Coal Creek Trail

MODERATE 314 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Coal Creek Trail is a 5.1 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
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
567 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.

hiking
10 hours ago

I was looking for a trail that was dog friendly, not too steep, and has a waterfall, and this one fit the bill. The trail is mostly shaded, with blooming flowers dotting the trail with splashes of color, quite lovely. I went on a weekday and practically had the trail to myself. A few sections of the trail are quite narrow and one section was particularly wet and slippery. Other than that, it was thoroughly enjoyable.

20 days ago

My first trail

hiking
27 days ago

4/27/2018 (Friday) - 1:00-3:00, cloudy, 57F. Newcastle waterline trail northward to 60th St trailhead down to Coal Creek Pkwy crossing. The trail all the way is in good condition, dry, no mud. Before reaching the Primrose fork, I take the new shortcut up to the new trailhead at Newcastle Commons, where there is a new trail map. My loop is 3.7 miles.

29 days ago

Beautiful easy hike. Surprises around every bend!

30 days ago

Lovely. So nearby, while still offering a peaceful, forest get-away feeling.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was very muddy at the bottom. The first half mile is great for kids of all ages. Lots of new things for them to explore. Once you get to the stairs it becomes more for older kids and adults. The waterfalls were amazing as it has been raining the last 2 days or so. There were lots of birds to see as well! Fun half day hike!

1 month ago

great trail close to home. would go back.

hiking
1 month ago

A very easy hike, but the scenery is beautiful. Well worth the time going here.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful. I underestimated how green Seattle is. Trail is pretty manageable. A little wet, a little slippery, but I just have to assume that’s everything out here year round.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Went to the falls and back. Fairly easy and kid friendly.

2 months ago

It was busy trail, but very green and lush. Nice stream. Some people were not happy sharing the trail with other dogs and seemed to be anoyed . Some were nice. Seems to be a populated suburban area and butted up to a housing development.

hiking
2 months ago

Relatively easy hiking, lots of smaller loops and side trails off the main one, interesting history woven into the experience- not too crowded.

4 months ago

Just hiked to falls and back out. nice slow incline nothing dramatic. Lots of people, and dogs not on leash..

5 months ago

Good place to start and end. Updated parking lot helps a lot.

6 months ago

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

6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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.

6 months 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!

7 months 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.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike yesterday but my back door window was smashed when I got back to my car!

8 months ago

great trail...people are nice and traffic is lite

hiking
9 months ago

Found this in my own backyard! Lil gem in the middle of the city! :)

hiking
10 months ago

With a good mix of sun and shade and gradual elevation changes, this well maintained trail offers a relaxing hike along the creek.

mountain biking
10 months ago

Highly recommend you bring pants when biking or long sleeve shirt , lots of poison ivy in the area .

trail running
11 months ago

arrive early so you get parking spots

trail running
11 months ago

This was my first trail run since moving back to WA (home) a few weeks ago after living in North Carolina for the past 5 years... I've gotta say, WA Trails > NC Trails - hands down. Stay pretty, WA.

hiking
11 months ago

Incredible trail, easier to follow river down than back up. Muddy spots after rain, but they're fixing many places and it does make for better waterfalls! Informational plaques are great for history buffs.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

if only there was more parking (only 20 and all full) ...

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

I was a little bummed about this hike. I forgot to write this back in July of 2016 when I originally went. There was supposed to be a waterfall at some point and all I ended up seeing was a small trickle or drip of water. There really isn't a whole lot to see throughout the rest of the trail either. I personally feel that another trail could have been a better use of my time. If you don't go in expecting much, then you'll be okay. But I like views and a destination.

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