Ogden High Adventure Park

Ogden has many city parks, but none are quite as cool as the High Adventure Park located at 18th and Grant. From the river’s edge that’s easily accessible by most, to the top of the clever climbing structures, this park is a kid’s dream. From swings to slides, the structures are out of the ordinary, using ropes, rubber, cable and hardy metal, the creativity makes kids want to get out and play!  The Ogden River winds past the park, with plenty of little pathways down to it’s edge. Depending on the season, wading is easy in the shallow south end.

Wildlife is plentiful as well – we were able to watch an otter creep along the bank and climb into an old tree stump!  There are also beaver, ducks and birds galore. The Ogden River is a top-rated Blue-Ribbon Urban Trout stream, after being restored between 2006-2012.  Restoration of a 1.1 mile section removed over 6,000 tons of recyclable debris, 9,000 tons of trash, 7 whole cars, 2,500 tires and 200 batteries.  River Restoration took about 6 years, and what a huge difference it made in our city.  The park is adjacent to the River Parkway trail system, which opens up your walking paths from the mouth of the Ogden Canyon through the confluence of the Ogden & Weber Rivers – and beyond!

Winter Solstice also plays a part here at the High Adventure Park. The statue, created by Andy Dufford of Chevo Studios, has a cluster of birds, mounted atop a gorgeous piece of red rock.  In the summer months, there is a manual pump that allows water to run through the “rivers” in the red rock.  In the winter – specifically the first day of Winter – the shadow of the statue is perfectly imprinted against one of the surrounding rocks. It’s pretty spectacular…

Lastly, the park has a pavilion for use at parties and gatherings.  The pavilion can be reserved here: High Adventure Park Most of the year, there are not a bunch of crowds, but it’s definitely a great place to hang out with or without kids!

The Victorian Goldmine

Victorian, Victorian, where for art thou? Waiting for you patiently on Jefferson Avenue… The Jefferson Avenue Historic District was founded, officially, in July of 2004, but the majestic homes on this coveted street pre-date this by over 100 years.  The homes on Jefferson Avenue were constructed between 1880 and 1928, being called the “first wave” of residential development.  The homes were built during the time of high economic impact from the railroad.  This economic boom which fueled the construction of these homes led it to be referred to as “Banker’s Row” and the addresses compiled the Who’s Who of Ogden at the turn of the century.  After WWII, the lack of housing for troops led to many of the neighborhood homes to be cut up into multiple apartments.  Several of the homes were chopped into as many as 20 units…!

In 2002, Ogden City began to take notice that the area needed some TLC.  It had become one of the highest crime intersections in the City, thanks to the very low income apartments that riddled the neighborhood.  The city began by revealing the streetcar tracks that were buried after being shut down in December 1935. Next came the period-appropriate lighting, along with colored gray sidewalks.  One by one, the homes themselves began the road to restoration.  The two blocks of Jefferson Avenue were comprised of mostly rentals – with a whopping 94% of the available units being rented units. Definitely sketchy, many of the units were substandard accommodations.  During the restoration process, I even saw one “unit” that was a toaster oven and a mattress in the open rafters in an attic.

By 2012, many of the multi-family Victorians had made the transition from multiple units back to single family. The homes were restored with and without Ogden City’s support.  By 2018, all of the homes – except one – were converted to single family and restored to their former glory.  Today, Jefferson Avenue Historic District is roughly 90% owner-occupied, a complete switch from 20 years ago. The other big change is the “cruise” … back in those days, it was drug dealers and johns looking for hookers that paraded up and down our street.  We still watch the cruise – but now it’s our Ogden citizens and visitors “on parade” down Jefferson, now taking in the gorgeous home views and imagining themselves on the street.  Come cruise by anytime – the colors and sights are fabulous!

Eccles Community Art Center

This majestic Victorian gives off a lovely light in the alpenglow winter afternoons in Ogden, but the Eccles Community Art Center  radiates a glow even further into our Ogden Community.  The home, built in 1893 by James C. Armstrong, was purchased by David and Bertha Eccles in 1896. Since 1959, it has been the home to ECAC, as well as the birthplace of several notable pursuits.  Bertha Eccles started the Utah Chapter of the Girl Scouts in this home in 1920. Over the years, it has also been the home to the Children’s Aid Society, Drama Club, Child Culture, Martha Society, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and Red Cross.  Currently, the center is home to the Junior League of Ogden, Ogden Rotary, Onstage Ogden (formerly Ogden Symphony-Ballet) and the Carriage House Gallery.

                The Eccles Community Art Center (ECAC) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to a continued effort to stimulate interest, foster awareness and provide education in all visual and performing arts. The center is located within the Nine Rails Creative District, Ogden’s newest addition to the eclectic community offerings. The fabulous exhibits change monthly, involving all facets of the art community.  This year, the annual fundraiser/gala promotes seeing art in action, with eight renowned artists painting their pieces at the event. Additionally, artists from throughout Utah will have their work on display for immediate purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to the center. Quite the fabulous evening, the night boasted over 20 artists, selling their artwork and painting live works of art for the live auction! Although the gala just happens once per year, you can visit the center anytime, and especially on First Friday Art Stroll.  

                If you’d like to become more involved, know that The ECAC offers classes in visual, diverse, literary, health & happiness and performing arts, all taught by some pretty amazing instructors.  The ECAC brings a variety of events to Northern Utah including a chalk art fair for teens, the Recycled Art Competition, as well as Art In Bloom, the Plein Air Competition, Traces of the West, Statewide Competitions, and a Holiday Home Tour in association with the Weber Heritage Foundation. For more information about the center, please visit The Eccles Community Art Center.