10Best Parks and Public Areas in Reno and Sparks

Reno has a surprising number of parks and public areas both within the city and surrounding the city. From wilderness areas and hiking trails to whitewater kayaking parks, this member of Tree City USA has a place where you can relax and enjoy some nature. Just steps from the casinos are several popular parks including Wingfield Park on (and in) the Truckee River. Also in the Wingfield area is the Truckee River Whitewater Park which is a tubing and kayaking paradise in the summer and fall. For great special events like the Great Reno Balloon Race and Food Truck Friday, visit Rancho San Rafael near the University of Nevada, Reno and Idlewild Park near the River. If you are looking for some hiking or walking paths, the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway runs from Verdi into Sparks along the river and the Hunter Creek trail will take you into the foothills of this high desert city.

Rock Park, located along the Truckee River in Sparks (the city next to Reno) also has a small whitewater park like the Truckee River Whitewater Park where you can tube, kayak and play in the waves. A real community park, on the weekends this...  Read More

The Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway is a partially finished pedestrian and bike trail that runs from Lake Tahoe, along the the Truckee River through Downtown Reno and into Sparks on its way to Pyramid Lake in the Nevada desert. Along the way the trail...  Read More

The Oxbow Nature Study Area seems a world away from Downtown Reno, but it's just a few miles from the city's casinos. Located on the Truckee River at the end of Dickerson Road, this park is recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a...  Read More

Bowers Mansion County Park

This Gothic-style mansion, circa 1864, was built by Sandy Bowers and his pyschic wife, Ellie Orum. Many of the Bowers' original European antique furnishings are on display here and tours are held regularly in the summer months. The gardens and...  Read More

The Reno area has several hiking trails that take both beginner and experienced hikers into the hills around the city. The Hunter Creek trail is one of the more popular hikes, but there's a good reason: there's a waterfall at the end. A...  Read More

Wild Island is located just east of Reno in the city of Sparks. This water park has a tropical feel and features a tide pool, a lazy river and a plethora of water slides including a four-story drop slide. There is also an area for children under...  Read More

Idlewild Park
Photo courtesy of AlishaV/Flickr

Built in 1927, this park is another of Reno's largest parks. It is located just West of downtown on the Truckee River. This park features several picnic areas, some tennis courts, a bike trail, some lakes and water features and access to the...  Read More

Wingfield Park is usually referred to as the Downtown Reno park in the middle of the Truckee River, but it's actually several parks in one including Brick Park and Bennett Park. All this green space is located just steps from the Downtown...  Read More

The Truckee River Whitewater Park is right in the middle of downtown Reno, just a few blocks from the casinos. It is 2,600 feet long with class 2 and 3 rapids for kayakers, canoes and boats. It is easily accessible from the shore and from the...  Read More

Rancho San Rafael Park is the largest park in Reno with hundreds of acres that are home to a large dog park, playgrounds, an arboretum, gym equipment, jogging areas, and special event pavilions. The Arboretum is a beautiful place to walk among...  Read More


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina