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Moulton Falls Trail

It’s winter, but you have no excuse for not riding, at least not if you live in southwest Washington.  You have the Moulton Falls Trail to enjoy!Moulton Falls Trail

The Moulton Falls Trail offers easy year-round riding.

Even if it’s been raining for weeks, the trail at Moulton Falls Park has all-weather tread that won’t be slick and muddy.  And it’s a really pretty ride.Moulton Falls Trail

The Moulton Falls Trail runs through beautiful forest and along the bank of the East Fork Lewis River.

The trail follows an old roadbed from the Hantwick Road trailhead to Moulton Falls, paralleling the East Fork Lewis River as it tumbles over boulders and flows through deep green pools.  The trail is wide and has little elevation gain.  For the first 0.8 mile the trail is paved (bleh!), but after that the trail is nicely graveled.Moulton Falls Trail

The Moulton Falls trail is wide and has little elevation gain.

Several tiny waterfalls cascade down the uphill side of the trail as tributary creeks flow to the river.Moulton Falls Trail

Tiny waterfalls cascade down the uphill side of the trail.

Aside from the initial paved stretch, the trail has great footing for winter riding.  In summer its dense shade provides a cool respite from the heat of the day.Moulton Falls Trail

In summer the trail’s dense shade provides a cool respite from the heat of the day.

When you reach the Moulton Falls parking area you’ll come to a short loop trail that visits Moulton Falls and Big Tree Falls.  If you go either direction on the short loop you will soon encounter flights of stairs, so horses cannot complete the loop trail at the falls. You can see the falls on Big Tree Creek, though, by following the loop trail to the right and then walking your horse across Lucia Falls Road.Moulton Falls Trail

Big Tree Falls at Moulton Falls State Park.

Trail Statistics:  The Moulton Falls Trail is 5 miles round trip, with elevations of 550 to 700 feet.  The riding is easy, though there are several bridges.  Hoof protection is recommended. The trail is shared with hikers and mountain bike riders, but since the trail runs along an old road it is wide enough for all users and has long lines of sight.  There is no stock water on the trail.

Getting to the Hantwick Road Trailhead:  From I-5, take Exit 11 and go east on Hwy. 502/NE 219th St.  In 6 miles turn left on Hwy. 503/NE Lewisville Hwy. (NW 10th St.)  Follow it 5.6 miles and turn right on NE Rock Creek Rd.  In 0.3 mile the road becomes NE 152nd Ave.  After 1.2 miles the road veers left and becomes NE Lucia Falls Road.  About 5.3 miles after turning off Hwy. 503, turn right on Hantwick Road.  In 0.4 mile, Hantwick Road makes a very sharp right turn and crosses a railroad track.  The trailhead is on the left in 0.1 mile.

Season:  Year round

Parking Facilities:  Pull-through parking for 6 trailers.  Porta-potties.  No fee for parking.

More Information:  The Moulton Falls Trail is covered in more detail in the Day Rides Around Vancouver chapter of Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, Ponderosa Press, 2016).

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