5299 Neilsen Rd.
Every day 8:00 AM - Dusk
Photo Credit: Wayne Berry
When you visit Hovander Homestead Park, be prepared to spend a few hours. Such a vivid time travel experience will surely take up a Saturday afternoon. To be properly prepared, wear comfortable walking shoes and consider packing a picnic lunch and toting along the camcorder or Polaroid. There is a lot of ground to cover at Hovander, and much to see.
The park is extensive and well cared for. Home to horses, chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats and many more, Hovander is a veritable Old MacDonald's Farm. The animals are accessible, easy to view and, where appropriate, okay to feed. Beyond being almost a zoo, Hovander park was once the homestead of a Swedish family which immigrated to the United States. The house bears the markings of Swedish architecture, beautiful and quaint. Surrounded by lush gardens, prepared and maintained by master gardeners, the house seems to sit in a frame of purples, reds and azure. Inside, the Hovander home is rich with antiques and wordless history. Truly, the house is an educational, if not spiritual, experience.
Lawns surround the house and, next to it, a huge red barn. They are peppered with many picnic tables and grills. Absolutely perfect for a family reunion or Sunday afternoon lunch, there is even a small play area for children featuring a swing set, slide and a big red tractor. Just behind the playground is a wooden lookout tower. Climb to the top and you will get a spectacular view of the Hovander homestead, from the horse field to the barn to the house and down to the grove of trees that serves as a buffer between the park and the Nooksack river. It is clear from there, at the top of the tower, that Hovander park is a gift. A spread of green carpet, home to flowers and plants and animals of all sizes, the living representative of the Hovander family.
From Main St. in Ferndale, turn south onto Hovander Rd. Take a right at Neilsen Rd. and the park's entrance will be on your right.
Kid Friendly | Horseshoe Pits | Bathrooms | Picnic Area | Picnic Tables
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San Juan Islands