This is one of my favorite trails to run on within the Cougar Mountain Park. It has a lot to offer in the form of scenery, access to... more » other trails, and challenge. This trail can also be difficult to navigate if this is your first time hiking the trail. The first half of the trail seems to end with you having to walk 30 feet in either direction to locate the next trailhead marker. However if you are following the GPS route in this guide you should not have any problems.
Heading out from the parking area you will come to a trailhead marker for Red Town Trail and Wildside Trail. Take the path to the right to begin down the trail. The trail starts off wide and well maintained, however once you arrive at the first bridge the trail can get muddy. Once you cross over the stream you should see a short set of wooden stairs leading up. At the top of the stairs is the junction point for 3 different trails. Head to your left and continue on for 30-40 feet and you should see the trailhead marker to continue on the Wildside Trail. This is where the trail gets muddy; I would suggest having an extra pair of shoes to change into to keep your car clean. Once over the two small bridges you should not have any problems navigating the trail. In about .4 miles you should come to another trailhead marker for Marshall's Hill Trail. Continue straight and the end of the trail will be .3 away from the last junction. This last section can be really muddy; I have had mud come up past my high top boots on a few occasions. When you come to an area with two railroad ties sticking out of the ground you will be near the end of the trail. At the end of the trail you can make a left and take a look at the retention pond, but I would advise against this if you are hiking in the summer time as there will be mosquitoes.
The Wildside Trail offers the quickest routes to the Bagley Seam Trail, Rainbow Town Trail, and Steam Hoist Trail. I would suggest taking this trail if you are trying to see all of the mining exhibits in one day. While it is not a difficult trail it does offer more of a challenge than other hikes on the West side of the mountain. less «