Hike or Run the Licorice Fern Trail

Washington Licorice Fern Trailhead

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The proximity of this trail to Seattle combined with the low volume of people who come to it makes for a perfect, zen-filled escape, a tranquil workout, or a romantic walk in the woods. 

From Seattle, take the I-90 E to exit 15. Make a right on 17th Ave. This street will later become Renton/Issaquah Rd. Drive about four miles then turn right on to May Valley Rd. Make a sharp right onto SE 112th St. This street will soon turn into 169th Ave SE as it turns left. The trailhead is right after that turn. Find easy parking along 169th and locate the little hiker sign. 

This is a quiet trail for those looking for a moderate two to three hour hike, or a solid trail run. The first section is quiet, narrow, and solitary, while the second section is wider, airy and with slightly more traffic, both human and animal.

The trail is split into two sections by a road--SE Licorice Way. The first section descends then gains elevation quickly. After about 0.8 miles, you will come to a paved road. This is Licorice Way. Note that as you cross Licorice Way towards the wooden posts, you will see a sign with an arrow to the left. Continue along the gravel trail and you will find another sign on the ground that will lead you back into the woods.

Continue along this path, keeping mind that there is private property to the right. The trail will branch after about 0.2 miles, keep left. The trail ends on the "Indian Trail" in a T intersection with a sign. Turn left, down a trail you can take to see the Far Country Lookout one quarter mile away, signed for the S1 Far Country Trail. Go uphill, and follow the sign to the shortcut.

On your way back, turn right onto the Indian Trail and continue for about 0.2 miles to visit the Far Country Falls. The sign can be found on the left.

Pack List

  • Ten Essentials
  • Camera
  • Trail shoes (flip flops not advised)
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How to Get There

5 months ago

Great Quick Hike

Perfect for a quick day hike. Some good uphill work and beautiful scenery.

5 months ago

11 months ago

Great easy no-fuss local hike

If you are looking for adventurous or strenuous keep looking. But if you are looking for a great easy, short, & no-fuss local hike this is a perfect hit. Also you'll likely only bump into a few people.

11 months ago

11 months ago

Nice, easy, quiet hike

Beautiful hike for a warm day...escape the heat inside the damp green forest. On a beautiful Sunday we only encountered a handful of other visitors. Couple notes on this one: - Parking is weird...shoulder of the road, not obvious, easy to miss the sign. Keep your eyes peeled! - At one point the trail emerges from the woods and crosses a main road. It's not totally obvious where to pick it back up. Make a left as soon as you cross the road and walk along the shoulder of the road until you see the trail resume back into the forest.

11 months ago

Added by Nick A.

Activities:

Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

500 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic

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