The Ford Slope Mine exhibit at Cougar Mountain in Issaquah is easily overlooked as the masses surge onto the trails at the Red Town Trailhead, which sits on the far side of Cougar. For a good map, see here. The history of Cougar Mountain is a mess of coal mining and later on as a NIKE site for the US government.
To find the trail, look for the main trail area out of the parking lot at Red Town Trailhead, and look for W2 trail (also labeled Red Town Trail). This trail follows along Coal Creek, along the forest. In winter the green of the ferns and moss glow in the gloomy skies.
Yes, there is a shorter way to the mine, but I made this into a hike for the boys and we used a number of trails to make an easy loop. Little children love water, so make the miles fun.
Ford, Walker and Alistaire on a bridge over a stream.
With all hikes, snack time is the best time for children.
Ferns grow well here in the forest, on the rotting stumps of the old forest.
Coal Creek meandering through the forest.
Walker and Alistaire in front of old coal mining cart.
We took Wildside Trail W1 and connected to Rainbow Town Trail W3 to find the mine exhibit.
Where said oldest son found it only slightly amusing I found an area with his name in it…….
We eventually meandered back to the van and called it a day, to warm up and find some more snacks.