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Elevation: 849 ft 259 m
GPS: 42.5145, -71.8578
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Shared By: jeremyadams on Jan 6, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Old Timer, jim.dangle, Joe M

Description Suggest change

Located 20 minutes north of Worcester and an hour west of Boston, this crag in Leominster State Forest offers a varied concentration of traditional rock climbing routes within a reasonable drive of many Eastern and Central Massachusetts climbers. Facing east-southeast and situated on a hillside, many of Crow Hill's cracks and faces often seep longer and wetter than other New England areas. The climbing season at Crow Hill begins in March, if it's a dry winter, or as late as June, if it's a wet spring.

The cliff's faces and features are comprised of gneiss, offering a grainy texture unique from the typical Northeast trad haunts (i.e. Cathedral, Gunks). A handful of easier routes at the north and south ends (called Practice Face and End Crags, respectively) are often busy. The crag's 5.8s are among the best in The Commonwealth, including Intertwine, Tarzan, and Diagonal, but the local classic is Cromagnon, a 5.10 crack that teaches toproping newbies how to jam, and how to swing.

The Midstate Trail runs along the clifftop, and locals residents of the Fitchburg area frequently hike and scramble around the crag, so brain buckets, vigilance, and common sense are wise complements to your rack, rope, and bug dope.

A climbing permit (free) [used to be] required of each climber by the state forest to legally climb at Crow. [A climber used to] obtain this at the park HQ prior to climbing, and renew annually, by showing harnesses and ropes to a ranger. Now it is climb at your own risk.

Be careful of the occasional Copperhead snake, which have been known to occupy some of the cracks, ledges and chimneys.

Getting There

Suggest change
From Route 2, take the Route 31 exit (west of Fitchburg) and travel south. A couple miles past the hotel and utility facility, the park headquarters appear on the right. Farther down the road, pass a pond with swimming area (comfort facilities, seasonal, $5 per car to park and swim). From the roadside pond parking area (not always open), a trail climbs perpendicular to the road, meeting the cliff base in 5 minutes.

A more reliable (typically prefered) parking situation is available about 1/4 mile further south on the right (dirt lot, aka "Climber's Lot"). From this lot, walk up the (closed to autos) gravel road about 10 minutes. From the road's terminus, a trail climbs through a break in an old stone wall to a fork, where signs offer guidance to the top of crag (via End Crags, left) or base of crag (right).

Map of Leominster Trails

46 Total Climbs

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Location: Crow Hill Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Crow Hill

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 161
Boardwalk
Trad, TR
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 112
Green Route
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 62
The Chimney
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 67
Tom's Dilemma
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 48
Layback
Trad, TR
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 105
Sidewinder
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 194
Intertwine
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 78
Diagonal
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 85
Tarzan
Trad
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13
 63
Thin Line
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 91
Cro-Magnon
Trad, TR
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 21
Cheetah
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
 44
Jane
Trad, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 7
Lizard's Head
Trad
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R
 8
Dune
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Boardwalk 6. Practice Face (rig…
 161
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, TR
Green Route 2. Green Corner
 112
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
The Chimney 4. The Buttress
 62
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Tom's Dilemma 1. End Crags
 67
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Layback 1. End Crags
 48
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Sidewinder 6. Practice Face (rig…
 105
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Intertwine 5. Main Face
 194
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Diagonal 3. Fisherman's Wall
 78
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Tarzan 3. Fisherman's Wall
 85
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Thin Line 5. Main Face
 63
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13 Trad
Cro-Magnon 3. Fisherman's Wall
 91
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Cheetah 3. Fisherman's Wall
 21
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Jane 3. Fisherman's Wall
 44
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13 Trad, TR
Lizard's Head 4. The Buttress
 7
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Dune 3. Fisherman's Wall
 8
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R Trad
More Classic Climbs in Crow Hill »

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