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.

1 month ago

Great trail for all. I hike it regularly with my 6yr old.

1 month ago

beautiful Hick today

walking
2 months ago

Fun hike close to home. There were some steep hills that work your calves. We took our dogs and ran into quite a few people with dogs. Started this hike about 2 and it was moderately populated. There was a little bit of water in the waterfall.

2 months ago

So nice to meander along the Coal Creek looking for little babbling smallerfalls and enjoying the coolness of the little valley. Up to Primrose Loop and back to the main path is nice to get an out-of-city experience in the shade, while staying within the city limits. Bonus points for the gorgeous and plentiful creek bridges all smelling freshly of oil and pine:

hiking
2 months ago

Much of the trail follows a beautiful stream through relatively dense woods and ferns. The trail is both long and attractive, especially considering its proximity to the city.

2 months ago

great walk with the dog definitely had some switchbacks but I was able to make it without a problem

hiking
2 months ago

Good for a morning walk with a buddy! A little anti-climatic at the turn around, but interpretive signs were pretty interesting. I’d do it again.

2 months ago

Beautiful forested path along a creek. Some elevation. Dog friendly.

trail running
2 months ago

Coal Creek - Red Town Hike. It’s Good. You can walk or run (almost) through the entire trail. Half of the trail runs by the side of the creek. It’s serene.
Without rain there is little water at this point, but it’s still beautiful. Reasonable amount of Parking space down at Coal Creek Parkway. Kids friendly, Dog friendly.

2 months ago

nice trail, good historical markers telling history of the coal mining that went on at the trail location.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy hike. Great for trail running. Mostly shaded from the sun. Hikers and runners be alert. A Cougar and kittens were seen a few days ago. The cougars were seen in the northernmost section of the park near Coal Creek Parkway SE and 119th Avenue SE off of I-405.

2 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail! It was well kept after and the dogs and I liked the little bit of trial you could walk through the water. It was their first time in water and once we got to the little waterfall they didn’t seem to mind. Nice, quiet and not heavily trafficked on the weekend we went. We also sort of happened luckily upon the little waterfall, we had no idea because the trial markings weren’t the best that we were coming up onto it.

walking
3 months ago

Easy. super chill. moderate traffic. have gone with my 3 year old. We love to look at the river rocks.

walking
3 months ago

Easy trail with some hills and plenty of offshoots that give your dog lots of access to splash around in the creek. I never did catch the smell of coal.

trail running
3 months ago

Very very mellow. Plenty of shade. Would probably be great for kids.

3 months ago

Nice and easy hike!

4 months ago

Great hike not crowed, shaded & easy!

hiking
4 months ago

Great local hike! Family friendly!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail - just a heads up today around 12:45pm a black bear (mama) and her two cubs were spotted. As to be expected in nature - just want other hikers to be aware.

4 months ago

great and easy for beginners.

hiking
4 months 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.

5 months ago

My first trail

hiking
5 months 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.

5 months ago

Beautiful easy hike. Surprises around every bend!

5 months ago

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

hiking
6 months 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!

6 months ago

great trail close to home. would go back.

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months 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
6 months ago

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

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