Arcadia Management Area is RIís largest Management Area, almost 14 thousand acres, located in the southwest part of the state. It is bisected north and south by Rt 165 and contains areas around Mt. Tom and Escoheag. The area offers a bit of top roping, mainly moderates at Mt Tomís Main Wall and the old test piece at the Halloween outcrop, but is mostly a bouldererís haunt. Much of it is scattered, but some of the best individual boulders of RI are found here, such as the Lost Boulder.
In early RI history Arcadia was a thriving farming community. As you explore the forest, you will find lots of evidence; cellar holes, stonewalls, historical cemeteries, stone cutting and old roads. We can only imagine what boulders were there before they disappeared, split up to make the foundations, hearths and small mills. For an example of the boulder splitting techniques, you should check out the Hudson Boulder and its line of hand drilled holes running through the middle of it for feather and wedges. Thankfully for us, they never finished splitting this one and the holes make a boulder problem. The areaís fields and pastures are now reforested and covered with dirt roads and mountain bike paths.
It is likely that earlier local climbers visited, but by the 1970sand 80s Mt. Tom was certainly getting attention, notably by the Rhody Loadies, who bouldered and TRed lines up to hard 12 and V7. Since then, the highly developed Lincoln Woods pulled most of the attention from South County, but recently a new wave of cleaning and exploration is bringing life back to the area. Excellent new boulders have just recently been found and undoubtedly more are on the way.
Being a Multiuse Area, climbers will be sharing the woods with hikers, mountain bikers and hunters, so be sure to be respectful, and also wear at least 200 square inches of orange during hunting season.
From Providence, go south on Rt 95 to exit 5 to put you on Rt 102 east. This will bring you to Rt 3. Take a right onto Rt 3 south, then a right again onto 165 heading west, crossing back under Rt 95. For parking, see the individual areas. Great Swamp Press
sells a really good map for exploring the area or for mt biking
Weather station 7.5 miles from here
103 Total Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',29],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',21],['Bomb',0]
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