Safe Harbor South Rock Climbing
Dusk on the walk back to the car.
Over eighty bolted single pitch sport routes along an abandoned railroad bed, a bit south of Safe Harbor Dam. Many of these have updated stainless steel hardware since their reopening in 2011, while some include 1980's or earlier vintage bolts and cold shuts.
Approaching from south to north, the climbing sectors reached (in order) are: Blood Sugar Magic, Electric Co., Tenuous Odyssey, Machismo, Super Slab, Autumn Arch, the Righteous and the Wicked, Numero Uno, Train in Vain, and Hydroman.
Eric Hörst's Safe Harbor Climbing
website has a few mini-guide to climbing the south areas. The area divisions used here are his.
From Lancaster, Pennsylvania, take New Danville Pike south to Conestoga (5 miles from Central Park, Lancaster). Turn right on Main Street (3 1/2 miles). When Main Street ends in a T-intersection, turn left of River Road, and you will drive through Safe Harbor Park.
If your party has more than one vehicle, leave them at the park, and carpool from there.
Continue on River Road south for over a mile. Turn right on the winding and rural Green Hill Road. After around a mile, the pavement ends. Follow the road right and downhill, following a flower preserve sign. You'll reach the tunnel shortly; drive through it. Park your carpool on the far side of the tunnel, on either side of the road, making sure not to block traffic. There's enough room for many vehicles to park here.
Check for recent "No parking" signs, in case of recent changes.
Walk from your parked car back through the tunnel, and follow a side trail uphill next to high tension power lines. It will connect you to the old rail trail (with no rails left) where it crosses over the top of the tunnel.
Warning: If you end up on the lower rail trail, with rails and trains running on it, you're off-route.
Hike the rail trail north to the first sector of Safe Harbor South (around 1/2 mile).
Weather station 1.8 miles from here
116 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',24],['2 Stars',70],['1 Star',20],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Safe Harbor South
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Safe Harbor South
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Safe Harbor South:
Featured Route For Safe Harbor South
Hydroman 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PA
: South Central PA
: ... : j. Hydroman Sector
The historic first sport route to get bolted in Safe Harbor.Little pockets, sometimes sharp, and just enough holds for fun, thoughtful climbing. Left-hand pocket used to get to the not-as-good-as-you'd-like horizontal near the top had a piece break off on Sunday. Was a little wet/dirty inside, and somewhat sharp, but usable. Crux was right at the top for us. My partner worked up the arete to the right and had a tricky step left to get to the anchors. I stayed in the corner, eventually getting a ...[more] Browse More Classics in PA
BETA PHOTO: Area overview, Blood Sugar Magic sector not shown,...
the tunnel at the far side parking
Sunset over the Susquehanna, from Safe Harbor Sout...
Our very own "carriage road"
Looking upstream at Safe Harbor Dam from the south...
BETA PHOTO: Safe Harbor South's walls parallel old electric li...
By Adam Marcus
From: Arlington, VA
Mar 28, 2015
The following bit of the "Getting There" section is pretty confusing: "On the uphill side of the tunnel off Green Hill Road, follow a side trail uphill next to high tension power lines. It will connect you to the old rail trail (with no rails left) where it crosses over the top of the tunnel."
Here's some clearer directions: A few feet from the northeastern side of the tunnel on Green Hill is the start of an unmarked climber's trail that leads from Green Hill Road to the Enola Low Grade Trail (the rails-to-trails trail). Walk through the woods for 5-10 minutes, mostly uphill, until you emerge from the woods onto the Enola trail, which is 50+ feet wide, completely covered in gravel, and flanked by a line of power lines. Turn right (north) and walk until you see bolts on the wall to your right (about 1/8 to 1/4 of a mile).
Start of climber's trail from Green Hill Road to Enola Low Grade Trail
By Adam Marcus
From: Arlington, VA
Mar 28, 2015
The powerline poles that run along the trail have plates with numbers. The tower closest to the trail to Green Hill Road is T 14. The tower closest to the Port-o-John is T 23.
Plate on one of the powerline poles showing number (T 23)
By Ben Harris
Jun 9, 2016
there is literally no shade. so wouldn't recommend on a hot sunny summer day