UPDATE: White water rafting coming to Oklahoma City


OKLAHOMA CITY – Check out a scaled down model of the new whitewater course coming to downtown OKC.

The MAPS 3 whitewater course is in the design stage.

As summer comes to an end, a lot of families are trying to fit in those last-minute trips to the pool before the weather starts to cool off.

However, city leaders say residents will soon have another option when they want to enjoy time on the water.

MAPS 3 is focused on a new downtown public park, pedestrian-friendly walkways and improvements to the Oklahoma River.

Part of that 10-year multimillion dollar project includes adding a whitewater rafting course to the Boathouse District.

Contractors have built a 1/12 sized model in Boulder, Colo. complete with rushing water and drop-offs.

Mike Todd, MAPS 3 program manager, said, “You know it wasn’t too long ago when people said there was nothing to do.”

However, leaders say that is a misconception that continues to change.

The multi-use facility will feature canoeing, kayaking and rafting for Olympic trainers and the general public.

The course will begin at I-35 and extend along the Oklahoma River about 1/4 of a mile long.

Officials say it will be around 35-feet-wide and will hold nearly 10 million gallons of water.

Todd said, “It uses water that is from the water supply system and not river water.”

The course will not integrate with the river, but will run parallel to it.

David, Knopp, with the Boathouse District, said, “There’s nowhere else in this country that packs so much adventure into a downtown area.”

The Boathouse District already hosts flat water national competitions for sprint kayaking and canoeing.

This new course is expected to bring worldwide attention to Oklahoma City.

Knopp said, “We’re going to be a true international hub for training and competitions. We might even see things leading into the Rio Olympics that bring athletes here to train and compete.”

A new thrilling activity for residents and tourists that will ultimately improve the outdoor culture in the city.

The course will also be used for water rescue training.

The $35 million whitewater rafting course will break ground in 2014 with hopes of being up and running by spring of 2015.

MORE: Get complete details on the MAPS 3 plan