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Boy Scout - Barnicoat, Nelson

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Boy Scout - BarnicoatBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Talei Hayward

Info Info

Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson


Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

1:45 (Slow)
1:20 (Moderate)
0:50 (Fast)



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The track start isn't signposted so I have taken photos and will describe as best I can. From the Barnicoat Walkway Carpark, follow the sealed road up to the gates of the quarry. There is a bridge to the right; cross this. Follow the path to a fork, then take the left fork towards Involution. When you see the turn off to Involution on the left, don't take it - continue straight ahead instead. You will soon come to a stream and a sheer rock face with a rope attached. Here, the fun begins! Cross the stream, climb the rock face and continue straight up the hill for 2 kms. It's a gut buster but you'll love it! Near the top the track will branch left, right and straight ahead. Go straight ahead. At the next junction, head left and follow the trail all the way to the top where you can have a breather before beginning your descent and taking in the views. At the top there is a sign showing the start of the Barnicoat Walkway. Follow this trail all the way down. At the first skid site, take a left turn and continue on the 4WD gravel road which wends its way downhill. At the second skid site, take the left road again. When you are nearing the bottom there is a little track on the left which will lead you straight back to the carpark (not sign posted).

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Features of interest

Native forest, pine forest, ridge views, uphill scrambling, gentle downhill descent.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 25%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 45%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Follow Marsden Valley Road right to the end. Park in the Barnicoat Range Walkway Carpark. The track starts at the very end of the sealed road next to the quarry gates.

    Parking is available at the Barnicoat Range Walkway carpark.

    9 km

    15:00 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Generally good.

    Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Cellphone.

    Take your own water as none available.

    Probably hazardous going up Boy Scout in heavy rains - I imagine it would be like walking up a waterfall or a river.

    You may encounter mountain bikes on Barnicoat but they're usually heading up the hill rather than zooming down.

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