Riley Ranch Nature Reserve

Bend, OR
High Desert Storytelling 

Knot’s work on Bend’s newest regional park integrates wayfinding, identify, and natural resource development within 180-acres of trails, riverfront access, pine forests, lava flows, cliffs and a rocky canyon.


A West Coast paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers, Bend, Oregon, has seen dramatic growth in the last quarter century. Such rapid development coincides with the need for the local government to ensure that parks and open spaces remain a vital resource and provide a tranquil getaway for visitors and local residents.


The Riley Ranch Nature Reserve, 180-acres perched on the Deschutes River, is Bend’s newest regional park. Knot’s role in this expansive, high desert gem was to develop a program of wayfinding, identity and natural resource development. The park offers an impressive array of activities for visitors—with trails, riverfront access and views of juniper trees, pine forests, lava flows, cliffs and a rocky canyon. Knot worked with Environmental Science Associates (ESA) of Portland, the landscape designer, to integrate community interests and stakeholder goals of balancing recreational use to be compatible with ecosystems.


The goal for Knot and ESA was to compose a thoughtful design that placed amenities in an ecologically safe manner to complement the park’s dramatic views. While ESA worked with archeologists to gather historical usage information which included a stage coach line, Knot developed interpretive story lines including history, geology and wildlife. Knot’s signage program integrates historic quotes onto benches — conveying centuries of knowledge and events to give visitors insight into the spectacular new park.

180 acres
Bend Parks and Recreation District
ESA Adolfson