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Coal Creek Trail

EASY 428 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Coal Creek Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Renton, 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.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 567 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

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
2 days ago

Love this trail system. My 10 y/o son and I went from one end to the other and enjoyed every moment of it. Easy enough for him to keep up and plenty of cool spots to rest when necessary. He is also very interested in history and this trail offers several places that describe the history of the mines in the area. He really enjoyed it.

hiking
3 days ago

Take the connecting Primrose Trail if you want to bypass the new construction housing that is right next to the main trail. Go early if you want parking from the Coal Creek Pkwy side. Lots of families and dogs on this trail. Really disappointed in people leaving their bags of dog poop by the trail head and scattered along the trail. Otherwise, this was a great hike for my 8 year old, minus the complaining about it being 5 miles.

hiking
4 days ago

Green, so much lush green, sparkled by the sunlights. Elegant shades. Easy walk. 2 hour back and forth from Coal Creek Pkwy trailhead to redtown. Good for kids and beginners.

hiking
4 days ago

The waterfall was only a small trickle, but very well maintained trail.

9 days ago

this is a nice trail. good for kids

hiking
13 days ago

Had fun nice and quiet. Not difficult but decent exercise.

hiking
16 days ago

great trail with a variety of scenery. enjoyed very much and learned some more about the history of this area.

hiking
17 days ago

the elevation was excellent. great variety of trails and scenes. a huge plus- getting to know the history of the area. beautiful!

hiking
25 days ago

Really enjoyed the trail. Very very green. Nice soft and smooth trail.

1 month ago

This was my first hike, I don't have another trail or hike to compare to, so I'm rating this 5 stars based on ease and how much fun I had with my friend, who is an experienced hiker. As we started on the trail, there was a poster warning of a recent cougar siting. While we didn't see any cougars (whew!), we saw a couple of dead moles and a few slugs and snails. Some narrow paths, but easy to navigate. This was a fun, easy, and quick hike to do on a Tuesday morning/afternoon. I would recommend the Coal Creek Path to all, and specifically for new/inexperienced hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Relaxing for a Sunday stroll with a little bit of incline throughout. Nice views and fresh air. The trail was busy and parking is scarce.

hiking
1 month ago

Very lush, green, pleasant and quiet (except for me on the way home), and with well marked trails. My pug and I went before 7 am, had a great time, although I had to carry him over the metal ramps on and off the bridges. Once at the top I saw warning signs about bears and the possibility of a cougar sighting, with the suggestion to make noise, not to hike alone, and keep kids and dogs close by. As a result, I felt a little nervous, and made make noise on the way back talking on the phone and playing music aloud. I only ended up seeing a dead mole, live slugs and a snail, as well as a few other people with and without dogs. I have no interest in ever seeing a cougar while on foot.

muddy
1 month ago

this was a nice but steep hike. I wasn't super happy with it. boring for the gain.

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful trail with my family. the waterfall didn't have a lot of water though

hiking
2 months ago

Black bear! So cool! It was half mile in from the coal creek parkway trailhead

hiking
3 months ago

Nice parking and easy well maintained trail. Was not expecting the coal creek historical markers on the way through the trail ... nice job to the trail administration for adding this local historical feeling...great day and I learned something as well about those that built the city before us.

hiking
3 months ago

Fair terrain, well maintained, and good views and historical checkpoints throughout. Good for dog walking, running, or simply hiking.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice casual walk with the dog. Great trail little bit up-and-down.

Super easy trail. Pretty area. Would definitely come here again

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Really pretty forest and easy trail. Very quiet and peaceful except for the sound of the creek. Very muddy this time of year (February). If you’re looking for a quiet solo trail experience this is it. It felt a bit monotonous to me part of the way but it could’ve just been my mood at the time... wasn’t my favorite trail experience but was worth checking out and definitely another option if you need nature/activity and away from the city. I’ll give it another shot in a few months.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Easy-mod hike. Great peaceful neighborhood trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Very peaceful hike. You can hear the creek the entire time. Very spiritual for a full moon/lunar eclipse day. With the recent rains, it was pretty muddy, but fine if you have waterproof hiking boots. At the end I was able to rinse the bottoms of my boots in the creek. Bring a towel for your dogs feet or you may have muddy paw prints in your car. Enjoyed every minute.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

I’d say this is more easy than moderate and that’s coming from someone totally out of shape. The elevation gain is pretty much all in one spot of the hike. For the most part the trail is dry but there are a couple spots that are pretty muddy. There are quite a few different starting points to choose from as well.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Nice, easy hike, just a couple of short climbs. One really muddy patch about .75 miles in but otherwise a beautifully maintained trail. Peaceful other than an area where new construction is right on top of the trail. The falls were underwhelming but they’re probably more impressive when it’s wetter. Saw a couple of golden-crowned kinglets, a wren, and some towhees as well as the ubiquitous sparrows and juncoes.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

This is a great hike. There are a couple of loops you can pick from, depending on your preference of moderate or an easy hike. There is a steady flow of water beside the trail which makes it so peaceful.

6 months ago

Great hike! Moderate and a little muddy as expected, but beautiful scenery and some fun history! Slept in and decided to go somewhere close spur of the moment and it was perfect. Thanks for the recommendations!

6 months ago

Love it beautiful jungleland looking hike

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