Coal Creek Trail

MODERATE 247 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Coal Creek Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bellevue, Washington 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.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
524 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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. 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.

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14 days ago

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17 days ago

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22 days ago

22 days ago

nice trail, nothing too exciting to see but great woodsy walk near the city

hiking
23 days ago

24 days ago

When we arrived to the trailhead we ran into two girls who had their SUV broken into with a smashed in window. **REMINDER** Take ALL of your valuables out of your car before you hike, including registration, car insurance info and garage door opener. The trail was nice, well maintained and only came across a few other hikers. Dog friendly with signage at different posts. Several trails to choose from. We clocked in 5.6 miles total. The waterfall was a nice surprise as well as the cave. Enjoyable

hiking
28 days ago

Loved this hike. So peaceful and the trails were well maintained. I recommend doing the Primrose loop. This hike was moderate. I have to admit I did get winded a few times but I made it. The scenery was Beautiful.

hiking
30 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail 10 minute drive from home!
From Coal Creek Trailhead 3 miles to Cougar Mountain Trailhead turned around 3 miles back. Lots of history and information about the coal mine. Beautiful fall colors. Creek sounds nice along with many birds singing. Pay attention to signs or you might end up down the wrong trail like I did... a few times.

1 month ago

Love this trail for a nice moderate hike near seattle. The drive is easy and I’ve never had a problem with parking. There are a series of trails that loop throughout the mountain and a great map posted at the trail head. I tend to add or skip extra trails depending on how I’m feeling. A few waterfalls and views throughout. Be aware that not everyone leashes their dogs though. I stopped a a view point for lunch and a golden Retriever ran up and stole the other half of my sandwich sitting next to me!

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

it was an ok hike with the littles. Hiked around 5 miles. can't wait to come back in spring time out when there is rain to see the falls better. They were all dried up.

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1 month ago

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1 month ago