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Boomscooter-Bumping Knots Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Williams Creek, Bumping Knots Loop (bobcat)
Boomscooter Trail, Stub Stewart State Park (bobcat)
Sign at the Hollie's Point of View Trail junction with the Banks-Vernonia State Trail (bobcat)
Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa), Bumping Knots Loop (bobcat)
The route described traced in red (Courtesy: Oregon State Parks)
  • Start point: Hilltop TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Bumping Knots Viewpoint
  • Hike Type: Double loop
  • Distance: 9.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1630 feet
  • High Point: 1200 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This hike forms a northern and southern double loop along the west side of L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park, named after a former logging company executive, Oregon state legislator, and advisor to the state parks department. Connecting the two loops, you can make use of the Banks Vernonia State Trail (See the Banks-Vernonia Traverse Hike). The park is all secondary or tertiary growth coniferous and deciduous woodland, with some open areas, having been logged heavily in the past. While the northern end is more heavily used, the Bumping Knots Loop stretches down the west side of the Williams Creek valley and is more remote. You will see sign of deer, elk, and coyote, reach the creek itself, and also stop at a couple of viewpoints.

From the Hilltop Day Use Area, head uphill to the end of the parking lot and pick up the gravel Boomscooter Trail. This heads up over a grassy knoll and then switchbacks down twice into young Douglas-firs before appearing below the Cabin Village. Keep straight on this trail and enter mature Douglas-fir woods with vine maple, cedar, Oregon grape and sword fern. At a junction, go left on the Bucking Pass Trail and head steeply down a muddy track. Pass through a salmonberry thicket and cross a creek before coming to the junction with the Swing Donkey Trail. To the right is Boomscooter Pond: you'll probably observe a few ducks floating about. Head down Swing Donkey and then rise, recrossing the creek in a ferny gully. Young big-leaf maples and alders line the trail. At an unmarked junction, Swing Donkey swings left; keep straight here on Matchcutter’s Lane. This trail heads straight into a young Douglas-fir plantation. Cross a berm and head down the ridge crest. The actual trail drops off to the right before the end of the ridge. The path narrows at a slide and winds down to the Banks Vernonia Trail-Matchcutter’s Lane Junction, where you go left.

Walk down this paved trail. At the Banks Vernonia-Bark Spud Trail Junction, you can take a little diversion off to the right on the Springboard Horseshoe, which gives a more intimate view of the older forest here above the West Fork Dairy Creek. Rejoin the Banks-Vernonia Trail and pass a forest pool to the right under maples, cedars, and Douglas-firs. Soon cross the park entrance road, and then come to the Banks Vernonia-Hollie’s Point of View Trail Junction. Go right along the old railroad maintenance track. This is a straightaway that curves left through a cutting and comes to the Bumping Knots-Hollie's Point of View Trail Junction. You can go left a little way to the end of Hollie’s Point of View and a bench with no view to speak of down to the Brooke Creek valley. Bumping Knots heads along a ridge crest in young Douglas-fir forest and then drops down into a dense Douglas-fir plantation. The trail levels in leafy woods and then rises under maples, alders and Douglas-firs to reach a crest. The trail, now a wide road bed, drops in open alder woods with a sword fern carpet. Reach a sign which signals the beginning of the Bumping Knots Loop (2 ¾ miles).

Go left on the wide track and get views of Williams Creek flowing below. In the wet season, the trail becomes very soggy here, with large pools of standing water. Reach the level of the creek and head along this bottomland, with its willows, ash, cedars and lots of reed canary grass and blackberries. The road bed rises in drier territory, then drops in Douglas-fir woods with a salal/sword fern carpet. Ahead a railroad trestle appears and one can discern the sounds of Highway 47. The trail heads steeply up to the right on a ridge crest in salal/Oregon grape/Douglas-fir forest, first on an old ATV track and then winding back and forth across this track. There is a lot of elk sign on this ridge! Reach a crest and open area where Scots broom edges the trail and then drop along the forested ridge. At the Bumping Knots Viewpoint, there’s a restricted view to the right taking in the opposite ridge. The trail continues up and down along this ridge until it reaches a muddy road bed, where you go right. Scots broom hangs over the road bed. Head down in alder/big-leaf maple woods and finish the loop to return to the Banks Vernonia-Hollie’s Point of View Trail Junction.

Go right and head down the paved trail 0.6 miles in Douglas-fir forest to the Banks Vernonia-Hares Canyon Trail Junction. Make three wide biker switchbacks up to join an old road bed, where you go left. The trail rises steeply and then levels in a clearing bordered by young Douglas-firs and Scots broom. Pass the Hares Canyon-Brooke Creek Trail Junction, keeping right (Going left will take you to the Brooke Creek Hike-in Camp and the Stub Stewart Welcome Center). The path heads up in dense, dark Douglas-fir forest and then levels. Reach the junction with the Jackstrawed Tarry Trail, keeping right. The trail drops to a junction with Widowmaker Way. Here go right. It’s half a mile to the Hilltop Day Use Area on a wide graveled road bed. After 15 yards, keep right on the road. A sign announces that you're entering the Disc Golf Area. At the Hares Canyon-Bullbucker Trail Junction, go left up the slope. At the junction with the Hooktender Horseshoe Trail, make another left and switchback up to cross the road and reach the Hilltop Trailhead.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $5 day use fee
  • Open for day use 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Restrooms, brochures, information kiosks, campgrounds, horse staging area, disc golf
  • Dogs on leash except in the designated off-leash area
  • Share some trails with mountain bikers and horses
  • Some trails could be closed for rerouting or reconstruction

Trip Reports

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • none

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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