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. Note that Scout Track is easier to ascend than descend.

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 Stoke

 

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 helpful.

Description

Cross the vehicle bridge at the road end (just up from the car park) and follow the gravel road up the valley (which is part of Loop Track). The road climbs steadily uphill for 800 m to the historic Ngawhatu weir; along the way you’ll pass the Loop Track turnoff across Poorman Stream on the right, and the downhill end of Involution on the left. Scout Track begins on the opposite side of the stream beneath the weir, where you’ll find a steep, slippery slope with a rope to help you up.

 

Alternatively, to avoid the rope climb section, begin as above, but turn right onto Loop Track (not signposted) before you reach the downhill end of Involution, and once across the stream and on the other side of the valley, turn left at the junction (turning right will take you back down the valley to Glider Road). This track will take you across a tributary of Poorman Stream and to the foot of the spur where Scout Track starts. A short climb up the spur is where the weir rope section described above connects on the left (the best way to visualise this is with the map).

 

From here the track 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 may also notice connections to a couple of other well-defined but poorly-marked extensions to Scout Track on the right, above the first intersection with Involution. These are difficult to describe as there are multiple places you can link back to the main Involution track, but ultimately they run parallel to the latter and reconnect with it just below the top of the range. Be very mindful of bikers above the Scout Track-Involution junction. 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.

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Tramping

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Biking

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. Note that Scout Track is easier to ascend than descend.

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 stoke

 

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 helpful.

Description

Cross the vehicle bridge at the road end (just up from the car park) and follow the gravel road up the valley (which is part of Loop Track). The road climbs steadily uphill for 800 m to the historic Ngawhatu weir; along the way you’ll pass the Loop Track turnoff across Poorman Stream on the right, and the downhill end of Involution on the left. Scout Track begins on the opposite side of the stream beneath the weir, where you’ll find a steep, slippery slope with a rope to help you up.

 

Alternatively, to avoid the rope climb section, begin as above, but turn right onto Loop Track (not signposted) before you reach the downhill end of Involution, and once across the stream and on the other side of the valley, turn left at the junction (turning right will take you back down the valley to Glider Road). This track will take you across a tributary of Poorman Stream and to the foot of the spur where Scout Track starts. A short climb up the spur is where the weir rope section described above connects on the left (the best way to visualise this is with the map).

 

From here the track 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 may also notice connections to a couple of other well-defined but poorly-marked extensions to Scout Track on the right, above the first intersection with Involution. These are difficult to describe as there are multiple places you can link back to the main Involution track, but ultimately they run parallel to the latter and reconnect with it just below the top of the range. Be very mindful of bikers above the Scout Track-Involution junction. 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 July 2020