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Bellevue, Washington, United States

Red Town Trail

Part of the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.8 miles / 1.3 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: The Red Town Trail is one of the first trails you will come across when entering the park. From the information kiosk walk forward and keep left at the trailhead marker. The trail is very wide when compared to its connecting trails, but it is composed of a mixture of large and small rocks.

The trail is named after a mining town by the same name that existed in the late 1800's. The houses were mainly red, hence the name, and served as a railroad depot where coal was carted from the nearby mines to Lake Washington. Other than the houses there was a large hotel in the town which you can still see the boiler rooms foundation.

The trail is fairly easy to navigate, it is wide and other than a few bends in the road is fairly straight and level. There is some elevation gain to the trail as you leave the parking lot but it shouldn't be an issue as I have seen off road baby strollers being used on the trail numerous times. The only thing I would suggest looking out for are the larger rocks where you can roll your ankle. As you walk up the trail you will be surrounded on both sides by large Douglas Firs. On the first half of the trail you will encounter many people, especially on sunny days, as the trail is the main route to many of the parks waterfalls. If you stay on the trail you will begin to see fewer people but that's not to say that there is nothing to see. If you are hiking in the Spring or Summer you can view some amazing wild flowers towards the end of the trail. After a few twists and turns you will come to a horse watering hole (this is closed in the winter due to freezing). To the right you will see a sign for the meadow restoration project. Following the path, you will shortly come to a gated area and a bench to rest your feet. There are several informational signs in the area that describe the local flora in the meadow. Now that you know what you are looking at enter one of the two gates and explore the short loop of wild flowers. Once done you can return to the trail from the route you took or cross a bridge just North of the meadow which will connect you to the Indian Trail.

This is the most frequently used trails on the west side of the park because of how many trails it connects to. Most people hike the Red Town Trail to access the Coal Creek Falls Trail where they can view the popular Coal Creek Falls.


Tips: 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. The parking area holds 25-30 cars and has additional parking is to the left of the entrance.

This trail is one of the first trails you will come across when leaving the parking area. Follow the sign heading South on Red Town Trail. At the end of the trail there is a quick detour where you can see the restoration effort of the meadow lands of Cougar Mountain.

Connecting Trails:

-Cave Hole Trail
-Bagley Seam Trail
-Rainbow Town Trail
-Indian Trail

Park Hours:

The park is open year around from 8:00AM to Dusk

Amenities:

-There is no drinkable water located on the trail. Water
should be brought with you.
-At the end of the Red Town Trail there is a water source
for animals, it is located to theleft of the meadow
restoration project.
-The nearest restrooms are located at the Red Town
Trailhead just to the left of the information kiosk.

Points of Interest

Information
map

Cougar Mountain Kiosk

Here is where you can pick up a paper copy of the trails map. There is also other information such as volunteering, lost items, and emergency contact numbers.
map

Red Town Trailhead Marker

This is the beginning to the Red Town Trail; follow the trail to the left to start your hike.
map

Downed Tree

In the fall and winter months, downed trees are common. Use caution when hiking the trails as the conditions can change quickly.
Junction
map

Cave Hole Trailhead Marker

This is one of the most popular trails to take as it will bring you to the Coal Creek Falls Trail. Make a left onto the trail and then take a right when the trail forks to see the waterfall.
Junction
map

Bagley Seam Trailhead Marker

This is the trailhead marker for the Bagley Seam Trail. You can make a right on this trail for a quick detour to see a coal seam.
Junction
map

Rainbow Town Trailhead Marker

This is the Rainbow Town Trailhead Marker. There is a great coal mining exhibit a short distance down the trail if you wish to make a short detour.
map

Douglas Firs

Some of the numerous trees that can be seen along the trail. They are evergreen trees so they can be viewed at any time of the year.
Junction
map

Red Town Trail

The Red Town Trail on a rainy day. The trail contains many rocks so watch your step as it does get slippery.
Water
map

Horse Watering Hole

In the warmer months water is available to horses and pets.
Junction
map

Meadow Restoration Trailhead Marker

To the right of the Red Town Trail is a path that leads to the meadow restoration project. Follow the creek to a picket fence to see the local fauna. The best time to view the meadow is in the spring and summer months.
Landmark
map

Path towards the Meadow Restoration Project

The path leads the way to the meadow restoration project.
Information
map

Meadow Restoration Information 1

This sign gives a little history on the meadow restoration project and dedications.
Information
map

Meadow Restoration Information 2

A sign describing the local reptiles such as frogs and lizards and how they work with nature.
Information
map

Meadow Restoration Information 3

This information sign explains the flora in the area.
Landmark
map

Creek Crossing

A short bridge over the creek. Once across you will be at the crossroads between the Red Town Trail, to the left and Indian Trail to the right.
Junction
map

Indian Trailhead Marker

This is the end of the Red Town Trail and the start to the Indian Trail.
Pictures in this guide taken by: gbhoskins

Red Town Trail Trail Map


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About the Author

gbhoskins
gbhoskins
25 guides
view gbhoskins's profile
Just moved back to the Pacific Northwest and love exploring new trails.

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