May 11, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings -- McFarland Park

With summer approaching, I am going to start covering some of the best places to go in and around Central Iowa.  If you want more information about a particular place, you can contact me through the comments here and place a request.  If you have more information to share about a particular place, let me know and I will get it added.  Look for a new post every Wednesday, unless I get too busy or forget.

McFarland Park is a great park located northeast of Ames, with a lot of fun opportunities.  It's a new experience every time you go, with different plants and trees and animals to see.  There are hiking trails (easy ones) around a beautiful lake:

a huge area of prairie grasses

and woodland forests.  
My kids love the playground.  

There is also a nature center, a butterfly garden, and even a stargazing observatory.

I have posted a few times about their different activities for children and adults, and they feature prominently on my free fun activities calendar on the right.  Here is the post I made about their online (free!) educational resources.  Here is a post that I did on how to extend the fun anywhere you go.

Focus one time on plant life, once on animal life, have a scavenger hunt, or just go out and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Look for events starting back up soon.  I just looked at my calendar and saw two events toward the end of May.  There's a star party on May 21st, and a prairie walk on the 26th.  June 17th is the first Naturalist's Lunchbox, which is a story time and picnic lunch.

Here's an interesting map of all the parks in Story County.  I think we've visitied most of them, but I found a couple we've missed.  It looks like this map might work for looking up county parks wherever you live in Iowa.


JennT said...

are the trails bike friendly?

Amy said...

They have some paved and gravel paths for biking on the outer parts of the park. The inner trails are for hiking only.