The Oklahoma River is one of the “newest” rivers in the country and is fast becoming known as one of the world’s best urban venues for rowing and canoe/kayak as well as outdoor adventure. Located in the center of the nation at the intersection of I35 and I40, the Oklahoma River is adjacent to downtown Oklahoma City and within walking distance of the Bricktown entertainment district. It offers both a 2000m sprint course and two 4000m courses, all sheltered by raised banks.
The 100-acre+ Boathouse District sits on the river’s north shore just blocks from downtown OKC and includes a row of iconic boathouses, a world-class whitewater rafting and kayaking center, bike park and an array of land adventures.
The seven-mile stretch of river was originally known as the North Canadian River and for years, was a dry riverbed with water averted to avoid flooding nearby downtown Oklahoma City. A $53 million project completed in 2004 rejuvenated the river, creating the seven-mile, dam controlled body of water now known as the Oklahoma River.
Thousands of trees have been planted along the banks of the Oklahoma River and the 12+ miles of landscaped trails along its length. The Chesapeake Boathouse was the first private construction project to be funded on the river and was opened in 2006 on the Eastern Basin at Lincoln Blvd. Since then, the Devon Boathouse, Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, University of Central Oklahoma Boathouse, RIVERSPORT Adventures and the SandRidge Youth Pavilion and the RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater center have opened with more development planned.
In June 2013, the Oklahoma River became the first water race course in the world with permanent stadium lighting, a MAPS 3 project that makes it possible to host national and international night racing events. It is also designated as a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site for both rowing and canoe/kayak.