Officially called Robert W. Sawyer* Park, but known simply by locals as "Sawyer Park," this predominantly naturally-vegetated park is situated along a scenic portion of the Deschutes River several miles north of downtown Bend. Here the river cuts past an ancient basalt lava flow, and in the process it has sculpted dramatic and smooth teardrop pools and hollows out of the deep-black igneous rock.
While stumbling around the rocks, keep your eyes peeled for osprey that frequently nest and fish here. The park and this stretch of river are so popular for viewing migratory and riparian birds that it has been listed on the Oregon Cascade Birding Tour route.
Although it was once a state park, the 45-acre area has been managed by Bend Parks and Recreation since 1980, and it's now connected to Sawyer Uplands Neighborhood Park. If you continue along the Deschutes River Trail, the park is also connected to Archie Briggs Canyon to the northwest and the First Street Rapids/Davis Park to the south.
* Robert W. Sawyer, after studying law at Harvard University, moved to Bend in 1912 and started working at the Bend Co. Sawmill where he met George P. Putnam, then the publisher of the Bend Bulletin. Seven years later, Sawyer became the editor of the newspaper and held the post for 34 years until 1953. As an outdoorsman and well respected conservationist in Oregon, Sawyer served as director of the American Forestry Association, the Pacific Northwest Regional Forestry Advisory Council, and also as president of the NRA from 1946-1947.