McFarland Park is a 200-acre area that offers visitors a variety of ecotypes to explore including tallgrass prairie, woodland, and stream habitats.
Northeast of Ames at 56461 180th Street.
- 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 http://amesastronomers.com 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 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.
Operating Hours & Seasons
Park Hours are 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. This area is open year round.