Winthrop P. Rockefeller Boy Scout Trail is a 8.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Morrilton, AR that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Boy Scout Trail is a 12 mile loop that encompasses parts of most of the trails in the park which includes the most scenic areas in the park; Rockhouse cave, grottos with waterfalls, cascades, towering bluffs with views, historic structures and much more.
I really enjoyed this hike, but I agree with other reviewers that it could be better marked at some points. I lost track of the markings around the turtle rocks before the grotto and I wandered off a bit and had to backtrack a bit. I can't say enough great things otherwise; great views and long enough to make you feel like you accomplished something. Bring bug spray.
The trail was good, however the experience could be greatly improved with better trail marking especially when it merges with another trail. we spent a lot of our time trying to figure out which way to go instead of enjoying the hike. Inexperienced hikers trying to navigate the trail as it is now could lead to a dangerous and serious situation
This was a lot more than we expected. Take lots of water and snacks.
Great trail! Definitely a long walk/hike, be prepared physically and bring a lot of water. You won't run into many other hikers except when crossing other trails. Also, we found at least 3 geocaches along the way, so keep an eye out and don't forget your map. There are portions where the trail can be lost for a minute, so be mindful of where you are.
First time hiking in about 10 years so this was rough, but definitely worth it.
A good day hike. The Davies bridge is only .25 mile from visitor center. The map/brochure is available from the bulliten board to the left of the entrance if after hours. Save yourself .5 mi and park at the playground betwixt visitor center and Davies bridge.
Cross the bridge and drop down ro Cedar Creek. When there's water it's loud in a good way. Lots of rock and as you move along your white trail will merge w/red. The diamond blazes are then red w/white outline. The BSA trail when merging w/other trails will always have white border on whatever colour the other trail may be. Usually. I did have to drop down early on red blazes only, but shortly after the white borders reappeared.
Leaving the creek there's many rock bluffs, rock house, turtle rocks as you climb up the side of the canyon. You encounter two overlooks/bluffs that this time od year show a lot of green along w/Mathers lodge and other PJ park buildings across the chasm.
Heading uphill into the woods is a nice secluded trail that ends crossing a dirt road. From there it's all downhill on a 7' wide old dirt road to blue hole/Cedar Creek again w/rock stepping stones crossing. From there it's all up to hwy 154. You must continue as the trail parallels the road for 150' to the trail head on the other side. It's also uphill though not as much grade. At hwy 155 you cross and take a slight jag to the right maybe 75'.
A short distance has you intersecting the 4.5 mi section of the Seven Hollows trail. Hang a right and go "backwards". This is the only trail w/mile markers every .5 mi. Almost halfway around is more turtle rocks & the one way grotto spur .25 mi. Finishing the loop puts you at the 7 hallows trailhead, first sign of trash cans and hwy 154 again.
A quick jaunt across and not too far finds you at Mathers Lodge. This is somewhat surreal as you've been hiking in solitude for some time and now you're walking through the breezeway & parking lot w/soccer moms clutching their children protecting the brood from the current danger that stepped out of the woods. On the plus side $1.50 buys a 20 oz cold water from vending machine. Or in my case cold out settling on a powerade type drink over no shortage of sodas. Through the parking lot to the right of the last cabin in the middle cul-de-sac and the now familiar B.S.A. marker looms.
A couple of views from the edge and the trail goes back down to Cedar Creek and a bridge taking you back on the west side where you started.
The map has little detail. I thought I crossed a road that wasn't marked and backtracked from 155 to 154 & back thinking I'd missed the 7 Hallows trl when in fact I wasn't that far yet. This trl map is fine for the shorter trls, but doesn't do the BSA justice. You have to keep your eyes open and at times do a bit of sleuthing to make a determination. Cell phone service is naught in the canyons. Even the crossing at 154 was spotty as I called the visitor center to find out only that I wasn't at the wild hog crossing before losing the signal. All in all the trail is well marked though some spots are momentarily tricky and for me required a few more steps to come to correct conclusion. My 12 mile hike ended up being 13. I had no compass, GPS or additional map.
I'll go back, but I will reconfigure the route eliminating certain sections whilst adding others for an even more enjoyable experience.
Poorly marked trails make it somewhat difficult at times to figure out where you are and where to go. I started at Mather with the intention of looping around (it's totally possible), but it was difficult to navigate via the map and markers. All and all, it's an easy hike--but expect to encounter little traffic along the way. Bring water.
The Boy Scout Trail was an excellent trail with beautiful views, infused with tests of endurance. There were various elevation shifts, changing terrains and sparsely placed markers (Tip: Keep an eye-out for white spots on trees and boulders). My girlfriend and I finished the trail in roughly 7.5 hours; keeping an aggressive pace, although, taking time to enjoy special places e.g. Turtle Rocks. Also, we had plenty of water (3 L hydro-packs) and snacks, which helped keep us energized throughout the journey. Have a safe hike.....B~
NOTE: Check-in and check-out at Ranger Station is required for this trail (Safety #1)
Completed in a little over 5 hours, wish we had hiked counter clockwise to avoid so much uphill. Beautiful trail.
If you're in the mood for a mild butt kicking, this is the trail for you. Starts you near Turtle Rocks and the Bear Cave Trail (which is a small diversion, but worth it), and takes you completely down the mountain, then back up! The trail encompasses the vast majority of the park and takes you to some amazing bluff views of the waterfall, right by the Blue Hole, connects with the 7 Hollows, and challenges you at every turn without breaking you. It's a great trainer trail for anyone planning on taking on some of the more strenuous systems out there, and the views will blow your mind. This is easily my most frequented trail.
Beautiful! Def a long trail, We did bits and pieces. We got side tracked with the other trails and ran out of time. I see reviews of poor markings, it must have been improved as we did not find the white trail, BSA, hard to follow. Look down when on the rocks it is painted!
Highly recommend this hike! We did the shorter 8 mi version in about 4h15m by cutting out the 4-mi Seven Hollows Trail but still enjoyed the beautiful views of Cedar Canyon, Cedar Creek, and Cedar Falls. Also saw Turtle Rocks, Rock House Cave, and Bear Cave. Like other reviewers suggested, definitely hike it counter-clockwise to avoid a long uphill on the northwestern part of the loop. Make sure you grab a trail map from the visitor's center because the BST crosses over almost every other trail in the park so you can easily wind up on a different trail but each trail is very cleared marked so as long as you know which blazes to look out for you'll be fine.
3 Stars solely for the trail markings. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL TRAIL however, the trail is very poorly marked in places. We met 5 people just today that were lost while following the trail. My wife and I got lost three times, mostly where the trail meets other trails. So if you hike this trail you need to pay attention. And guys, if you think you're lost let your wife figure it out. They are better at it, at least mine was! Shout out honey!! ;)
This trail piggybacks on a few of the other trails which give you a great variety of scenery. There are tons a large rocks, caves, natural bridges, waterfalls and of course it's the most secluded of the trails. It's about 12 miles so plan the day around this one. Though it's not to rough of a hike, there are a few rocks and steep areas to get by so at times it can be strenuous.
Boy Scout trail offers a great full day of hiking. Definately hike counter clockwise and you will save a lot of uphill climbs. The trail offers so many scenic areas it is hard to list them all, waterfalls, scenic views, great rock formations, historic cabins and more. This is a must do in Arkansas.