Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space

Regional Parks and Open Space is part of Washoe County's Community Services Department. Our mission is to provide exceptional parks, open space and recreational opportunities while preserving our natural, historical and cultural resources. Washoe County manages over 12,000 areas including over 10,000 acres of open space, 49 parks, an Arboretum, developed trails, trailheads, athletic fields, golf courses, a campground, a shooting facility, an archery facility, a museum, and so much more! If you have a favorite outdoor activity, chances are it can be done in a Washoe County Park! For more information on our parks, view our Park Guide. 

Highlights & Current Events

10th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Festival

Saturday, December 9, 2017gingerbread house
12:00pm to 3:30pm
Wilbur D. May Museum
Rancho San Rafael Park
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

Enjoy an afternoon of fun at what has become a holiday tradition in Northern Nevada! Enter your own gingerbread creation in one of nine categories* or come to the festival and make your own gingerbread house to take home. Listen to an afternoon of holiday music performed by local choral and instrumental groups. Visit with Santa Claus and get your photo taken, too! Admission is free, Make Your Own Gingerbread House kits are $3.

*Entry forms for the Gingerbread House Competition must be returned by Monday, December 4th! Download the forms and read about the guidelines, categories, delivery date, judging etc. at the May Arboretum Society website.

Good Nature! Walking Tours for Older AdultsArbo sign

Friday, Dec. 1 - Greek Mythology in the Garden
Friday, Dec. 15 - Norse Mythology in the Garden
1pm-2pm, Wilbur D. May Arboretum
1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno

Enjoy a stroll in a beautiful natural environment while learning interesting facts from tour guides. Please click here to view the flyer, and make sure you RSVP at goodnature.rsvpify.com.

Programming at the Galena Creek Visitor Centergalena visitor center

Ongoing throughout the year
Galena Creek Regional Park
18250 Mt. Rose Hwy, Reno

The Galena Creek Visitor Center is a partnership between Washoe County, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Great Basin Institute. The goal of the visitor center is to encourage understanding, appreciation and appropriate use of the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Galena Canyon area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway. Check their website often or call 775-849-4948 for a listing of upcoming events including weekly guided hikes, monthly toddler time, and special Sunday morning programming. 


Washoe County Warns of Poison Hemlock and other Noxious Weeds

As summer weather brings out more people exploring parks and trails, it also brings some blooming native plants that should be avoided. Poison Hemlock is one such plant which has grown abnormally tall this season due to the unusually heavy precipitation this year. Park visitors cannot be poisoned by the fumes, but the plant is poisonous upon ingestion. Please click the link here for more information on Poison Hemlock and other noxious weeds, view tips on how to keep yourself and your pet safe, and learn more about how Washoe County is addressing the problem.

Washoe County Parks is using sheep to control weeds

Washoe County is utilizing sheep to reduce the risk of wildfire from the Ballardini Ranch Trailhead south along the Arrowcreek Open Space to the Thomas Creek Trailhead. These hungry helpers have been happily munching away on Cheatgrass, something we have been doing rather than applying herbicide in several instances over the past two years. If you see these sheep, please make sure your dog is on a leash for the safety of both your dog and the sheep. Thank you for your cooperation!

Temporary Closures at Betsy Caughlin Donnely Park

Please note that the Betsy Caughlin Donnely Park pastures are closed to public entry until further notice due to agricultural activities. If you are looking for a place to play with your furry friends, we recommend checking out the Link Piazzo Dog Park located within Hidden Valley Regional Park or visit our Dog Parks page for a listing of alternative locations.

Junior Ranger Activity Guides are now available!

Looking for engaging, park-based activities to do with your children? Our Junior Ranger Activity Guides are now available! Download the guide or pick up a copy at your local park office. This free program can be done at your own pace, is flexible enough to appeal to a large age range, and can be completed at any combination of Washoe County parks. Visit our Become a Junior Ranger page for complete details.

Bridge Construction over Whites Creek

Attention Trail Users: During construction of a new bridge over Whites Creek, there will be a temporary trail closure along Whites Creek Trail to ensure trail user safety.  The closure is between Chartreuse Court and Mountain Ranch Road, roughly ½ mile.  Trail users will be directed to use Paris Avenue as a detour. View a map of the trail closure and detour. Construction should be completed in early winter and signs/fencing will be removed once it is safe to have the trail re-opened.  If you have questions/concerns, please contact Cheryl Surface at (775) 328-2039. Thank you for your patience. 

Updated Truckee Meadows Trails Guides are now availabletrails, washoe county, list

Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space is excited to present then new Truckee Meadows Trail Guide featuring two additional trails: Ballardini Ranch Trail system and the Sugarloaf Trail. The 66-page guide features a variety of photos taken from various trails in the area, maps and a brief synopsis describing what each trail has to offer hikers. The guides can be downloaded here, or picked up at local bike shops, visitor centers, Scheels and Cabela's as well as Washoe County, City of Reno, and City of Sparks owned buildings. For complete details, view the press release.

Click here for Washoe County Parks facebook page Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space is on Facebook!