Your primer on new Oklahoma River projects, including new whitewater facility

Monday, December 28, 2015

As the Oklahoma Boathouse District prepares for the opening of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking Center in 2016, there are plenty of other things to keep families of all ages entertained on the Oklahoma River and at Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner.

Mike Knopp, executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, recently updated Chamber staff members about many of the urban outdoor adventure opportunities available.

First, he said expects visitors to the Oklahoma River to jump from about 200,000 visitors in 2015 to 750,000 visitors in 2016 with the opening of the rapids. The area will include a stage for live music and ceremonies called Rotary Point as well as a restaurant, bar and retail store. Visitors will have two options for taking a raft or an inflatable kayak down the rapids. Sometimes, the rapids may offer tubing or surfing.

From May 6 to 8, Oklahoma City will host the U.S. Olympic Committee’s “Road to Rio” festival along the Oklahoma River. The city is one of nine cities selected for this festival en route to the U.S. Olympics. It will include the Central Youth Rowing Championships, among other events.

RIVERSPORT in October celebrated the opening of its new Lake Overholser Adventure Park, just east of the lake and south of the historic Route 66 Bridge. The park’s activities have stopped for the winter season, but it now includes two renovated boathouse and new outdoor adventure activities, including a “stunt jump” free fall, an extreme swing, a climbing wall, a zip line and kayaking/stand-up paddle board rentals. The Kayak Café is open there until Dec. 31.

RIVERSPORT also offers sailing at its Sailing Center at Lake Hefner, Hobie Point, although future sailors will have to wait for it to reopen in the spring.

For more information, see the Boathouse District’s RIVERSPORT Adventures online.