Description: Although technically a county park, Cougar Mountain sports 36 miles of trails over 3,000 acres. We started at Red Town leading to Coal Creek Falls, which ended up being a nice half-day easy hike with a few steep areas. Droopy got to see his first horses too! The terrain was varied, from flat paths with deciduous trees to mossy fern-filled sections reminiscent of the rain forests. On the way back via Quarry Trail which has some interesting rock formations, we passed a meadow undergoing a restoration project complete with signs and descriptions. It is one of the easiest hikes we've encountered with a waterfall view, and we had a great time! Incredibly close to Seattle with many hiking options, we'll definitely be going back to explore more trails.
Downsides: Leashes required.
Directions: Take I-90E to I-405, exit 10. South on Coal Creek Parkway for a couple miles, then left on SE 72nd. Turn left at stop-sign onto SE Newcastle Coal Creek Road, and after a couple miles you'll see the "Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park" sign on your right.
See Also: Cougar Mountain, Anti-Aircraft Trailhead; King County Parks description, also accessible through our Park page