Description: Cougar Mountain consistently delivers easy northwest trails, and we were not disappointed in coming back for more. The Anti-Aircraft trailhead on the north side of the park proved less populated, making parking easier. The trail is likewise maybe a little less used, being somewhat narrow and hedged in by trees. You'll find a few remains of forest giants, their stumps marked with logger holes. It is a flat, short easy trail that leads to a large clay pit. We enjoyed taking a break at the clay pit for lunch, and Droopy bounded up and down the man-made hills like a mountain goat. While the clay pit itself is unattractive, it has a pleasant view, and pretty rocks and soils make it more interesting up close.
Downsides: The trail to the claypit is a bit short and plain. Of course you can always continue on to other parts of the park.
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. Continue past the Red Town trailhead and turn right onto SE Cougar Mountain Way. Turn right onto SE Cougar Mountain Drive. Follow it to the end and park in the gravel parking lot. You'll see a Parks Dept. house and a Cougar Mountain Park sign.
See Also: Cougar Mountain, Red Town Trailhead; King County Parks description, also accessible through our Park page