The narrow end of a recently found boulder showing...
Ponds, rhododendrons, rocky ridge lines and erratics; the area in south western RI, bordering Connecticut, around Rockville, would arguably be the best area in the state for rock climbers if it was all accessible. Thanks to the rocky local geology, there are numerous small cliffs and big boulders. Much of it has been protected from commercial development, but it is under quite a patchwork of dominions, so figuring out access can be complicated.
The rock around Yawgoog and Wicheck Ponds is mostly controlled by the Boy Scouts. There are some ledges along the hiking trails right on the CT border that climbers could play on in the past, but the Boy Scouts seem to have gotten much more aggressive in taking possession of the area and won’t allow climbing unless you are connected with them.
The area between Long and Ell Ponds also has a few crags, some of which would have decent roped climbing if allowed. The Smith brothers put up a few lines here many years ago so you may see some rusting pins if you explore around. Unfortunately, this spot is now controlled by the Audubon Society. They and the Nature Conservancy are pretty rabidly anti-climbing and they have a ranger who patrols. So, hike around these areas (it is quite picturesque, especially when the rhododendrons are blooming) and enjoy the fact that they are protected, but forget legally climbing there. To get an Idea of the Audubon and TNC bounderies, consult this map: www.asri.org/download-document/longpondmap.html Some of the land south of the Audubon land, on the other side of Stubtown Rd, is now posted as TNC land also
Enough of the depressing access issues. Fortunately it is fine to climb on DEM land, and that includes a strip of land along Long Pond where the Deception Boulder is, along Canonchet Rd and around Blue Pond and some of Ashville Pond. The land south of Ell Pond down to Stubtown Rd is also DEM land. Other parts of Stubtown are mixed, with one of the best clusters recently posted Private. There is however quite a bit of quality bouldering in the legal areas and locals are bound to sniff out more. When climbing here, pay attention to signs, be discrete and be polite to any land managers or owners you might run into and you should be able to have fun and avoid any hassles.
Take exit 2 off of Rt 95 and go north on Woodville Alton Rd, which will make a T with Rt 3. Take a left onto Rt 3 and in less than a mile, take a right onto Conanchet Rd, a picturesque back country NE rd. Try not to bomb by the houses. Just after a small mill (Green Plastics) Stubtown Rd is on the left, or continue on Conanchet past Ashville pond for the Blue Pond Boulders and Long Pond.
Alternatively, you can drop in from the north off Rt 138.
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