History of Heather Farm Park

John W. Marchbanks, the owner of a prosperous gambling hall, turned the 255-acre Sulphur Springs Ranch on Ygnacio Valley Road into a thoroughbred horse breeding center in 1921, naming it Heather Farm after his champion stallion, Heather King. 

Marchbanks invested $1 million in the property, which included a Spanish-style home, a half-mile course, a 48-stall stable, and a barn. Heather Farm quickly rose to prominence as the most important horse-breeding ranch west of the Mississippi, producing a slew of champions. 

In truth, in 1931, movie stars Clark Gable and Madge Evans visited Heather Farm in Walnut Creek to film scenes for MGM's Sporting Blood. 

It remained a ranch until 1965, when Walnut Creek voters adopted community park bond measures, allowing the city to purchase 50 acres of the historic Heather Farm. 

Phil and Ruth Bancroft had already donated five acres of their property next to Heather Farm for use as a potential park, and a park and swimming pool were built on the combined lands. 

Heather Farm Park, at 100 acres, became the city's largest park when it opened in 1970. The Equestrian Center, located peacefully in the back of the park and loved by millions for its horse-riding activities and miniature horse displays, is the only vestige of the park's storied horse racing history.

Heather Farm Park was dedicated on July 4, 1970, by the City of Walnut Creek. Since then, the park has expanded to include a dog park, a playground for all talents, playing fields, and many more.

Heather Farm Park Today

Heather Farm Park was dedicated on July 4, 1970, by the City of Walnut Creek. Since then, the park has expanded to include a dog park, a playground for all talents, playing fields, and many more.

This park seems to have it all. Playground, soccer, greenhouse, equestrian centre, skate park, off-leash dog park, bike lanes, sand volleyball court, fishing reservoir, wildlife pond, six playing grounds, restrooms, and Iron Horse Trail access.

There is also a swimming pool. This park is a hit with the kids. It is big, and the playground offers a variety of activities for children.  It's clear that it's one of the area's most famous parks. There are two ponds, one with a fountain and the other with a lot of geese and ducks.

Facilities: 

  •  picnic areas

  • community centre

  • The equestrian center 

  • skate park

  • off-leash dog park

  • bike lanes

  • all-ability playground 

  • sand volleyball court 

  • fishing reserve

  • nature pond

  • six athletic fields

  • Showers

  • links to the Iron Horse Trail 

  • Clarke Swim Complex

This amazing park is just one of the many must-see parks you don’t want to miss in Walnut Creek, California:

  • Civic Park

  • Arbolado Park

  • Diablo Foothills Regional Park

  • Acalanes Ridge

  • Walden Park

  • Howe Homestead Park

  • Heather Farm Dog Park

  • Sugarloaf Open Space 

 

All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek!

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