A must visit spot for free summer fun – this Eastside oasis offers a perfect half-day getaway for families, trail runners, urban hikers and more, looking to enjoy the serenity of nature. The first in our series of features on some of our favorite Eastside parks, read on to find out more of what you’ll discover on your visit to Farrel-McWhirter!
Hidden in the hillside near Redmond’s Novelty Hill Road you’ll find one of the city’s many hidden gems – Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park. This 68-acre property is free to visit, and features a barnyard with farm animals, multi-use trails, picnic areas, and an equestrian arena.
The Park itself is open for daily visits from dawn to dusk, while the Barnyard is open 9am-4pm (but do check the Redmond.gov/parks website before going for any operational updates). In addition to the free self-guided access to the park, Redmond Parks and Recreation offers various paid, on-site programming such as youth equestrian lessons, farm school programs, and more.
Not far from the intersection where Avondale meets Novelty Hill Road in Redmond, and about 5-10 minutes from Downtown Redmond and State Route 520, you’ll find Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park at 19545 NE Redmond Road, Redmond, WA 98053.
Arriving at Farrel-McWhirter
The signage for Farrel-McWhirter is easy to spot, and ample parking is available at the main entrance site. In our experience, we’ve never had trouble finding parking, with the exception of the few weekends per year that the park plays host to larger community events.
Upon exiting your vehicle you’ll head towards one of the several paved trails that lead into the park, and take you to the large and open grassy fields and picnic areas. There are several picnic tables and benches around the property, as well as swings and a tire swing. Note that there are no actual “play structures” at this park – the fun for kids will be found in exploring nature, and having a visit with the onsite farm animals.
Continue to make your way straight ahead to find the property maps, which offer a helpful guide to exploring the park, and trail distances.
Make your first stop a visit to the barnyard, where on any given day you’ll find a combination of: cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and more. Be aware of signs that alert you to which fences are electrified, and of appropriate behavior around the animals (IE no feeding them please!). Outside of barnyard hours, you may still be able to see the horses, cows, or goats in their respective fields.
Between the two barnyard/farm animal enclosure areas, the main paved trail will take you to an open-air barn with seating for picnics, and a nice restroom facility.
Continuing just past the barn you’ll come to the start of the park’s trail system which includes a variety of stroller-friendly paved, hard-pack gravel, and bark trails. For a short out-and-back walk you can head about a half-mile to the horse arena and back, or try venturing onto one of the many side trails which will lead over to the 1.5 mile long perimeter loop that circles the park. For the long-distance runner or hiker, head on over to the 8 mile long Puget Sound Energy Powerline Trail, which links the Sammamish River Trail to Farrel-McWhirter.
That wraps up our tour of Redmond’s Farrel McWhirter Park! Have a park you’d love to see us do a virtual tour of? Visit our contact page and let us know!