Scottsdale is home to one of the most unique parks in the country, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Not only does the park have open spaces, ramadas and two playgrounds, it has a train and a model railroad museum.
An exact 5/12 reproduction (where five inches equals one foot) of a Colorado narrow gauge railroad, the Paradise and Pacific Railroad features three steam locomotives, two diesel engines, several scale model cars, a turntable, a water tank, trestles, and a train shed that houses a complete machine shop. Rides along the one-mile track run every half hour during the weekdays and continuously on the weekends.
The prices per ride aren’t bad- train rides cost two tickets per rider, and each ticket is only $1. Discount ticket books ($10 for 12 tickets) and all-day wristbands are available through the main office.
After the train ride, head over to the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, which played a major role in world history. President Theodore Roosevelt used the car during his presidency, as did Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower on the campaign trail.
Nearby, you can also see a car from the Merci Train that France sent to the United States in response to the aid it received from the US following World War II. Grateful citizens filled this boxcar and 48 others with precious items, including wedding dresses and war medals, as a way to say thank you to the American people.
The park’s newest attraction is the 10,000-square-foot building that houses three model railroad layouts, several railroad exhibits, and hands-on displays. It’s also home to four model railroad clubs. Admission is free.
Even if you’re not interested in trains, there’s plenty to do at the park. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park has a completely restored antique carousel with 30 carved horses and two wheelchair chariots. It costs two tickets to ride the carousel.
There’s also a xeriscape arboretum that has been growing since 1980 and contains as many as 100 plants from various dry regions. Each plant is identified by name, origin, growth characteristics, and blooming season.
Of course, the park has plenty of space to play, including two playgrounds. One playground features ladders, straight and curving slides, towers, and swings. The other has southwestern flair with adobe-style construction. Plenty of benches flank the park so you can keep a close eye on your kids.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is open daily. The model train display and historic railroad exhibits are closed during the summer months; the train and carousel also shut down during hot summer afternoons. Click here for the train and carousel schedule.
The park is located at 7301 E. Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale, right across Indian Bend from local hot spots like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
If you’d like any other recommendations on where to go with family or friends, feel free to reach out to us. We are Scottsdale locals and love our great city!
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The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255