Distance: 2.5 miles or more
Elevation Gain: 250 feet
Maps: Green Trails Oso No. 77 and Granite Falls No. 109
Description: Beginning along an old road bed, this trail starts out gentle and wide. Soft duff cushions the way, and large trees grow tall, offering shade and lush greenery. The Boulder River rushes by, mostly unseen until the trail narrows and becomes more trail-like. Soon you’ll reach the highlight of the hike: Feature Show Falls, coming down the cliffs on the opposite side of the river. There are steep paths down to the river (muddy when it’s wet) that lead down to places to sit and enjoy the day. Have a snack and decide if you want to continue on – there is not much else besides pretty forest after the main waterfalls, and the trail peters out after a couple of miles.
Directions: From Seattle, drive north on I-5 to the Arlington/Darrington Highway 530 exit, #208. Head right toward Arlington, and stay on Highway 530 through that town. Pass milepost 41 (a little over 23 miles from the freeway) and turn right onto French Creek Road. Recent reports suggest this gravel road has lots of potholes, but should be accessible to any car. Drive to the end of the road and the parking area. No permits are needed; there are also no toilets or other facilities at the trailhead. I recommend stopping at the outhouses along French Creek Road before you get to the trailhead (or find a bush!)
Links: See the WTA description and read current trail info.