This is one of the longest hike options in Capitol State Forest -- weaving through wooded valleys and along quietly flowing creeks, visitors here may discover not only natural wonders but also relics from the time that this area was the home of many a logging show.
Begin at the Fall Creek trailhead. The parking lot is large with lots of room due to equestrian use being allowed on the trail. The trail starts by crossing the creek and continues a quarter mile or so before splitting. Since it is a loop trail, you can choose to go right or left and see all the same sights. To follow Sherman Creek, begin by turning right at the junction. Follow the trail around a small ridge to where Sherman and Lost Valley Creeks meet. As you round the bend, the trail splits. Both sides keep you on the Lost Creek Trail, but the one on the right will take you along a road for a brief stretch.
Continue straight past the road and follow Lost Valley Creek to the junction with the Mima Falls West trail right at the beginning of the creek. If you're looking to extend your hike, you can follow the Mima Falls West trail right and there is a whole other network of trails you can connect to. To complete this loop, stay left on the Mima Falls West trail for .4 miles until you meet with the McKenny trail.
Hang a left and the trail climbs slowly, passing a fragrant field of skunk cabbage as well as towering fir trees. Continue climbing, and cross a logging road, then enter a mature second-growth forest, the result of replanting from the visitors who were here in their log trucks years ago. The trail takes you up and down for 2.1 miles until you reach the trailhead again.
For those looking to adventure in Capitol Forest you can check out https://www.dnr.wa.gov/Capitol where you will find maps of the forest and even a digital and georeferenced map that with an app you have all of Capitol forest at your fingertips and can see exactly where you are in the forest.