The Beach is yet another collection of great sandstone boulders in southern Illinois that are fun to play on! This collection sits along side the mighty Mississippi River for a stretch of a half of a mile or so. There are currently approximately 70-80 established boulder problems with possibilities for more. The rock is pretty high quality and river polished. The landings range from perfect soft sand to medium sized, ankle breaking talus with a few pads and spotters coming in handy more often than not. The Beach can feel cooler than other areas in the summer due to the open nature of the boulders in contrast to other areas in So Ill buried in the woods seeming to trap in the humidity. This coupled with the river a stones throw away can make for somewhat comfortable summertime conditions for a session especially in the mornings and evenings. One drawback to the beach is the fact that the number of problems that are climbable can change from day to day due to changes in the water levels and the fact that the boulders can border the river. For current water levels check www.rivergauges.com - Mississippi River - Grand Tower, IL. Please consult "Sandstone Warrior" by Matt Bliss for a great comprehensive guidebook on The Beach and many other areas in So Ill and Elephant Rocks, MO
Along route 3 in southern Illinois you will find the village of Gorham. Approximately three miles south of Gorham turn right (west) onto Happy Hallow Road and follow this to the top until you see the obvious pull off located on the right side of the road about a half mile up the road. Park here and start hiking south along the trail and look for an steep trail down towards the river just past the fifth power line pole. Once you reach the river again walk south for a couple minutes and you will start to see some boulders. Follow the river for as long as you like climbing what looks fun. The boulders are usually grouped together in small clusters and stretch on for 0.5-1 mile along the river.
Starting standing on good holds, move upwards to a big cruxy huck to a nice sandstone sloper. Top out the boulder. The classic warm up of the Beach. Awesome, overhanging sandstone action....[more]Browse More Classics in IL
There is no "trail" down the hill after the atv trail. I would just recommend following the atv trail all the way until it butts up against the river. I ran into a hunter while walking down the atv trail and he doesn't care as long as you stay on the trail.