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Coal Creek Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bellevue, Washington that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 5.1 mi Elevation gain 567 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Historic site
Description
Waypoints (10)
Tips

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. 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. 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.

How to get here: From I-90 East take Exit 13 and make a right at the stop sign. Continue to follow Lakemont Blvd SE and the Red Town Trailhead parking lot will be on the left, about 3 miles away. This is also the Cougar Mountain parking area. The Coal Creek trail is just across the street from the parking area. Use caution when crossing the street as there is no cross walks. From Interstate 405, take the Coal Creek Parkway exit which leads you to the city of Newcastle; turn left on Southeast 72nd Street and then another left onto Newcastle-Coal Creek Road. There will be a small dirt parking area about 1.8 miles from the exit. Park Hours: The park is open year around from 8:00AM to Dusk

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Reviews (683)
Photos (588)
Recordings (599)
Completed (2071)
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Jer Noelle Camot
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Hiking
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Jocelyn Terry
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Hiking

I did this hike two week in a row. This is a good hike. Kid friendly. There is some history. Would do this again.

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Saydie Bear
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Saydie Bear
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Brendan Luecke
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nice family walk. good for kids

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Britt Ness
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Great!

Very well maintained. We saw A LOT of garter snakes in the blackberries. Even with back tracking the trail came out to 4.3 miles from the parking lot

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Jennifer Alder
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HikingClosed

Got to trailhead and saw 3 signs saying trail is CLOSED MON-FRI

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Issa Tecle
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Kiran Sagili
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HikingGreat!

Small hike but worth it Nice hike for elders

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Ananthakumaran Srinivasan
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Hiking

Good

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Saydie Bear
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Hiking

one area roughly 1mi in you lose signal also several areas with sewer manholes that smell pretty bad of course overall pretty good. mostly flat, but the hills are somewhat steep

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Tracey Gilliana
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Hiking

Excellent! Easy trail. It was raining but the trees kept us dry. Trail head parking is close.

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Aileen Santiago-Romano
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Joe Danger
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Melyssa Morell
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Hiking

Love how close this trail is to the city. I parked at the Coal Creek Parkway parking lot, and followed the red town signs out and the coal creek parkway signs back to the car! The “falls” are a bit lackluster but hey I can’t complain for being so close. I got there at 8AM and walked for around two hours, lots of runners so please pay attention! It got busy on my way out. Good for walking the pup!

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Jenna Berman
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Hiking

The trail was a beautiful hike through the forest and great for beginners. Car was broken into in the lot and belongings stolen so be careful to not leave valuables. Other than that would go back.

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Kuldeep Singh
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Hiking

Pretty decent and easy one. Good for running and morning/evening walking. Excellent for Kids.

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Johnny Ma
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Hiking

Very relaxing

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Kirk Reagan
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Hiking

Nice easy trail waterfall is at the very beginning

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Dee Mag
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Hiking

Started at 8am and only a handful of cars in the parking lot.

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Joe Sanzere
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Hiking

Parking lot gates open today.

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Paul Velocity
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RunningGreat!

The smaller parking lot was closed today but this trail can still be accessed by the parking lot off Lakemont Blvd SE. Lots of shade made this a pleasure to run in the heat. nice wide trails for the most part and large clear signage. I followed signs for Coalcreek Pkwy on the outbound and signs for Red Town on the way back.

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Kaela OLeary
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Helene Liobard
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Great!

Awesome hike so close from the city!! my puppy and I loved it. The road to go to the parking was closed but it was still possible to park close to the trail. Went on a Saturday morning, by mid-day it was getting pretty crowded.

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Maoji Li
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Hiking

Very nice trail. Good for family.

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Chris Goettl
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Hiking

Great trail right in town but feels like deep woods! Well maintained trail through beautiful forests and travels along a creek. There's a few large ancient stumps from the original forest that used to be here. The waterfall is pretty cool for being right in town. Nice bonus! Up towards Cougar Mountain trail head there are some inturperive signs of the old coal mine and rail that used to be here. Some elements of old buildings and mine shaft still remain. Highly recommend to take the Primrose Side Trail. It stays along Creek and is way more beautiful then the main trail that seams to bypass the most pretty section. Watch out for the Paper Wasp nest about in the middle of the Primrose trail right above your head on a tree limb. It's about the size of a small watermelon. There was an orange cone right near there.

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Sasikumar Vishal
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Hiking

It was one of the best trails that we have gone so far. Very relaxing to walk to the sounds of the flowing creek. Ample opportunities to get in the creek and watch it flow. Many places where we can get near the creek or even dip our toes in it. Great to be out and about in these corona times. Saw mushrooms slugs & snails.

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Sindhura Kilaru
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it is a little steep where we started off and could not hike for long.. So could not witness the waterfall. so I would suggest checking the map beforehand and plan accordingly what places you want to hike l.. but had really great time observing stream flows almost all the way along the trail.. parking is available at all the trail heads. a wheel chair access restroom is available at a park which is very near to the trail.

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Tenaya Davis
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HikingMuddy
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Whitney Bowes
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HikingMuddy

My window was punched out at this trailhead around 10am, signs everywhere stating “don’t leave valuables in your car”. Luckily I never leave anything in my car so nothing was stolen, but it still sucks. Most likely won’t be back. Trail was also very muddy in spots.

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