Mima Falls in Capitol Forest
Hike description: The Mima Falls loop is a peaceful walk in the woods that can be accessed year-round.
This 6.5-mile hike samples a small area on the east side of 100,000-acre Capitol State Forest. The trail crosses roads, but spends most of its time winding through forest young and old.
Enjoy the lush green as you wander past wetlands. The way to the falls is well-marked and after about 1 1/2 miles, signs will direct you to leave the loop for a half-mile walk to the falls.
The falls are short, but scenic and well worth the walk.
The sound and a few signs notify visitors they’ve arrived at the falls. The trail crosses above the falls and doesn’t offer a great view. For the best view, use the short path that drops toward the bottom of the falls.
The falls are a good place to rest. There is a picnic table above the falls.
From the falls, return the way you came. At the intersection where you departed the loop for the falls, you can choose your way back to the trailhead. Returning the way you came will make this an approximately 4-mile hike. Turning left on the Mima Falls Tie Trail will allow you to complete the loop in 6.5 miles.
When we hiked the trail Dec. 1, some sections of the trail were covered with large puddles. It’s best to hike through these puddles rather than damage vegetation by creating your own path around the puddles.
A hike to Mima Falls can easily be extended thanks to many miles of trails in the state forest. Reference a forest map for options.
Directions: From Interstate 5 south of Tumwater, take Exit 95 and follow Maytown Road east to Littlerock. Continue west on 128th Avenue Southwest until it ends. Turn left on Mima Road, and after 1.3 miles turn right on Bordeaux Road. Drive less than a mile to Marksman Street and turn right. Follow Marksman Street until you arrive at the Mima Falls Trailhead.
Difficulty rating: 2 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
Miles round trip: 6.5.
Elevation gain: 700 feet.
Best time of the year: Year-round.
Map: A digital map of Capitol State Forest is available on the state Department of Natural Resources website.
Pass: Discover Pass.
Also: A shooting range is located near the trailhead, and gunfire can sometimes be heard during the first portion of the hike. The Mima Falls Trailhead is a popular spot for equestrians and mountain bikers, but equestrian use is limited in certain areas December-April. Dogs on leashes are permitted on the trail. A geocache is hidden along the route, according to geocaching.com.