Licorice Fern Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Renton, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Part of the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. This is one of the most secluded hikes within Cougar Mountain Park. Often you will have this trail to yourself with the exception of the occasional local trail runner. There are two main entrances to the Licorice Fern Trail. The first, and longest route, is to hike from the Red Town parking area which would be about 8.5 miles round trip. However, if you are looking for a shorter route you can access the trail by parking at the 171st Ave cul-de-sac. There is plenty of curbside parking even on the busiest of weekends. The trail starts off with little elevation gain. The trail can be wet and muddy at times as there are many small streams that form during the rainy season. As you make your way south you will need to cross a paved road to enter the second half of the trail. The trail becomes narrower and you will see quite a bit of elevation change as you make your way down through a ravine. For this part of the trail I would not suggest strollers as the trail is narrow and steep in areas. Overall the Licorice Fern Trail is a great hike if you are looking for a local secluded hike that provides you with the feeling of being miles from civilization.
One of the bridges on the upper post of the trail has a large deadfall across it, but the bridge is still passable.
Quiet, peaceful and gentle walk through ferns and massive trees. Worth it b/c we only saw 10 people for a two hour amble on a Sunday. Couple little hills but nothing too challenging. Fair amount of loose gravel and little bridges.