12 Parks in Fairbanks, Alaska

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Fairbanks, Alaska is home to a vibrant park system with over 34 parks spread throughout the city. These parks offer plenty of recreational opportunities from playgrounds to sports fields to vast green spaces. With so many options to choose from, visitors and residents alike can enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor spaces that Fairbanks’ parks provide.

Park NameLocationOverview
Growden Park2131 Growden Park Rd, Fairbanks, AKOffers sports fields, trails, and open spaces, suitable for various recreational activities.
Golden Heart Plaza400 5th St, Fairbanks, AKAn urban space with paths, a gazebo, and close to local amenities, celebrating local culture.
Veterans Memorial Park1325 Alaska Way, Fairbanks, AKFeatures sports fields, playgrounds, and memorials honoring military veterans.
Pioneer Park2301 Eagan Ave, Fairbanks, AKA historical park with cultural exhibits, museums, and recreational facilities.
Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge1300 College Rd, Fairbanks, AKA wildlife refuge offering nature trails and bird watching opportunities.
Chena River WalkBallaine Rd to Wilbur St, Fairbanks, AKA scenic pathway along the Chena River with access to various attractions.
Fred Blixt Sports Complex1796 10th Ave S, North Pole, AKSports complex with facilities for various athletic activities.
North Star Park1601 North Star St, Fairbanks, AKOffers panoramic views, a golf course, and recreational amenities.
Santa Claus House North Pole City ParkNear Santa Claus House, North Pole, AKA festive park with playful attractions and holiday-themed displays.
South Davis Dog Park1700 Lathrop St, Fairbanks, AKA dedicated area for dogs with agility equipment and separate spaces for different dog sizes.
Minnie Street Mini-ParkMinnie St & 3rd Ave, Fairbanks, AKA small park with mining-themed play equipment and artistic features.
Badger Road Community Park1717 Badger Rd North, Fairbanks, AKA community park with playgrounds, open fields, and landscaped areas.

From small neighborhood playgrounds to the expansive creamers Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, Fairbanks’ parks offer something for everyone. Families will enjoy playgrounds and sports fields, nature lovers can explore wooded trails and open spaces, and history buffs can visit parks named after notable figures. No matter what you’re looking for, Fairbanks’ parks aim to provide an oasis of activities and beauty amidst the northern city.

This article will highlight 12 of the top parks in Fairbanks from north to south. Each provides unique attractions and recreation that shouldn’t be missed on a visit to Alaska’s second largest city.

Growden Park

Name and Location: Growden Park is located in the heart of downtown Fairbanks, Alaska, on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Wilbur Street. The park is named after James Growden, a prominent Fairbanks businessman and community leader.

History and Significance: Growden Park was established in the early 1900s and has been a popular gathering place for the Fairbanks community ever since. The park has hosted various events throughout its history, including festivals, concerts, and sporting events.

What to Expect: Visitors to Growden Park can expect a well-maintained green space with a variety of amenities, including a playground, picnic area, basketball court, and softball field. The park also features a bandshell that hosts concerts and other performances during the summer months.

Visitor Information: Growden Park is open year-round and is free to the public. The park is easily accessible by foot, bike, or car, with parking available on the surrounding streets. Restroom facilities are available during the summer months.

Growden Park encompasses over 100 acres of sports fields, trails, and open green spaces near the Chena River in northern Fairbanks. In both winter and summer, Growden Park offers plenty of room for soccer, softball, football, frisbee, running, walking, and more.

Miles of wooded and open trails attract nature lovers looking for a relaxing walk or jog away from city streets. Wintertime opens up snow-packed trails for classic Nordic skiing as well as dog mushing courses. Summer wildflowers and autumn colors provide picturesque backdrops across the large park.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll or a pickup game of softball, Growden Park is a prime recreational spot in north Fairbanks.

Golden Heart Plaza

Name and Location: Golden Heart Plaza is located in the heart of downtown Fairbanks, Alaska, on the banks of the Chena River. The plaza is situated between 1st and 2nd Avenues, just a short walk from the Cushman Street Bridge.

History and Significance: Golden Heart Plaza was dedicated in 1987 as a gathering place for the Fairbanks community. The plaza features a large golden heart sculpture, which has become an iconic symbol of Fairbanks and represents the city’s nickname, “The Golden Heart City”.

What to Expect: Visitors to Golden Heart Plaza can expect a beautiful outdoor space with stunning views of the Chena River. The plaza features seating areas, flower gardens, and a large open space that is used for various events throughout the year, including the Midnight Sun Festival and the Fairbanks Winter Carnival.

Visitor Information: Golden Heart Plaza is open year-round and is free to the public. The plaza is easily accessible by foot, bike, or car, with parking available on the surrounding streets. Restroom facilities are available in the nearby Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Nestled next to the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, the Golden Heart Plaza provides a scenic urban open space. Visitors will find paved paths, green lawns, and a small performance gazebo perfect for concerts and events. During summer solstice, Golden Heart Plaza becomes a hub for Midnight Sun festivities.

Adjacent to the stately Golden Heart Revue statue and its running water fountain, this plaza is a great lunchtime picnic spot or place to simply stretch your legs downtown. Surrounded by small cafes, shops, a farmer’s market, and local art displays, Golden Heart Plaza immerses you in Fairbanks’ vibrant downtown culture with each visit.

Veterans Memorial Park

Name and Location: Veterans Memorial Park is located on the banks of the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. The park is situated between the Carlson Center and the Fairbanks Curling Club.

History and Significance: Veterans Memorial Park was established in the 1980s as a tribute to Alaska’s veterans. The park features a memorial wall with the names of Alaskan veterans who have served in various conflicts, as well as a statue honoring Alaska’s Medal of Honor recipients.

What to Expect: Visitors to Veterans Memorial Park can expect a peaceful and contemplative space with beautiful views of the Chena River. The park features walking paths, seating areas, and interpretive signs that provide information about Alaska’s military history.

Visitor Information: Veterans Memorial Park is open year-round and is free to the public. The park is easily accessible by foot, bike, or car, with parking available at the nearby Carlson Center. Restroom facilities are available in the Carlson Center during events.

Honoring military veterans both old and new, Veterans Memorial Park spans 50 acres packed with sports fields and a large playground. Anchoring the park is the Veterans Memorial with plaques highlighting each military branch. Nearby flagpoles and monuments pay tribute to the many Alaskans who have served our country.

With ample space for baseball, basketball, tennis, and open running, Veterans Memorial Park provides recreation opportunities for all ages. Climbing structures and swings entertain younger visitors while sports facilities can host afternoon little league practices or pickup games across many fields. Whether passing through to admire the memorials or spending hours working up a sweat, Veterans Memorial Park celebrates both sports and service in the heart of Fairbanks.

Pioneer Park

Name and Location: Pioneer Park is a historic theme park located in Fairbanks, Alaska, on the banks of the Chena River. The park is situated at 2300 Airport Way, just a short drive from downtown Fairbanks.

History and Significance: Pioneer Park was established in 1967 as a centennial celebration of the Alaska Purchase. The park features a variety of historic buildings and artifacts that showcase the history of Fairbanks and the surrounding area.

What to Expect: Visitors to Pioneer Park can expect a fun and educational experience for the whole family. The park features a variety of attractions, including the SS Nenana sternwheeler riverboat, the Pioneer Museum, the Tanana Valley Railroad, and the Pioneer Hall, which showcases historic cabins and artifacts. The park also features amusement park rides, a petting zoo, and a variety of dining options.

Visitor Information: Pioneer Park is open from May to September, with limited hours during the shoulder seasons. Admission to the park is free, but some attractions may require a fee. The park is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available. Restroom facilities are available throughout the park.

Step back into Fairbanks history at Pioneer Park – a 44-acre theme park showcasing the city’s early structures and cultural attractions. Opened in 1967 to commemorate 100 years of Alaska’s purchase from Russia, this historic village houses original cabins, exhibits, museums, gardens, and replicas of Fairbanks’ early days.

Must-see highlights include a recreated gold mine shaft, sternwheeler ship and Native village,日志 cabin homes from early settlers, the Alaska center for the railroad and transportation museum, and a brewery featuring local beers. Interactive sights teach visitors about dogsledding, panning for gold, Siberian huskies, Alaska Native cultures, and more.

With both indoor and outdoor sights, shops and eateries, Pioneer Park offers a full afternoon or longer of exploration into how early pioneers carved out a life in the rugged Alaska Interior.

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

Name and Location: Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is located in Fairbanks, Alaska, just a short drive from downtown. The refuge is situated at 1300 College Road, adjacent to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

History and Significance: Creamer’s Field was established in the 1960s as a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl. The refuge is named after Charles Creamer, a local dairy farmer who worked to protect the area’s wetlands and wildlife.

What to Expect: Visitors to Creamer’s Field can expect a unique opportunity to observe migratory waterfowl and other wildlife in their natural habitat. The refuge features walking trails, observation platforms, and interpretive signs that provide information about the area’s ecology and history. During the summer months, the refuge is home to a variety of bird species, including sandhill cranes, Canada geese, and various species of ducks.

Visitor Information: Creamer’s Field is open year-round and is free to the public. The refuge is easily accessible by car, with parking available at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Restroom facilities are available at the Farmhouse Visitor Center, which is open during the summer months.

As the only wildlife refuge in the United States within city limits, Creamer’s Refuge provides a critical wetland sanctuary for birds and animals right in the heart of Fairbanks. Encompassing 1800 acres along the meandering Chena River, the refuge bursts with migratory birds, moose, foxes, beavers and other wildlife.

A handful of nature trails with interpretive signs wind visitors through different habitats as they keep eyes peeled for nearby wildlife. The migratory season of spring and fall promise plenty of bird species stops during nesting and along their arctic flyways. In wintertime, an accessible loop is perfect forsnowshoeing or cross country skiing to spot those birds and animals who call Creamer’s Refuge home year-round.

Whether boasting spring wildflowers or the first dusting of snow, a visit to Creamer’s Migratory Waterfowl Refuge promises encounters with nature amidst the urban city surrounding its borders.

Chena River Walk

Name and Location: The Chena River Walk is a paved pedestrian trail that runs along the banks of the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. The trail stretches from the Cushman Street Bridge to the William Ransom Wood Centennial Bridge.

History and Significance: The Chena River Walk was established in the 1980s as part of a downtown revitalization project. The trail provides a scenic and accessible way for residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Chena River.

What to Expect: Visitors to the Chena River Walk can expect a pleasant and leisurely stroll along the banks of the Chena River. The trail is paved and mostly flat, making it accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Along the way, visitors can enjoy scenic views of the river and surrounding landscape, as well as interpretive signs that provide information about the area’s history and ecology.

Visitor Information: The Chena River Walk is open year-round and is free to the public. The trail is easily accessible from downtown Fairbanks, with parking available at various points along the way. Restroom facilities are available at Golden Heart Plaza and Pioneer Park, which are located along the trail.

Connecting downtown to other Fairbanks districts, the beautiful Chena River Walk traces nearly seven miles along the waterway’s shoreline. Paved walking and biking paths give pedestrians and cyclists a safe thoroughfare while drinking in lovely views of the Chena River winding through town.

Interpretive plaques and signs explain the history and environment of the river and its impact furnishing Fairbanks’ early settlement. Gazebos, picnic areas and playgrounds sprinkled along the way provide places for resting weary feet after miles of exploring this urban ribbon of nature.

The Chena River Walk also connects visitors to key riverside attractions like Golden Heart Plaza, Pioneer Park and the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center for easy access around Fairbanks on foot or bike.

Fred Blixt Sports Complex

Name and Location: The Fred Blixt Sports Complex is located in Fairbanks, Alaska, at 3021 Davis Road, just a short drive from downtown.

History and Significance: The Fred Blixt Sports Complex was established in the 1970s and named after Fred Blixt, a local sports enthusiast and community leader. The complex serves as a hub for youth and adult sports in the Fairbanks area.

What to Expect: Visitors to the Fred Blixt Sports Complex can expect a variety of sports facilities and amenities, including baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, and a BMX track. The complex also features a playground, picnic areas, and a concession stand.

Visitor Information: The Fred Blixt Sports Complex is open year-round, with hours varying depending on the season and scheduled events. Admission to the complex is free, but some facilities may require a reservation or fee. The complex is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available. Restroom facilities are available on-site.

The expansive Fred Blixt Sports Complex just outside downtown Fairbanks provides ample recreational facilities for local sports teams and families. Named after a community leader and athlete, Blixt Park contains four softball fields (two with lit fields for night games), eight hardball diamonds, and a BMX racetrack to accommodate many sporting events.

Surrounding open grass spaces are perfect for soccer, ultimate frisbee or just tossing around a football on off hours. Inside the field house visitors can utilize an indoor basketball court and find concessions, restrooms and warming facilities for year-round comfort at the complex.

Well-designed for both tournament and casual play, Fred Blixt Sports Complex is where Fairbanks residents gather for some friendly competition across all seasons.

North Star Park

Name and Location: North Star Park is located in the Goldstream Valley of Fairbanks, Alaska, at Mile 8.5 of the Goldstream Road. The park is situated on the banks of the Goldstream Creek and surrounded by beautiful forested hills.

History and Significance: North Star Park was established in the 1960s as a recreational area for local residents. The park is named after the North Star, which is a symbol of Alaska and represents the state’s northern latitude.

What to Expect: Visitors to North Star Park can expect a peaceful and scenic retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park features a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and fishing in the Goldstream Creek. During the winter months, the park is a popular spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Visitor Information: North Star Park is open year-round and is free to the public. The park is easily accessible by car, with a small parking area available at the entrance. Restroom facilities are available on-site, but may be closed during the winter months. Visitors should be prepared for varying weather conditions and bring appropriate gear for their chosen activities.

Sitting atop a hill and spanning over 80 acres, North Star Park provides stunning panoramic views over Fairbanks and the gorgeous Alaska mountain ranges in the distance. From trails and playgrounds to a par 3 golf course and popular quarry pond, North Star Park contains green escapes for all visitors.

The park’s primary draw is its quarry pond where locals swim in summer and ice skate when frozen over. Towering spruce and birch trees skirt its shoreline, while trails lead visitors over the water on scenic bridges. North Star Park also contains playgrounds, a disc golf course, rugby field and trails for classic Nordic skiing come winter.

Few parks can compete with North Star’s combination of vistas and recreation loved by Fairbanks locals. Make sure to catch a sunset from the overlook for an iconic Fairbanks view.

Santa Claus House North Pole City Park

Name and Location: The Santa Claus House North Pole City Park is located in the city of North Pole, Alaska, just a short drive from Fairbanks. The park is situated on South Santa Claus Lane, adjacent to the famous Santa Claus House gift shop.

History and Significance: The city of North Pole was established in the 1950s and named after the mythical home of Santa Claus. The Santa Claus House gift shop was opened in 1952 and has since become a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world.

What to Expect: Visitors to the Santa Claus House North Pole City Park can expect a festive and family-friendly atmosphere. The park features a variety of Christmas-themed attractions, including a giant Santa Claus statue, a Christmas tree forest, and a reindeer pen. Visitors can also enjoy picnic areas, a playground, and a gift shop with a wide selection of Christmas-themed souvenirs.

Visitor Information: The Santa Claus House North Pole City Park is open year-round, with hours varying depending on the season. Admission to the park is free, but some attractions may require a fee. The park is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available. Restroom facilities are available on-site.

It’s Christmas year-round when visiting North Pole’s famous Santa Claus House and its adjoining city park. After snapping your holiday selfies with the 20-foot Santa statue outside Santa’s workshop home, step across the parking lot to find a winter wonderland of activities.

The park contains playgrounds packed with climbing toys, swings, and pretend ice castles for the kids. Towering light displays including reindeer, candy canes and the northern lights transport visitors to the magical spirit of the North Pole. Well-marked trails let guests explore the woods to uncover elf houses and surprises tucked into the spruce trees.

Don’t forget to return back to Santa Claus House to mail your letters for Santa’s personal response straight from his North Pole address.

South Davis Dog Park

Name and Location: South Davis Dog Park is located in Fairbanks, Alaska, at the corner of South Davis Road and 19th Avenue. The park is situated on a large, fenced-in grassy area and is dedicated exclusively to dogs and their owners.

History and Significance: South Davis Dog Park was established in the early 2000s as a designated off-leash area for dogs. The park was created in response to the growing demand for a safe and legal space for dogs to run and play in the Fairbanks area.

What to Expect: Visitors to South Davis Dog Park can expect a large, open grassy area where dogs can run and play off-leash. The park features a double-gated entry system for safety, as well as benches and shade trees for owners to relax and supervise their pets. The park also has a separate area for small dogs and puppies.

Visitor Information: South Davis Dog Park is open year-round from 7am to 10pm. Admission to the park is free, but visitors are expected to follow posted rules and regulations, including cleaning up after their pets and supervising them at all times. The park is easily accessible by car, with parking available on South Davis Road. Restroom facilities are not available on-site.

Tucked between farms and homes off Farmer’s Loop lies a beloved recreation paradise for Fairbanks’ canine citizens – South Davis Dog Park. Alaska’s infamous cold and snow doesn’t deter local dogs and owners from playing in their dedicated 10-acre haven filled with exciting sights and smells.

Separate areas accommodate small or timid pups away from larger dogs ensuring fun for all. Agility equipment like tunnels, chutes and hoops challenge energetic pets. Numerous waste stations and trash cans help keep the dog park clean for everyone’s enjoyment.

Surrounded by high chain link fencing, South Davis Dog Park provides a safe space for those all-important games of fetch, chase, or simply socializing with new furry friends.

Minnie Street Mini-Park

Name and Location: Minnie Street Mini-Park is located in the heart of downtown Fairbanks, Alaska, on the corner of Minnie Street and 4th Avenue. The park is a small, urban green space that provides a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city.

History and Significance: Minnie Street Mini-Park was established in the 1980s as part of a downtown revitalization project. The park was created to provide a public gathering space and to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the downtown area.

What to Expect: Visitors to Minnie Street Mini-Park can expect a small, well-maintained green space with a variety of seating options, including benches and picnic tables. The park features a central fountain and a variety of native plants and flowers, creating a peaceful and inviting atmosphere.

Visitor Information: Minnie Street Mini-Park is open year-round and is free to the public. The park is easily accessible by foot or bike, and is located just a short walk from many downtown shops and restaurants. Restroom facilities are not available on-site, but can be found at nearby businesses.

Easy to overlook but offering outsized fun, Minnie Street Mini-Park packs loads of imagination into a petite neighborhood space. Centered around a recreated mining cabin featuring a play wooden stove, the mini-park nods to Alaska gold mining history on a child’s scale. Kids can prospect at their own water sluices, test out mining cars on raised tracks around the cabin, and clamber over wheel barrows, ore buckets and mining “machinery.”

When they tire of backyard gold hunting, little ones will find swinging bridges to cross, additional swings, a rotating climbable ore drill and spinning metal flowers adding whimsy. Populated by frogs, ravens, moose and beavers created from artistic metal shapes, Minnie Street Mini-Park may be tiny but promises big adventures.

Badger Road Community Park

Name and Location: Badger Road Community Park is located in North Pole, Alaska, at 2500 Badger Road. The park is situated on a large, wooded property and features a variety of recreational amenities.

History and Significance: Badger Road Community Park was established in the 1990s as a recreational area for local residents. The park was created to provide a space for outdoor activities and community gatherings.

What to Expect: Visitors to Badger Road Community Park can expect a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking trails, a disc golf course, and a playground. The park also features a large picnic shelter with tables and grills, making it a popular spot for family gatherings and community events.

Visitor Information: Badger Road Community Park is open year-round and is free to the public. The park is easily accessible by car, with a large parking area available at the entrance. Restroom facilities are available on-site, but may be closed during the winter months. Visitors should be prepared for varying weather conditions and bring appropriate gear for their chosen activities.

In western Fairbanks, the brand-new Badger Road Community Park debuted in 2021 to serve families in the Badger East subdivision. Encompassing 15 acres, Badger Park offers young children playground equipment including climbing structures, monkey bars, swings, spinning toys and more.

Cement paths circle through the playground and connect to a large open field perfect for older kids’ games of tag, flying kites or simply enjoying nature strolls. Meticulous landscaping and flower beds reflect the prior homestead’s gardens through open grass lawns.

As the newest park addition, Badger Road Community Park delivers much-needed play space for Fairbanks’ next generation right in their own neighborhood.

Conclusion

Fairbanks’ parks truly offer recreational and natural escapes for all interests from manicured fields to secluded forests to historic tributes. As Alaska’s second largest city continues expanding, its park system likewise grows to provide invaluable community connections.

Through playground adventures, wildlife encounters and sporting pursuits, Fairbanks’ parks foster wellbeing for residents and visitors navigating the extremes of life in the Far North.

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