Find an ATV or trail running adventure before summer ends at Fall Creek in Capitol Forest
The end of summer is fast approaching. Now is the time to get outside and enjoy the sunny days before they leave for the season. Mountain biking and running are activities enjoyed year-round, but in the Pacific Northwest they are best enjoyed when the humidity and mud are dry and conditions are perfect for speed. A short drive from Tacoma, find an ATV or trail running adventure before summer ends at Fall Creek in the rugged Capitol Forest.
Fall Creek Trail and Campground
Conveniently, the Fall Creek trailhead is where the Greenline, Wedekind, Lost Valley, and McKenny trails meet, making this area a central location to reach many beautiful places in the Capitol Forest. The trailhead provides access for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians. The trails are well marked with signs and milestones at key locations. Plus, at the trailhead, find a large covered shelter open to all users, complete with a fire pit, ping pong table, and bocce court for fun downtime when you’re not biking, hiking, or hiking. hiking or running.
The cozy Fall Creek campground offers eight campsites, with restrooms and a horse corral for riders. There is access to miles and miles of trails for walking, running, mountain biking and horseback riding right from the campsite. Open on a first-come, first-served basis until October 5, this small, free campground is a peaceful place to rest up at night during adventures in the Capitol Forest.
Be sure to download the Fall Creek Trail System Map before venturing into the forest. Note that routes marked in green are for pedestrians only, and blue trails designate various trails for hikers, non-motorized cyclists, and horseback riders. Also, don’t forget to buy a Discovery pass for $35 per year or $11.50 for daytime use.
ATV at Fall Creek
Cyclists new to Fall Creek quickly put the mountain bike trails in the Capitol Forest at the top of their list of favorites. Hikes of several days are possible without seeing the same area twice. With varied landscapes without too many challenges, this area offers straight lines for speed and curves for fun on two wheels. With all kinds of trails, find shady old and new forests, sunny clearcuts, and beautiful views to stop and enjoy. The tread is good with firm gravel in most areas, making Fall Creek fun for experienced mountain bikers as well as beginners, all just a short drive from Tacoma.
Running at Fall Creek
The Fall Creek area of Capitol Forest also offers runners the opportunity to hike some of the trail’s loops for a fantastic workout in the forest. Suggested loops include the Greenline, Crestline, Wedekind Loop approximately 15 miles, the Greenline, Greenline Tie, Wedekind Loop approximately nine miles, and the Lost Valley Loop approximately eight miles, to name a few. For even more trail, also go to the Mima Falls West or McKenny trails.
For a fast summit open only to pedestrians, Fuzzy Top is a fantastic route for a short trail in solitude. With views of Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, sit back and enjoy the bench at the top before heading back down.
How to get to Fall Creek
From I-5, use exit 95 and continue on Maytown Road SW to Waddell Creek Road SW. Follow Waddell Creek Road and bear right at the first intersection. From Waddell Creek Road, continue west on Sherman Valley Road. At the Noschka Road intersection, head west on C-Line Road for 3.3 miles. Turn left on C-6000 Road and go south 2.5 miles. At the end of the sidewalk, stay left up the hill and follow the gravel to a left turn toward Falls Creek. Falls Creek Campground is on the right just after crossing the bridge.
From hiking, running, and mountain biking to horseback riding and even the ability to set up and camp for a night or two, there are endless ways to explore Capitol Forest. Fall Creek is just one section of this huge outdoor playground. So don’t miss the last summer opportunities to get out and have an adventure deep in the woods, but close to home.
Get more information on outdoor activities by visiting: Outdoor Activities in Olympia and the Pacific Northwest | Discover Olympia.