The Canal Trail

An East – West route in south Bend

The Canal Trail is a great way to get across Bend from east to west in the southern part of the city. It has connections to other routes and great possibilities for future connections in the next few years. The route extends from Reed Market and 15th in the east to Riverbend Park along the Deschutes River and Reed Market road in the west.

Most of the route is along a separated multi-use path or a gravel path along the canal and is a joy to ride. Crossings of all the busy streets are underpasses or at traffic or pedestrian signals making this a very safe route. The west end of the route includes some unimproved dirt trail and quiet neighborhood streets. This part of the route can have loose dirt and uneven surfaces including roots, rocks, sticks. Novice riders should avoid it or take extra care on this section. We’ve included a couple of alternatives to that section which will be useful both for riders who don’t want to ride on trails and those who have different destinations..

The East End

We’ll start on the east end of the route at the southwest corner of the Reed Market and 15th St roundabout. We suggest everybody use the multi-use path along the south side of Reed Market no matter which direction they are riding. It is the safest way to ride in either direction along this very busy street.  

The east end of the route at Reed Market and 15th is dominated by the two-lane roundabout.  Across the roundabout to the northeast are the Larkspur Community Center and the south end of the Larkspur Trail. South along 15th St is Alpenglow Park and Caldera High School. East is the future Deschutes County Library. Getting to or from any of these important places or the surrounding residential areas is difficult because of the inadequate crossings at all four legs of the roundabout on two very busy streets. We hope the upcoming Reed Market GO Bond project will provide safe crossings of Reed Market at 9th St and at the roundabout.

West on Reed Market

Travel west on the multi-use path on the south side of Reed Market.  Although there is lots of traffic noise, this wide path is separated from traffic and easy riding for all. Just after crossing the railroad, there is an awkward connection to the canal path through the Sherwood Forest neighborhood (currently closed to the public) which may become part of the City’s North-South Bikeway leading to the Murphy Rd and 15th St intersection.

Continue west and just after crossing American Lane at the stoplight, veer to the left onto a gravel path along the canal.

West on the Canal Trail

Ride west along the canal. This gravel path has a firm surface and is suitable for any bike and skill level. There are many waterfowl to watch, including, occasionally, great blue heron.  

Crossing Brosterhous Road is a bit tricky–the safest way is to use the crosswalk and cross the main part of the street and the slip lane with the traffic signal. Continue along the path and cross 3rd St carefully in the crosswalk with the blinking pedestrian signal.

Now ride west on the path–crossing the Bend Parkway through the underpass is a breeze.  At this point choose from a few options:

  • If you want to continue west to Riverbend Park and are comfortable riding on some pretty good but unimproved trails, continue straight ahead on the Canal Trail, cross Blakely Rd, cross under Brookswood Blvd and follow the directions in the final section below.
  • If you want to avoid the unimproved trails and continue west or if you want to travel north, turn right onto a short path five houses past the underpass. Turn left onto Garfield Ave, right onto Silver Lake Rd and left onto Chamberlain St. When you reach Reed Market, use the crosswalk and either continue north on Chamberlain or turn left (west) onto the bike lane or sidewalk on Reed Market.
  • If you want to go south, continue west on the Canal Trail to Blakely Rd. Turn left onto Blakely and travel south to Powers Rd or other destinations.

Northwest to Reed Market and Riverbend Park

After crossing under Brookswood Blvd, continue down the gravel road. Pass a gravel road joining from the right. Turn right onto an unimproved dirt trail just less than a quarter mile from Brookswood Blvd. Cross a gravel road and continue to a junction with another trail. Turn to the right and continue to the end of Milo Ave. Although these are unimproved dirt trails, they are well defined and not bad to ride on if dry. Novice riders should probably not ride this section of the route.

Back on pavement, travel north on Milo Ave, turn right on McClellan Rd then left onto Woodriver Ln. At Woodriver Park, turn left onto Birchwood Dr which takes you around the park. Continue on Birchwood Dr and turn right onto N Alderwood Circle to Reed Market Road. Here there are crosswalks to Riverbend Park. At Riverbend Park you can join the Deschutes River Trail to the Old Mill District or you can travel west on Reed Market to Century Drive and the Haul Trail.

This route winds a bit but it is a really safe and comfortable way to get across the south part of Bend. All the crossings of busy streets are underpasses or at stoplights or pedestrian signals.  Enjoy this relaxed and safe route!