Visitors to the North Fork Loop Trail will see several different forests and enjoy views of the lush Cispus Valley. The trail is adjacent to the North Fork of the Cispus River, and departs from the North Fork campground, making it a great option for people staying there.
The trail begins in the North Fork Campground, which is open between May and September. Near the start of your trail is a guard station, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1937. Proceed 0.3 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain to access the loop itself.
This section is the steepest of the trail; once you reach the loop, the trail flattens out and travels counterclockwise. The southern section of the loop follows the bluff overlooking the Cispus River Valley, weaving among Douglas-firs and Hemlock with maple and dogwood in abundance. Most of the big trees are the remnants spared from logging in the 1960s and are beginning to close canopy producing a cool dark interior with sparse understory.
It is possible to extend this hike by adding on a jaunt down the River Trail at the base of the lollipop route.