open this summer. The park’s kayaking features complement those of the Reno park, with improved riverbank landscaping, shade structures, and play structures, parking and better access for people with disabilities.

Reno River Festival

  • What: Kayaking, live music, food and drink
  • When: May 8-10
  • Where: Downtown Reno at the Truckee River
  • More: RenoRiverFestival.com


Whitewater kayak, tubing and rafting options improving in Reno-Sparks

Following on the success of the Truckee River Whitewater Park in downtown Reno, the City of Sparks has broken ground – or river – on its own kayak park, adding another attraction for whitewater athletes and recreation seekers in the Reno-Sparks area.

The site – located at Rock Park at 1515 Rock Boulevard – will be closed to the public until early 2009, with the whitewater attraction planned for a summer 2009 opening.

“The whitewater feature at Rock Park will raise the bar for recreation in the Truckee Meadows and bring visitors to Sparks from near and far,” said Sparks Mayor Geno Martini.  It will include five drops similar in appearance to the Truckee River Whitewater Park. “The project will be a wonderful use of the Truckee River, and something our citizens can enjoy for years to come.”

Along with pools for kayaking, tubing and rafting for all skill levels, the improvements include improved riverbank landscaping, shade structures, and play structures, parking and better access for people with disabilities. The river trail system will also be rerouted and improved. The nearly $900,000 contract is being fulfilled by Reno Tahoe Construction, Inc.

In addition to serving as the focal point for redevelopment in downtown Reno, the Truckee River Whitewater Park is also home to the annual Reno River Festival, one of the country’s premier kayaking competitions.