The first section of the Toutle Trail begins at the Kalama Horse Camp, where ample parking and camping are available. The trail crosses a gully and follows alongside the Kalama River. This part of the trail heads due east along the north side of the Kalama River and makes its way to an overlook of McBride Lake before heading on to the Red Rock Pass Trailhead on Forest Road 81.
Start out paralleling the Kalama River, keeping an eye out for American Dippers playing in the current.
At mile one, the trail climbs up on a bluff and heads further east. Here enjoy views of Mount St. Helens, Goat Mountain and Mount Adams. On bluebird days, you may even be lucky enough to get a peek at far-off Mount Hood. Two feeder trails converge or diverge along the way: Kalama Ski Trail (#231), and Blue Horse Trail (#237).
Continue on, eventually crossing the Kalama River then ascending to an old-growth forest and an overlook of McBride Lake, (really more of a marsh). This marshy river valley occasionally hosts grazing Roosevelt elk, as well as a happy collection of birds and small forest critters.
This is a good place to turn around, or carry on and descend to Red Rock Pass on FR 81, where a car shuttle can be stationed.
You can also continue hiking on the Toutle Trail from Red Rock Pass to Blue Lake.