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Originally published January 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM | Page modified June 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM

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Redmond park has domestic (and wild) critters amidst forest trails

Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park offers equestrian lessons, miles of trail, and a chance to get up close to a donkey, rabbits and more.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Walk in the Park

Where: Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

Location: 19545 N.E. Redmond Road, Redmond

Length: About three miles of trails in 68-acre park with animal farm.

Level of difficulty: Mostly flat. The farm area is wheelchair-accessible but most trails are not.

Facilities: The park features an equestrian area and an animal farm. There are bathrooms, two picnic shelters and a tire-swing play area. The south parking lot has 100 spaces and the north lot 50 spaces for cars and horse trailers. Available to rent are two gazebos with electric burners and sinks. A preschool and an equestrian learning center are also housed here.

Setting: Farrel-McWhirter is surrounded by a lush conifer forest with the animal farm in the middle and a creek running through the park. The farm has horses, rabbits, ducks, chickens, a donkey and a cow, among other farm animals. You may see teens taking horse-riding lessons in the north end.

Highlights: It’s an ideal children's park with five trails and an animal farm for entertainment. It’s not a petting zoo, though children can get up close to the fence. Four out of the five trails are less than a half-mile and mostly flat. Hard to get lost. There are plenty of signs and maps along the trails, with clear markers indicating whether the trail is for hikers, bikers or horseback riders. The Perimeter Loop, a gravel-and-dirt-trail, is 1.5 miles, though you can extend your walk by taking the Puget Sound Energy Powerline Trail in the north end.

The best walking area is the lush conifer forest on the north end. Take the Mackey Creek Loop Trail deep into the forest, where you might hear woodpeckers and chipmunks and even see deer and cougars.

The facility can be rented out for children’s birthday parties.

Restrictions: Leash law in effect. Park opens daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. The animal farm is open 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily.

Directions: Take Highway 520 East to the end where it becomes Avondale Road. Turn right to Northeast Novelty Hill Road and left to Northeast Redmond Road. Park is on the left; look for signs.

For more information: Check www.redmond.gov under the park’s name or call 425- 556-2300.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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