The first Appaloosa Trail was created by a riding club and informally developed sometime in the last century. Now a new and well-constructed route, the revised Appaloosa Trail is 6 miles (round trip) that originates at Rock Creek Campground and wends its way to Hidden Falls.
This is a connector trail that goes from the west side of the 25-mile Tarbell Trail Loop to the east side and one of the latest of the Department of National Resources (DNR) trail projects in the historic Yacolt Burn State Forest of southwest Washington.
As a connector trail The Appaloosa can also be used to make intermediate-length day hikes. The trail begins by crossing Rock Creek on the first of three bridges. A mile further is the confluence of Rock Creek and Coyote Creek and a second crossing. From here the trail generally follows the south side of Coyote Creek through a forest, a half mile on an old logging road, then bridging the stream a third time and following the stream bank.
At approximately halfway the trail surfaces on another logging road, but 160 steps uphill the trail returns to a newly planted forest and then into an intermediate growth forest. Signs will be erected late 2021.
Eventually the route reconnects to the Tarbell and finishes near the creek’s origin at Hidden Falls. Along the way the forest changes from deciduous riparian to a mature coniferous one — interspersed with tree plantations in various stages of growth. The trek is considered easy with no steep ascents and family friendly. The trail was constructed by the Department of Natural Resources with participation by Backcountry Horsemen, Washington Trails Association, and The Washington Conservation Corps.