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Access Issue: Permits Required to Climb on City of Meriden, CT properties.
After many years, the City of Meriden has come to recognize climbing as a legitimate recreational activity on town land only for those individuals who maintain active membership with the Ragged Mountain Foundation. As of late 2019, active members of the RMF can obtain permits sanctioned by Meriden’s Department of Parks and Recreation that allow for the responsible use of the town’s many cliff sides, trails, and boulders in pursuit of rock climbing. Permits can be obtained (by active dues paying RMF members only) from the Meriden Parks and Recreation building located at 460 Liberty Street between the hours of 7:30 am and 3:30 pm for a $5 fee. The Parks Department maintains a list of all active RMF members. You can purchase or renew your RMF membership here. You can also become a member via the “Joint- Membership Program” with the Access Fund. Please be aware that it may take up to 30 days between the time of purchasing a membership with the Ragged Mountain Foundation and appearing on the city’s list of individual climbers authorized to receive permits. Also, please be aware that permits are issued on an individual basis, and are not interchangeable between multiple members in a single party. The permits from the City are good for one calendar year from the date of payment, so you will need to renew again the following year. Please keep a copy of your RMF membership and a copy of your permit from the City (electronic image okay) on hand. As part of the agreement, park rangers and City officials have been informed to ask for identification if they observe climbers/climbing. Climbers without proper credentials are subject to fines. This is a massive step forward in the relationship between climbers and the City of Meriden. For more information on the agreement, please look at the RMF Blog. As always, be safe and be respectful.
Some of the best long routes in Connecticut are in the Ampitheater including Cat Crack (5.10) and Dol Guldur (5.11) Reaching heights of 110', there are a variety of face climbs, chimneys to off widths to fingers and hands- something for everyone. The scenery is incredible, especially in the Fall, when the Ampitheater is best. A great spot for cold weather climbing.
Follow the Metacomet (Blue Blazed Trail) from the Castle parking lot, for about 10 minutes to an overlook characterized by the bulge that rises to block the view (somewhat elusive for the first timer, meet up with someone who knows the area).