Amid the beautifully landscaped gardens, flowering pots, hanging baskets and reflecting pools, this lively park on the banks of the Great Miami River offers a place for those who live, work and play downtown to connect to nature.
Grab a Link bike and head over to the park to enjoy this urban retreat 365 days a year. The park hosts a full range of year-round activities from summer concerts to ice skating, recreation programs to large community festivals. RiverScape is a place that not only preserves glimpses of the city’s origins but one that embraces modern innovation and evolves with the needs of the vibrant and connected neighborhoods that surround it.
Interactive Fountain & Snack Bar
Closed for the season
The Five Rivers Fountain of Lights
The fountains operate for 10-minute intervals at the top of the hour, Mon.-Fri., 6:55 AM-9:55 PM and weekends 10:55 AM-9:55 PM Memorial Day through Labor Day; in 2021, the fountains will run through September 26.
RiverScape Bike Rentals
Saturday, May 29, to Sunday, Sept. 5. Reservations are required for the Monday through Friday rentals (available from 9 AM to 5 PM); walk-ups are accepted on Saturdays and Sundays (available from 9 AM to 2 PM).
RiverScape MetroPark sits at the junction of the Great Miami River and Mad River Trail on the nation’s largest paved trail network and connects to the on-street facilities in downtown Dayton. Don’t have a bike? Rent one! RiverScape Rentals offers bikes, child seats and trailers on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Ride the Great Miami River Bikeway south and visit historical Carillon Park or go north to scenic Island MetroPark. The Bike Hub offers commuters on two wheels secure bike lockers, showers and restrooms.
Intimate music and dance performances happen regularly throughout the summer in this outdoor venue on the banks of the Great Miami River.Take a break from the hustle and bustle for live lunchtime music in nature from May through September.Summer also features larger Big Band, progressive bluegrass and R&B concerts on select Thursday and Friday nights in the pavilion.Bring your own chair, as seating is limited during these events.
RiverScape River Run opens the downtown river to a beautiful seven-mile paddle from Eastwood MetroPark on the Mad River, through downtown to the Carillon Historical Park and University of Dayton area. A dangerous low dam in the Great Miami River located near the Dayton Art Institute was removed and two structures that span the river have been built, each with two passageways: one smooth-water passageway for novice paddlers and one whitewater play feature for more experienced paddlers. The project also allows people to fish, sunbathe and enjoy the river downtown in new ways.
The Dayton Inventors River Walk includes seven invention stations along Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard that celebrate Dayton inventions, sometimes in surprising ways. And Dayton has scores more stories of innovation to tell.These stories include that of Joe Desch, who cracked the German “Enigma” code and put the Allies on course for victory in World War II, as well as of the origins of cellophane, digital watches, recycled newsprint, Freon and “Star Wars” technology.
Sheltered under the covered pavilion, the MetroParks Ice Rink measures 70 feet by 150 feet and sets the scene as a perfect winter wonderland in downtown Dayton.Skate with family and friends all winter long! Open from the Friday after Thanksgiving through February each year.
On hot summer days, children can enjoy water play in the interactive fountains located in RiverScape’s Festival Plaza. Multiple fountain jets shoot water as high as 20 feet into the air choreographed to the sounds of family friendly music. Open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11 AM-8 PM.
The Five Rivers Fountain of Lights is created by five water jets housed in concrete towers and a powerful center geyser. The towers straddle the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad rivers just east of the Riverside Bridge and shoot 2,500 gallons of water per minute toward the center of the river. The central geyser rises from the jets to a majestic 200 feet in the air. Covering 395,000 square feet across an 800-foot diameter, the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights is one of the largest fountains in the world.
RiverScape expands to the surrounding streets for large-scale community festivals such as the Celtic Fest and the city of Dayton’s Lights in Flight.Streets fill with stages for music and entertainers, as well as vendors featuring cultural displays, food trucks and merchandise. A festival-goer’s delight!
RiverScape is a beautiful garden that includes hanging baskets, life-size flower pots and beds overflowing with annuals, perennials and tropical plants. Many of the plants are labeled with botanical and common names so that you can be inspired for your own home garden. Urban dwellers with small space have specific landscaping requirements and limitations.Get inspiration and guidance from the plantings at RiverScape and across the pedestrian bridge at Deeds Point.
River Run Mural
The northern floodwall facing RiverScape features a colorful mural. Designed by Oakwood resident Amy Deal, it covers the 16-foot-tall, nearly 1,000-foot-long flood wall with images including bicyclists, wildlife and kayakers. The River Run Mural will complement RiverScape River Run, a project that will replace the low dam with in-river flow control structures that double as recreational paddle sport channels. The 2015 project was made possible through the support of the CareSource Foundation, The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and Cox Media Group Ohio.
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RiverScape is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are welcome on the ice rink. RiverScape MetroPark received a certificate of excellence from the Access Center Dayton in recognition of our efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have complete access to the communities in which they live.
Refrigerated drinking fountains are located at both the East and West pavilion buildings next to the restrooms. There is a tap water fountain available near the public restrooms at the Bike Hub.
Food concessions are available at the Fountain Snack Bar and RiverScape Cafe from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend.
There are interpretive exhibits scattered throughout the park celebrating Dayton Inventors, poets and the 1913 flood.
RTA Bus Routes 11, 16, 17, 18 & 19 and the Flyer.
Routes 11, 16, 17, 18 and 19 (south) and the Flyer pass directly in front of the park. There is a bus stop (southbound) at Festival Plaza on Monument Avenue between St. Clair and Jefferson streets. From Third and Main streets, RiverScape MetroPark is three blocks north to Monument and one block east into the park.
Note: RTA bus route 5, which usually services RiverScape MetroPark, is temporarily suspended beginning June 20, 2021.
A Link bike share station is available at the east end of the park on Patterson Blvd.
The park features two sets of public restrooms. One set of facilities for men and women is located at the interactive plaza. The others are at the Bike Hub. Separate restrooms are available for members of the Bike Hub.
Free wireless access is provided throughout the park. Bring a laptop and make RiverScape your office for the day!
RiverScape plays an important role in fostering Five Rivers MetroParks’ mission of conservation. RiverScape draws hundreds of thousands of people to the riverbanks each year and provides an opportunity to enhance public perceptions of the cleanliness, health and species diversity of our waterways.
In 2015, MetroParks coordinated a large volunteer effort to relocate freshwater mussels that may be affected by the construction of the RiverScape River Run project. Volunteers waded into the edge waters of the Great Miami to find the mussels, and then moved them by hand to deeper waters. The River Run project involves a low-head dam removal that improves water access, enhances safety and restores the health of the ecosystem.
The site of the pavilion and ice rink at RiverScape was a former brownfield site. In 2010, this area was remediated and converted to a beautiful extension of the park designed to increase the vitality of downtown and improve personal connections with nature.
The Great Miami River that flows through the park is an excellent warm water species fishery, with smallmouth and largemouth bass, panfish and catfish.
Riffles, runs and pools are the perfect habitat for fish and the RiverScape River Run has all of that and more. The removal of the low dam and the installation of the river features have created excellent fishing and a great recreation spot for many types of users.
RiverScape is a haven for active recreation and fitness. It sits at the center of a network of more than 330 miles of paved trails, perfect for running, walking or inline skating. These trails, with sweeping views of the Great Miami River, are used by numerous community groups for 5K runs and walks. In summer, Saturday fitness programs are scheduled regularly in the pavilion.
RiverScape is the perfect stop, whether you are passing through or just starting your workout. The park offers restrooms, water, places to rest as well as lockers to secure your valuables.
Located along the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton, this urban park can be an excellent place to watch migratory and resident birds such as great blue herons, waterfowl and gulls and even animals such as beaver and snapping turtles.
Bald eagles have been spotted in the trees near the confluence of the Mad and Great Miami rivers and soaring overhead as they scan the river for food.
Fabulous demonstration gardens blend native and nonnative plants, demonstrating how visitors might incorporate pollinators to attract wildlife.
RiverScape is a beautiful garden that includes hanging baskets, life-size flower pots and beds overflowing with annuals, perennials and tropical plants. Many of the plants are labeled with botanical and common names so that you can be inspired for your own home garden. Urban dwellers with small spaces have specific landscaping requirements and limitations.Get inspiration and guidance from the plantings at RiverScape.
The fabulous demonstration gardens blend native and nonnative plants, demonstrating how visitors might incorporate pollinators and water-efficient varieties into their own gardens without sacrificing beauty.
Geocaching is an activity combining technology and nature, using global positioning system (GPS) devices to search for and find “caches” hidden throughout the world. Visit www.geocaching.com and search by location to get started.Then head out on an adventure to find the geocaches hidden in this park.
RiverScape abounds with regional history. In fact, Founders’ Point, marked by the green-roofed gazebo at the river’s edge, is where the first settlers of Dayton arrived in 1796. RiverScape was established in 2001, but this riverfront had been site of Van Cleve Park for more than 100 years.
The park pays homage to our region’s innovative accomplishments through the Dayton Inventors River Walk, which includes seven invention stations along Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard that celebrate Dayton inventions, sometimes in surprising ways. The brick medallions lead the way along the walk, telling stories of other Dayton inventors. A medallion at the northeast corner of Main Street and Monument Avenue marks Dayton as the Innovation Capital of the World, by virtue of the fact that Dayton has had more inventions per capita than any city in the United States.
The park was also the site of the 1913 flood. Visit the historical markers on the fountain towers and plaques describing the effects of the flood.
A large stone bench sits at the west end of the park memorializing early Daytonians who played a key role in the development of the city. This bench was commissioned by John H. Patterson, founder of the NCR in 1925.
RiverScape pays tribute to the works of native Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Several of his poems are etched in stone at the top of the staircase at the west end of the park.
Visit Deeds Point to see a bronze statue of Wilbur and Orville Wright as well as an aviation timeline exhibit that serves as an ongoing reminder of the importance of the Wright Brothers and Dayton to aviation history. The park also has a monument — Dayton Peace Accord — that symbolizes the agreement for peace between Bosnia and Herzegovina struck in 1995.
Grab your mittens, the kids, your sweetheart, your coworkers and your friends and hit the ice! Sheltered under the covered pavilion, the MetroParks Ice Rink offers an extended skating season from the Friday after Thanksgiving through February each year.
RiverScape is an outdoor place to find out about all things MetroParks and a gateway to a strengthened relationship with nature for people of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds.
Sweeping views of and up-close interactions with the Great Miami River enhance visitors’ relationship with our local waterways and challenge perceptions about the health and species diversity of our waterways.
Our swings are a popular place to catch a view of the river, especially on a beautiful summer evening.
On hot summer days, children can enjoy water play in the interactive fountains located in RiverScape’s Festival Plaza. Multiple fountain jets shoot water as high as 20 feet into the air choreographed to the sounds of family friendly music. The fountains are open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week. A snack bar with a variety of sweet treats is adjacent to the fountains and is open during fountain operation.
Make sure to watch for the giant river fountains, the Five Rivers Fountains of Light, near the top of every hour.
Kids will also enjoy learning about regional history on the Dayton Inventors River Walk, which includes seven invention stations along Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard that celebrate Dayton inventions, sometimes in surprising ways.
The park’s swings on top of the levy are also popular with the little (and big) ones.
It is not uncommon to see brightly colored kayaks and canoes (and even an occasional stand-up paddle) on the river at RiverScape.
The 4-mile paddle down the Mad River from Eastwood MetroPark is a popular route for many boaters. The trip travels through the Mad River Run within Eastwood and soon through two whitewater drops of the RiverScape River Run.
In summer, paddlers can stop under the refreshing waters of the in-river Five Rivers Fountains of Light for a cool off without leaving their boat!
Stop at the park for restrooms, water, places to rest and even an ice cream cone. The fountain snack bar is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
RiverScape pays tribute to the works of native Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Several of his poems are etched in stone at the top of the staircase at the west end of the park.
A bronze sculpture just west of the pavilion called “Happy Days,” by Prince Monyo Simon Mihailescu-Nasturel, illustrates playful children running and suggests youthful delight and family happiness, the kind of fun the park is meant for.
The Invention Stations act as interactive and educational art in the park, teaching park visitors about our inventor history.
The nearly 1,000-foot mural painted on the northern floodwall facing RiverScape is the design of Dayton artist Amy Deal. Unveiled in 2015, it depicts activities along the river, including bicycling, hiking and paddling.
Photographers love RiverScape! The park offers sweeping views of the city skyline and Great Miami River, and showcases the regional relationship with water — from the children frolicking in the interactive fountains and bubbling canal pools to the giant Five Rivers Fountains of Light rising at the confluence of the Mad and Great Miami rivers. The park also makes a great place to capture the vibrancy of our urban core during festivals, concerts and fitness programs.
The Bike Hub structure at RiverScape is a silver level LEED-certified green building. It achieved this recognition for the use of recycled content in building materials; management of waste; sourcing from local products to reduce carbon emissions as well as efficient fixtures in restrooms; drip irrigation system; and use of green cleaning products and recycled paper products.
Check out the green roof, permeable pavement and sustainable landscape areas.
The MetroParks Ice Rink is for more than just skating. Each winter competitive broomball and curling leagues meet each week in January and February to enjoy Dayton’s largest outdoor ice rink.
Broomball is a team sport where players wear shoes rather than skates and use a “broom” (a stick shaped like a broom) to move the ball around the ice and score goals. Rules and strategies are similar to those of ice hockey. Registration is $310 per team. To register your team, visit www.DaytonBroomball.org/riverscape.
Want to play an Olympic sport? Grab some friends and sign up for our curling league! This team sport involves sliding heavy, granite stones across the ice toward a marked target while your teammates sweep the ice with brooms to alter its path. Curling is accessible to all physical skill levels and no experience is required. Registration is $480 per team. Visit www.curltroy.org to learn more and to register your team.
Looking for a fun way to contribute to your MetroParks and enhance the quality of experience for future park patrons? There are a number of ways to volunteer in your MetroParks. From tours to interacting with children and adults to greeting guests or even tending to the gardens at RiverScape, there’s a volunteer opportunity to suit any age, physical limitation, gender or skill level. Training is provided.
New volunteers are always welcome! For more information, call (937) 275-PARK (7275) or visit our volunteer page.
Park Amenities & Activities
RiverScape MetroPark is a vibrant and active location, yet a relaxing gathering spot for families and friends.