Mileage: 8.6 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 700/1550ft
Map: Green Trails Oso No 77, Granite Falls No 109
Favorite Eats After Hike: Mirkwood and Shire Café
1/31/2015 Another wet day in the Pacific Northwest? Time for a river trail. We had a large group with us today for hiking, including kids, so we opted for this mellow but rewarding hike. The parking lot was full and cars extended down the road, so we knew we would have company today. The trail starts off on a old railroad bed but don’t be fooled. You will still have some rocks and roots to maneuver (as well as some creek crossings to hop across) and you can expect the trail to be muddy in lots of places. The moss dangled from the old growth and the forest floor was covered in wide variety of ferns. The waterfall was rushing pretty well, and the river was almost a milky blue with the churning over Boulder Falls. We saw quite a lot of people, including a Boy Scout troop.
I remember going here with my mom a few years back and we had the trail to ourselves. With publicity and the the new sign out on 530, lots of folks are discovering this gem of a trail.
Directions: From I-5 take Hwy 530 (exit 208). Exit right toward Arlington. Stay on 530 through Arlington and in 23.6 miles, turn right onto French Creek Rd, just after MP 41. There is a nice large brown sign indicating the trail. Follow French Creek Road on good gravel to its end at the TH. There is parking for about 15 cars. The only bathroom is a mile in from the turnoff on French Creek Rd.
For another lazy river hike nearby, click HERE.