McFarland Park

Featured Events
»   TEAM Day (Trail Enhancement and Management)
October 11, 2015    1:30 PM - 12:00 AM
»   Super Spiders
October 15 - October 15, 2015   6:30 - 7:30 PM
»   Wildtots "Fun in the Fall"
October 17 - October 17, 2015   10:00 - 11:30 AM
»   Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches
October 23 - October 23, 2015   7:30 - 9:00 PM
»   O.W.L.S. (Older, Wiser, Livelier, Seniors) - All About Bats
November 4 - November 4, 2015   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
»   Soap from Scratch
November 21 - November 21, 2015   9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
»  more events
McFarland Park is a 200-acre area that offers visitors a variety of ecotypes to explore including tallgrass prairie, woodland, and stream habitats.


56461 180th Street
Ames, Iowa 50010


  • Story County Conservation Center: Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  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.
  • Adams Observatory: Supervised by the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers (AAAA); available to the public through astronomy programs offered by AAAA. Please see for current program information.
  • 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 sites: The fee is $20.00 per night; reservations required by calling 515-232-2516. Campsites are closed November 1-March 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.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Park Hours are 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 
Story County Conservation Center: Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 


This area is open year round.