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Coal Creek Trail

MODERATE 71 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Coal Creek Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bellevue, WA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.3 miles 524 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

A short hike through the woods while exploring the area's coal mining history. This is an easy hike that will lead you through a historical coal mining region. While the towns are gone you will still be able to view some artifacts from the past. Along the way you will see a coal mine shaft and an information kiosk where you can learn more about its history. There are also a few railroad cart turntables but they are difficult to spot as their concrete foundations are all that is left and the forest has now grown over them. During your hike you will also catch the smell of coal and burnt cinders from time to time. Most of the trail is packed dirt but there are a few hills that can be slippery especially after it rains. I would suggest wearing hiking boots or a good pair of trail running shoes. This trail has recently received some attention in the form of new bridges. As of August 2010 the park service has been busy replacing many of the bridges in the park. The new structures are larger and sturdier than the ones being replaced. One bridge in particular was an adventure to cross and may have been a deterrent to some, but now all river and stream crossings are possible. If you start your journey from the Red Town parking lot, you will quickly come across an old coal mine shaft. It has been sealed but when standing next to it you can still smell the coal from below. Next to the mine is an information kiosk that will provide you with a little history of the area. It is interesting to read about the towns that were here and try to imagine what life would have been like while traversing the trail of today. On the kiosk you will see a few photos of the miners and their mining village. A little further down you will come to the North Fork Falls along with a few benches to sit and enjoy the waterfall. The falls are not large and it is best to visit them after a few days of heavy rain. From here you will walk through the forest and onto a short section of the trail composed of gravel. The trail is mostly a gentle down hill hike where you will make a few stream crossings on the newly renovated bridges. Soon you will find yourself in a clearing with many black berry bushes, watch out for the thorns as the trail is overgrown at times. Once you make your way back into the shaded forest the trail begins its steep decline. At first you will be hiking down a small ridge but it will begin getting steeper and muddier from here. For this next section you may need to take advantage of the trees and their roots to guide yourself down, especially if the trail is wet. Once at the bottom the trail will level out and you will come to the last two bridges. Once you cross the first bridge you will come to the Forest Drive trailhead. Continue straight to cross another bridge and a short distance later you will see a small retention pond along with the fish ladders at the end of the trail. At a distance of 2.8 miles, 5.6 miles out and back, this hike will provide you and your family with a great short outing along with some history. However if you are looking for a longer hike there are 2 connecting trails, Primrose Trail (.8 miles) and the Forest Drive Trail (about 4 miles out and back depending on route), which can make this a full day hike.

trail running
4 days ago

Great trail!

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail, very well maintained. Was a great hike for the family. Did pick up a bit of trash left along the way, really do hate seeing that.

13 days ago

trail running
13 days ago

Perfect spot for trail running. Great rain or shine because the trees cover you the entire time. Quiet, wide, well maintained trails so you don't loose your footing.

hiking
27 days ago

Love love love this trail!! It's close by but you feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere. Great terrain with just enough challenges without being difficult.

hiking
29 days ago

Did this as an easy evening walk with kids and dog. It is beautiful in the summer and easy to do. It will be closed tho from September to December of 2016 for maintenance.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Only went about a mile in.

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike, my husky loved it. Lots to look at, definitely take the detours if you can.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike right off busy road. Good escape.

hiking
3 months ago

Very nicely maintained. Trail was probably 80% in tree cover. Only a couple actual steep sections (very short) Great trail system.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty nice elevation changes. I'd suggest taking that 0.7 mile detour about a mile in. There's some cool bridges and views of the creek.

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

pretty awesome

4 months ago