Federation Forest State Park is a day-use natural area with 619 acres of old growth evergreens. Located along the White River, the park provides visitors with 12 miles of hiking trail, three interpretive trails, an interpretive center with a gift shop and four picnic areas.

This was a decent hike to do with three young kids. As you head away from the Interpretive Center on the West loop, you’ll encounter signs indicating the trail is closed due to hazardous conditions. Not to be deterred, we ignored those. Seems like the warnings were due to some muddy conditions. The bummer was that when we got to the far end at Meadows Gate, we had two choices, turn around and retrace what we came through or walk back along 410. There was no finding the North Trail. It was entirely overgrown. I wish there had been signs about that at the center, we never would have ventured so far. A beautiful area but we’ll stick to the small trails next time.

Unfortunately, I missed the sign at the interpretive center that read, "Trails on the north side of the highway are open with obstructions".

I planned to cross the highway after parking, then take the north trail west until it met the highway again, cross, then hike the trails on the southern (river) side.

The first clue maybe this wasn't a great idea was the overgrown TRAIL sign - anyway, I turned west and started my odyssey. The good news is the rangers have blazed the trail, look for the orange and red streamers in the trees, the bad news is that without the blaze the northern trail disappears in many places. It is very overgrown with combinations of young blackberries, and just about every other plant and weed that leaves you covered in burrs and sticky seeds. There are a lot of tree falls, again thanks to the rangers and whoever else did trail maintenance as a lot of the logs were sawed through to make the trail passable.

On the south side, at least one major trail is closed but everything else appeared open and in great condition. Lots of views of the white river and some old growth.

This is a good place to hike - just stick to the south side of the highway :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

7/4/2017 (Tuesday) -- Just try a very small section of trail from parking lot to the riverside. The park has education facilities, perfect restrooms, well-maintained trails with interpretation, but lightly used. So it is definitely worth a visit.

I took my 4 girls on our first hike. We love walking in the woods and making up stories about Fairies, Trolls, etc. It was very easy and fun. I will do it again.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

This was a great trail in the snow with our dogs! Beautiful forest along the river. Dense trees, so not really mountain views (on our overcast day), but beautiful river views, and stunning forest, as is everywhere in Western Washington. Only saw one other group while we were there. We wore snow boots, which was fine on the hard, old snow. If there had been lots of fresh snow, snowshoes may have been helpful. Parking (pullout on side of road) is NOT maintained, so have 4/all-wheel drive, and be prepared! Overall a great easy hike, and easy to get to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A great trail full of gorgeous views. It's pretty easy and only takes about 1 1/2 hours to get around, and there is a nice stopping place at about the halfway point for a break. Easy enough for the kids to tag along but just enough of a climb and distance to feel as though you're getting some exercise in.

I wouldn't really consider this a hike, since there's no elevation gain at all. It is a really nice place to take a leisurely stroll, or to bring littler kids who might not be able to handle more strenuous hikes. I went in March, and it was muddy in a lot of areas, but also fairly deserted, which was kind of nice.

I will still provide a little analysis, but let me say upfront that the trail is BORING, and you should definitely SKIP it. If you want to move on to another review, go ahead. For any of you still reading this, there are much better trails in the area (Snoquera & Skookum Falls are two that come to mind) and even before climbing on 410 near Mount Rainier, I would even recommend the lackluster Mud Mountain Rim Trail (right outside of Enumclaw) over this catastrophe. The trail(s) basically wind through an old growth forest that isn't even close to the sheer beauty of the Hoh Rainforest. The only real feature is a trail that leads you to the White River. Considering you hug the river all the way up to Mount Rainier there are way better spots to access it. This trail was a complete waste of time, I ended up heading up to the park and did some hiking around Chinook Pass just to make the drive worth something. I promise you, drive on by, you are not missing a thing!

the bottom trails are great, flat and lead to views of the river. the top trail is pretty overgrown from people not using it, it's a little more intense and the trail ends with down trees. you either have to go back or make your own trail to get to the road.

Pretty old growth forest. Very easy trail, practically no elevation gain. More of a nature walk than a hike. Great for small kids.

The trail is nice and well kept. The reason my dad and I went on this hike was to find the gnome village and we never found it.

Beautiful trails that are well marked and well maintained. I'm not sure how they calculated 4 miles for this group of trails. It's fairly flat. Right off of 410 so a lot of road noise. I also recommend some bug spray.

Monday, May 29, 2017