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Little Falls

New York

Description

Little Falls is a collection of small crags near the town of Little Falls, NY. While this is certainly no destination area, it is a good choice for climbers in Western and Central New York who want to climb outside but can't make the drive to the Gunks or Adirondacks. The various areas contain a mix of climbing types, with a mix of toprope, trad, sport, and bouldering.

Moss Island
Situated in the middle of the Mohawk River, Moss Island is far and away the most popular of the Little Falls crags. The island's main feature is a reasonably long 30-40' high cliff on the southern edge of the island along the river. Most of the routes here are best suited for toproping, though a few can be led with natural gear. Several opportunities for bouldering exist on the northern side of the island as well.

The Dihedrals
Located on the northern banks of the Mohawk River, downstream from Moss Island. Access here is questionable, as you must cross the railroad tracks to reach the crags. Though many of the routes here can be toproped, many take good protection and are best experienced on the lead.

Getting There

The town of Little Falls appears on most maps. It is just off the NY State Thruway about 20 miles east of Utica. To get there, take the NY State Thruway to exit 29A (RTE-169) towards Little Falls/Dolgeville. Follow Route 169 for about a mile until you reach the large bridge spanning the river, then follow the directions to each specific crag.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Siiicck
[Hide Photo] Siiicck
Sofi working a new line @ Moss Island
[Hide Photo] Sofi working a new line @ Moss Island
1976, cleaning routes by the RR tracks.  Love it:<br>
self-tied 1" webbing harness, knickers, goldline rope, miller mitts, and wool.  Practically a museum diorama.  (Jerry Erb crushed back then.)
[Hide Photo] 1976, cleaning routes by the RR tracks. Love it: self-tied 1" webbing harness, knickers, goldline rope, miller mitts, and wool. Practically a museum diorama. (Jerry Erb crushed back then.)
7-4-77 Jerry Erb climbing Crucial Groove, Cesspool area, gear and fashion improved.
[Hide Photo] 7-4-77 Jerry Erb climbing Crucial Groove, Cesspool area, gear and fashion improved.
V 3/4 on the backside of Moss Island.
[Hide Photo] V 3/4 on the backside of Moss Island.
Moss Island bouldering
[Hide Photo] Moss Island bouldering

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Be careful of the police in this town. I was stopped by an officer with too much time on his hands and it was most unpleasant. Jul 8, 2007
kc2klq Ciccone
Flagstaff, AZ
[Hide Comment] No doubt...
be on your best behavior in town... if not and the cops decide to screw with you you will regret it...

too much time in an understatement... trust... Apr 21, 2008
[Hide Comment] Traffic stop? Or did The Man come hassle you for climbing? Sep 7, 2009
NYClimber
New York
[Hide Comment] We've been climbing there all summer and no one has encountered any issues with any police officers, etc. As of now - climbers no longer have to go into town to get a climbing permit for this area. Jul 6, 2012
Justin Sanford
Broadalbin, New York
[Hide Comment] I have just been informed that all of the fixed hardware has been removed from the cliffs that are on private property. The only previosuly bolted routes that still have hardware to my knowledge are "The Juicer" and "Black Arete". This was a result of continued conflicts with the new owner and the lack of accessibility. Jul 10, 2012
J. Serpico
Saratoga County, NY
[Hide Comment] Guide book for the area. I recommend printing it full page double sided. Very easy to read. thomannengineering.com/soft… Apr 21, 2014
[Hide Comment] Hey, I was thinking about heading out there next weekend, but wasn't sure if climbing at Moss Island was still a thing...? Any information would be awesome!! May 25, 2014
[Hide Comment] We came to NY from VA to visit family and decided to do a some climbing at Little Falls. You do need a permit. The city clerk was nice. It's three dollars per person. You can park on either side of the rocks and walk in between the faces. The off guide is a life saver for trying to figure out where to start and climb. You can hike to the top and many routes are bolted but be sure you have something to extend the anchor to the edge. Definitely worth exploring if you're in the area. Jun 19, 2014
Seth Largo
Kearney, Nebraska
[Hide Comment] Fun spot. Kept me from being a couch potato while I lived in Syracuse. Would have been a thousand times better with a few bolts to turn the unprotectable toprope climbs into sport climbs. Mar 15, 2016
[Hide Comment] Update spring 2016 - no permit necessary for climbing in Little Falls! My partner and I wandered around the fire station/city hall this morning and eventually found a police officer who said, "We don't do that anymore," and wished us well.
Re: Moss Island trad routes - yes, a good number of routes can only be top-roped, but there are also plenty of trad lines at a variety of grades.
Also, one can get along just fine at Moss Island with only a 30m rope. I'm not sure it's sufficient for every single route, but 30m served us well for everything we fancied this morning. Jun 4, 2016