NELSON TRAILS

Scout Track

Marsden Valley and Barnicoat Range

Scout Track is a walking track that climbs from the head of Marsden Valley to the top of Barnicoat Range, connecting with Involution part way up. Known for being steep and a bit rough, Scout Track goes more or less straight up the range, meaning the uphill gradient is unforgiving. Nonetheless, it provides an enjoyable challenge through beautiful native bush surrounds, and can be combined with other trails to create a longer loop.

Details
Length2.4 km (from Marsden Valley Rd to top of range – includes some of Involution)
Time Required45 min going up
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking and trail running
DirectionUphill
Start Elevation150 m (Marsden Valley Rd) or 250 m (weir)
Finish Elevation715 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Marsden Valley Conservation Reserve


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Access

  5 min from Nelson

 

The start of Scout Track is only a 5 minute drive from Stoke up Marsden Valley Road. At the end of Marsden Valley Road there is a small car park on the right, just before the quarry. Here you will find an information panel with a map and details on trail times and distances. There is also plenty of room to park alongside the road. Scout Track is much rougher than the other tracks in Marsden Valley-Barnicoat Range, so good footwear is necessary.

Description




Cross the vehicle bridge at the road end (just up from the car park) and follow the gravel road to the weir, which heads straight up the valley (Glider Road forks to the right and crosses Poorman Stream). The road climbs steadily uphill for 800 m to the weir (you’ll pass the downhill end of Involution on the way). You can also get to the start of Scout Track by climbing the first 100 m of Glider Road, and turning left onto Loop Track (not signposted), which heads along the southern side of Marsden Valley to the foot of the spur where Scout Track starts (see map).

 

At the weir you will find a steep, slippery slope with a rope to help you up onto Scout Track. Scramble up this slope and follow the track as it climbs steeply up the range through native bush dominated by kānuka and five finger. From the weir it is only 600 m horizontally to the intersection with Involution, but a vertical climb of 315 m. The average gradient is around 50% and is reasonably consistent the whole way up. Note the predator traps and nest boxes on either side of the track, which are maintained by Marsden Valley Trapping Group.

 

Involution has effectively replaced the upper portion of Scout Track, though the latter does continue straight uphill, intersecting Involution as it sweeps back and forth down the hill slope. You can take either track for the remaining distance to the top of the range, though if you are taking Involution be very mindful of bikers coming down the track. Involution connects with Jenkins Hill 4WD Road and Widdershins at the top of the range (715 m elevation).

 

To return to Marsden Valley, there are several options; you can head back down Barnicoat Walkway or Glider Road, via Widdershins. Alternatively, you can head back down the way you came, though instead of going back down the Scout Track, continue down Involution for a gentler downhill gradient.

Scout Track
Marsden Valley and Barnicoat Range

Scout Track is a walking track that climbs from the head of Marsden Valley to the top of Barnicoat Range, connecting with Involution part way up. Known for being steep and a bit rough, Scout Track goes more or less straight up the range, meaning the uphill gradient is unforgiving. Nonetheless, it provides an enjoyable challenge through beautiful native bush surrounds, and can be combined with other trails to create a longer loop.

Trail Details
Length2.4 km (from Marsden Valley Rd to top of range – includes some of Involution)
Time Required45 min going up
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking and trail running
DirectionUphill
Start Elevation150 m (Marsden Valley Rd) or 250 m (weir)
Finish Elevation715 m
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Marsden Valley Conservation Reserve


If any layers fail to load, try clearing your cache and refreshing the page.

 

Access

  5 min from Nelson

 

The start of Scout Track is only a 5 minute drive from Stoke up Marsden Valley Road. At the end of Marsden Valley Road there is a small car park on the right, just before the quarry. Here you will find an information panel with a map and details on trail times and distances. There is also plenty of room to park alongside the road. Scout Track is much rougher than the other tracks in Marsden Valley-Barnicoat Range, so good footwear is necessary.




 

Description

Cross the vehicle bridge at the road end (just up from the car park) and follow the gravel road to the weir, which heads straight up the valley (Glider Road forks to the right and crosses Poorman Stream). The road climbs steadily uphill for 800 m to the weir (you’ll pass the downhill end of Involution on the way). You can also get to the start of Scout Track by climbing the first 100 m of Glider Road, and turning left onto Loop Track (not signposted), which heads along the southern side of Marsden Valley to the foot of the spur where Scout Track starts (see map).

 

At the weir you will find a steep, slippery slope with a rope to help you up onto Scout Track. Scramble up this slope and follow the track as it climbs steeply up the range through native bush dominated by kānuka and five finger. From the weir it is only 600 m horizontally to the intersection with Involution, but a vertical climb of 315 m. The average gradient is around 50% and is reasonably consistent the whole way up. Note the predator traps and nest boxes on either side of the track, which are maintained by Marsden Valley Trapping Group.

 

Involution has effectively replaced the upper portion of Scout Track, though the latter does continue straight uphill, intersecting Involution as it sweeps back and forth down the hill slope. You can take either track for the remaining distance to the top of the range, though if you are taking Involution be very mindful of bikers coming down the track. Involution connects with Jenkins Hill 4WD Road and Widdershins at the top of the range (715 m elevation).

 

To return to Marsden Valley, there are several options; you can head back down Barnicoat Walkway or Glider Road, via Widdershins. Alternatively, you can head back down the way you came, though instead of going back down the Scout Track, continue down Involution for a gentler downhill gradient.




 

Updated 18 February 2019