Mount Gretna offers excellent bouldering inside Governor Dick’s Nature Preserve. Composed of groups of diabase boulders strewn throughout a dense forest, the area can be tricky to navigate without a guide or guidebook but once mastered it takes just minutes to reach the nearest boulders. A great place to train and run bouldering circuits. Fall and spring are the best times to visit. Summer greets you with humidity, deer ticks, flies and dense underbrush.
From the PA Turnpike take Exit 266 (Lebanon/Lancaster) and turn Right after toll booths onto PA 72 (Lebanon Road). Travel approximately 2 miles then turn Right onto Cider Press Road. Continue to Stop sign and turn Right onto Pinch Road. Follow Pinch Road into nature preserve and park at Clarence Schock education center on Right just after State Game Lands sign.
Year of the Dragon is a bit of an anomaly for Mt. Gretna. It climbs a slightly overhanging face on, gasp, actual holds! Plus, the sequence is not cryptic. Start sitting on two crimps. Backstep and work up solid, small crimps to the obvious, beckoning sloping pinch. This hold is one of the best in all of Mt. Gretna. Slap out left around the slight corner to a sidepull. Keep it together and squeeze the right arete to topout. I always felt that it helped to be tall for this problem. I could...[more]Browse More Classics in PA
Due to the Governor Dick Preserve being surrounded by State Game Lands, huge herds of deer are frequently seen in the area, where they are protected from hunting. I contracted Lyme disease in 2001 after picking up a deer tick after a day of climbing here. I also know of at least two other people who suffered it that same year or the next, so check yourself after every visit.