Fern Gully Scenic Area Bushwhack

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Ozark National Forest

Fern Gully Scenic Area Bushwhack is a 2.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mulberry, Arkansas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.9 miles Elevation Gain: 331 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

rock climbing

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

rocky

scramble

Fern Gully is known for its rock cliffs that have become popular with rock climbers. In high water one waterfall called the Rocket Slide, is popular among kayakers. Though it is quite a bushwhack to get there. One can bushwhack a mile or do five. One can easily spend a day exploring. There is a small gravel parking lot at the trailhead. If you follow the bluff south a short distance you will find a bear crack to give you easy access to the valley floor.

nature trips
off trail
rocky
12 days ago

It was very beautiful out there!!! wouldnt suggest going in a car, had a tricky time down the road and finding a parking spot! Its so natural and not so domesticated!!! Its VERY easy to get lost out there!!! Awesome adventure really!!! Definitely going back!!!

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
15 days ago

A lot of fun! We got lost at first. If you come to a road closed sign you’ve gone much too far. Don’t get confused by the game trail markers. We actually never saw one marker for this trail. You’ll enter to your left. By the trail map It seems like you don’t start descending until after it loops around. You actually descend rather soon, and before the trail loops. We were turned around and actually had turned back. It’s truly a Bushwack, you have to leave the main trail to find where you descend. It’s not marked. We just walked over and checked each opening and looked down the bluff for the descend point. The waterfall and the cliffs were an amazing treat! Make sure you bring water shoes if you want to get in, the bottom is full of slippery rocks. If you want to take a shortcut out after the waterfall you can actually climb right up to the dirt road. It’s just straight up the rocks, next to the waterfall. Head left out and that road runs back into the road at your starting point.

off trail
over grown
rocky
19 days ago

Beautiful rock formations, definitely worth the bushwack!

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful scenery, with lots boulders, ferns and moss. The trail isn’t well marked; but I guess that’s what bushwhacking is. It was fun to explore, and there are several small waterfalls and a great swimming hole. Not too many people on the trail; but, several rock climbers and campers. This would be a great camping spot!

hiking
blowdown
off trail
1 month ago

Lost the trail, because of poor marking. Ended up coming down the slot canyon on a game trail, but had a BLAST exploring. Will DEFINITELY be back to camp and photograph the beautiful scenery!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This was not a well marked trail or any sort of trail. More like wandering in the woods until you found your way down the cliff side and wandering in the valley trying to find a way out. Views were not that great.

hiking
1 month ago

What a great little gem. Definitely off the beaten path but I was surprised to see all the bolted climbs. You might need 4 wheel drive to access the campsite off to the west of the Service road and the northern part of that access road is steep, rocky and wet. No one was there when my daughter and I explored in April which made it feel like the place was ours, but the trail at the bottom of the cliff suggests that it is well traveled during other parts of the year or on weekends. We did not find a spot to Kayak as the water in the creek was low, but perhaps the next time we go up there, we'll hike in further. Either way, if there is a kayaking spot, you will have to portage a long way. Definitely a cool swimming hole though if you are so inclined. Also for those interested, here are the coordinates to help you find the little camping area: N 35° 37.0550 W 094° 00.4200 The area of interest is just to the west of that camping area. Several trail heads lead from there, feel free to take any of them and you find your way. There are two narrow access roads that form a loop and meet at the campsite, the southern most entrance is the easiest to enter and exit and is located just northwest of the entrance to Wilson lane off the Forest Service Road 1544. Be sure to bring Tick juice and watch out for snakes sunning themselves on rocks. We did not see any this trip, but have seen them elsewhere.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Wasn’t that bad! Not a lot of great views. Tough hike for beginners.

4 months ago

Fabulous trail! We read other reviews and were a little confused. So 100% follow the Alltrails GPS. The trailhead does have a little parking area, but that parking area is down a sketchy little road not the little parking area off the main road, you have to go further up as the GPS indicates. (if your coming from Mulberry) The trail is simply amazing. Yes it is rocky so naturally if its wet its gonna be slick. Perfect place to throw up a hammock and do some light rock climbing. I used my Alltrails Pro to help me get back to the trail when we strayed off. It is marked in blue and white markers. FYI kid and dog friendly hike.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

Don’t underestimate this trail based on distance. It’s difficult to find the trail and difficult to stay on it. The footing is not solid and there are any number of places to fall and hurt yourself. That being said it’s beautiful and isolated. I didn’t encounter a soul and had the whole place to myself. Navigation is key and If you’re not prepared to trek through brush, go later in the year. Pro tip: GPS is probably not enough to see you through here. You’re gonna want a good old fashion compass and topographic map just in case your phone fails you. Also bring a poncho or rain coat just in case. I got caught in a lightning storm during my trek. The weather can turn fast.

hiking
muddy
washed out
11 months ago

Probably a really fun trail when it's dry.

recorded Recording - May 28, 12:54 PM

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
Tue May 28 2019

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