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Coal Creek Trail

MODERATE 162 reviews
#1 of 2 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
715 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.

3 hours ago

1 day ago

2 days ago

hiking
2 days 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.

6 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

7 days ago

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

hiking
9 days ago

15 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

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.

hiking
19 days ago

Another nice afternoon hike along Coal Creek. The trail climbs from Coal Creek Pkwy to Red Town so a loop starting at Coal Creek Pkwy is easier than the other way around. Don't miss the Primrose trail on your return loop - this has what appears to be a very large, new bridge. Most of the mud has been graveled over recently so trail conditions were fine..

hiking
22 days ago

29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for beginners or folks who want to get out and see nature. Mostly very flat, good views for most of the hike. Situated with a neighborhood on one side and a busy street on the other. Great trail for family, dogs, and smaller children

1 month ago

A good hike but was rather muddy in places. Was definitely tired when we were done.