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Twin Falls State Park — October 2009

By Erin Meier

If you are a moss lover this is a perfect hike for a rainy morning. I reached the trailhead around 8 am, and enjoyed this hike immensely, absent the multitudes that arrive later in the day. The trail begins along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Alnus rubra, Symphoricarpus albus, Rubus spectabilis and Acer circinatum crowd the sandy banks scattered with large boulders.

Kindbergia oregana and Rhyticiadelphus loreus grew profusely over the boulders that line this riverside trail. Adiantum pedatum, Polystichum munitum and Athyrium filix-femina glistened in the morning mist. Polypodium glycyrrhizza sprang forth from majestic Acer macrophyllum that crowded the trail swathed in hirsute suits of Neckera douglasii. I was pleased to recognize some Lobaria pulmonaria by the tiny orange growths on its ridges.

As the trail rose and moved away from the river, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Thuja plicata became more prominent. At the top of the hill we caught our first glimpse of the waterfall, captivating in the morning light and mist of a rainy day. I noticed some Rubus ursinus though none of them bore fruit. When the trail meanders back toward the river you will see a gigantic old growth fir. As we moved uphill again we saw several more. Eventually you will see a set of stairs on your right that lead to a spectacular view of the falls.

Follow the trail farther and you will cross a bridge directly over the falls. From the bridge you will see young Tsuga heterophylla and Acer circinatum tucked between the rocks. Go a little farther and you can get one more good view of the river and a small fall. Some Vaccinium parvifolium grew at the edge of the precipice just out of reach. If you like you can follow this trail uphill and connect to the Iron Horse trail. Otherwise turn back at this last outlook (apx. 1.6 mi.) and enjoy a lazy afternoon back in Seattle. A familiar, but idyllic walk through a northwest lowland forest.

Driving Directions: Follow I-90 to Exit 34. Turn south on 468th Ave SE. Before the bridge turn left onto SE 159th which ends at the trailhead.

Updated: July 3, 2016
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