The Bells Mountain Trail starts from Moulton Falls State Park between Battle Ground and Yacolt, WA. The first half mile is on the bike path that runs on the South part of the park. Take a left at the sign and head for a 1.5 climb through Douglas firs, Maples, and ferns. At the top is the first of several clear cuts. On a bluebird sky day, Mt. St. Helens and the Yacolt Valley comes into clear view.
The trail winds its way through more trees, timber harvest fields, and an occasional logging road for a few more miles. The trail splits with no sign. Either direction leads back to the trail, but the left side is better maintained. The trail follows Cedar Creek until the Cold Creek Campground. There is a small waterfall with a viewing platform that makes a nice stop for refuelling.
Follow the Bells Mountain trail up a small hill. Bells Mountain trail ends in 1.5 miles when it connects to the Tarbell trail. An out and back at this point will be 17.8 miles. At this time, there is a lot of logging at the junction, so the Tarbell trail may be hard to track, but it’s a great way to make an even longer run. There are also mountain bikers and target shooters in this area, so take caution when continuing on. The Larch Mountain trail is just down the road to the right.
This trail is great year round as it drains well in the winter time and the spring makes for a barrage of wildflowers. In the summer, the East Fork of the Lewis River in Moulton Falls Park is a great swimming hole to cool off. Park early on hot days as this is a popular spot for nearby residents.
See the video of the Northwest Dirt Churners group run in Bells Mountain with Shane, Rob (plus two dogs), Travis, Jameson, Stephanie, and her dog.