Water Fun and Frozen Treats

The weather is heating up, and while it can be nice just to stay in, the changes make many of us wonder: what if I do want to go outside? Where do I go? Well, what better place than a refreshing watery play area? And what better pair for a splash in the summer heat than a lovely frozen treat? Here are a few combos we’ve put together for a day of fun in the sun! 

Avery or Pioneer Parks; Burgerville  

What better pairing than a Willamette Valley classic — Burgerville — with Corvallis’ own gems, Avery Park and Pioneer Park?   

As for the watering holes, Avery Park and Pioneer Park are neighboring parks, each of which have several access points down to Mary’s River to sit on the shore, or go for a float or a swim. Throughout the parks, there are a variety of selections of swimming holes, offering depths and sunniness to fit any preference.  

If you didn’t know, the local burger joint serves milkshakes and creamy, vegan, soft-serve-like “Bliss shakes” made from Coconut Bliss. These refreshing icy treats come in many sweet, unique flavors which will be a perfect pair to a hot day and a soak at the park.  

Willamette Park; Yogurt Extreme  

Willamette Park may not have a swimming area per se, but it’s a perfect place to sit by the cool water, look for river rocks, and enjoy a bowl of frozen yogurt.  

Yogurt Extreme has several locations in Corvallis, near campus on Monroe and further north on Circle Boulevard. The extravagant self-serve frozen yogurt shop is open late too (until 10:00 p.m.), so it’s the perfect choice for an after-work treat.  

Willamette park has several access points down to the Willamette River, and it’s a great spot to bring the family, and even the dog! With wide open grassy spaces and a paved walking/biking trail, there are plenty of spots to lounge, listen to the rushing water and wildlife and, once you’re finished with your cold treat, walk along the river.  

Bryant Park; BJ’s Ice Cream Parlor — Albany  

If you’re looking for a short drive, Bryant Park in Albany offers a beautiful space to access the Willamette River and splash around a bit. Stop by BJ’s while you’re in town as well to make the most of the heat. 

Bryant Park is one of a few riverside parks along the Willamette in Albany, and it has the unique draw of being right at the joining of the Willamette and the smaller Calapooia River. 

While you’re surrounded by water at the park, enjoy a nice creamy cup or cone from the little BJ’s Albany hosts. Relax with friends and loved ones in this popular spot to bask in the sun.  

Pioneer Park — Brownsville; Black Rock Coffee Bar — South Albany  

Brownsville’s Pioneer Park is a bit of a longer drive out of town, but this large yet secluded spot is a gem worth the drive. Featuring the refreshing and very swimmable waters of the Calapooia, Pioneer Park offers something for everyone.   

Although Brownsville isn’t known for any particular frozen treat shops, it does have a few local restaurants that offer refreshing sides and desserts, including Randy’s Main Street Coffee, whose menu includes a nice selection of milkshakes and ice cream. The other option we might suggest is to stop by the Black Rock Coffee Bar on the way from Corvallis to Brownsville and grab a milkshake or a smoothie before hitting the swimming hole. 

While enjoying your icy cold treat, you will find a variety of water-access points at Pioneer Park. Whether you like a more popular jumping-rock spot, or a more secluded rocky beach to search for agates, it’s there. 

By Ardea C. Eichner