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McFarland Park
Parks and Trails
Location: 56461 180th St
Ames, IA 50010
Amenities: Camping, Conference Rooms, Cross Country Skiing, Free Parking, Hiking, Off-road Bicycling, Picnic Tables, Pond and River Fishing, and Public Restrooms
Maps: Google | MapQuest | Bing | Yahoo!
Link: Map of McFarland Park

McFarland Park is a 200-acre area located northeast of Ames. The park offers visitors a variety of ecotypes to explore including tallgrass prairie, woodland, and stream habitats. Facilities include:
 
Story County Conservation Center: Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 2-5 p.m. April through October. The offices of the administrative and environmental education staff are housed at this building, and the multipurpose room is available for rent for social gatherings and meetings. Educational displays throughout the year fill the center. A cedar deck is adjacent to the building for picnics and public use.
  • Stargazing Observatory:  Supervised by the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers (AAAA); available to the public through astronomy programs offered by AAAA.
  • Touch-a-Life Trail: Hard-surfaced trail through various plant communities including prairie, woodlands, and ponds; handicapped access to fishing dock, deck overlooking the lake, and handicapped accessible picnic sites.
  • Picnic areas with grills: Some sites are handicap accessible
  • Supervised youth camping -  $20/site/night payable at time of reservation - reservation required. Campsites are closed Dec 1-Mar 31.
  • Hiking and Off-road Biking: The park's 5.5 miles of trails are open to hiking and off-road biking, but interior trails with stairs are closed to bicyclists. Please obey all signs. Equestrians are not allowed in the park; horseback riding is allowed on the trails at Peterson Park and along the greenbelt.
  • 6.5-acre Lake: The lake is stocked with bluegill, bass, and catfish.
  • Winter activities: Ice fishing and cross-country skiing.

Current and Upcoming Events For This Facility

Date Event Title
4/4/2015
Geocache Egg Hunt
Your family will love this new-age way of hunting eggs. Join Naturalist Jess Lancial to learn how to
use a GPS, then go search the woods to find the Conservation Bunny’s nests of hidden treasures, collecting prizes and candy along the way! Be sure to keep an eye out for the “golden egg” containing special giveaways. Space is limited, so register early! Fee of $5 per
collector (any child 3-14 years old) with registration required by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27.
4/18/2015
TEAM (Trail Enhancement and Management) Day
Be a part of our TEAM (Trail Enhancement and
Management) to help make improvements to Story
County’s trail system. All volunteers are asked to
wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and gloves and bring
a water bottle. Sturdy, closed-toed shoes are strongly
recommended. Registration required by 4:00 p.m. on
Thursday, April 16.
5/3/2015
Partners Spring Festival
Join Story County Conservation Partners as they host their annual Partners Spring Festival! There will be plenty to do for the whole family including displays, crafts, canoeing, solar viewing, and live music from The Runkels. This is a free event open to everyone and will take place rain or shine!