01/14/2014 Hike to Fern Falls
Fern Falls: N35.89748, W93.19249
Parking location: N35.89291, W93.19023
Turn on trail: N35.89332, W93.19416
Pet friendly: Yes. Easy open trail, bypasses downed trees and obstacles.
Motorcycle friendly: Yes. Just pull off Hwy 7 and park.
GPS track file (.gpx format)
Route file (.anr format)
Getting there is easy. This is one of the few waterfall hikes you can actually drive on a paved road to the trail head. Go north on Hwy 7 from the intersection where Hwy 16 branches off to Deer. Go 3.4 miles north of this intersection and look for the Highway 7 Scenic Byway sign. If coming from Jasper, it is 11.4 miles south of Jasper square. Pull off the highway and park near the sign.
|GPS Track of Hiking Route|
The hike is fairly easy also, as there is a trail to follow the entire way. I would not even classify this as a bushwhack. Go directly back away from Hwy 7 behind the sign you parked by. There is an old logging road that looks like it is used by ATV's. Folks have cut fallen trees off the trail to keep it open. In some areas, the trail diverts from the old trace road around fallen trees, and someone hss marked all those locations with trail ribbon. The trail is used enough that it is clearly discernible. Follow the trail about 0.2 miles from the trail head and turn right onto another intersecting old logging road. The coordinates for this turn are listed above. This old road has much more fallen timber due to past ice storms, and the trail meanders a little more but is still easy to follow. It drops down to East Fork Shop Creek and follows it to Fern Falls. The trail takes you right to the top of the falls.
To get to the base of the falls, you need to cross over to the west side of the creek. About 40 feet back from the falls, there are some large rocks that make a dry crossing easy. Follow the bluff line around the top of the cliff and you will come to a path down next to the cliff.