Elevation: 486 ft
GPS: 44.277, -75.656 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,745 total · 73/month
Shared By: Adric on Nov 13, 2014 with updates from James Smith
Admins: Jim Lawyer
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This area is a ridge of cliffs, some up to 130'-tall, that border the west side of Payne Lake. The ridge continues along the entire length of the lake and there are some bouldering opportunities to the northwest of the main face.

This area is mostly undeveloped for climbing, visited only by the occasional hunter, fisherman, and kayaker. There are at least 4 large-ish cliffs with sheer, overhanging faces. More exploration is necessary, as it seems to be one of the few public-land climbing opportunities in upstate New York outside of the Adirondacks.

The rock is similar to that at Eagle Falls. Some is good, some is crumbly, and all of it is brittle. New routes will require cleaning and plucking. Trad protection is sucpect due to the brittle nature of the rock, so take care.

If you're at all nearby here please check this rock out and add some comments or routes to the site so that this unknown area can get a little attention.

On the lakeside cliffs, there is poison ivy *everywhere*, so watch out!

Getting There

The cliffs are tricky to get to on foot. By far the easiest way to approach is by canoe, putting in at the boat launch at the south-east end of Payne Lake. Once you cross the lake, if top-roping you may have to scramble for a ways to get on top a cliff.

Easy access on foot: Instead of approaching on foot via New Connecticut Rd, there is an easier route. From Route 22, just south of the boat launch you will find a small pull out at the start of a public easement (Look for the small yellow signs). This is the Root Row Trail. This well marked trail heads straight back through the fields and then turns NE and slowly winds uphill and past a small pond. Once the trail hits Pulpit Rock State Forest land, it becomes less obvious. Fairly easy hiking along the ridge and down the other side of the knoll leads to the climbs. A GPS or smartphone with Google Maps makes navigating straightforward. Approach time is about 30 minutes. Please note: The Root Row Trail is surrounded by private land. Please respect private land owners and stay within the marked trail until you reach state forest land.

The established climbs (documented here) are actually southwest of the lake. From the boat launch (18T 448079 4902774), paddle straight across the lake, then to the left (i.e., the southwest corner) to the shallows. Beach your boat at the first opportunity in the lillypads (18T 447788 4902783). Walk along an inlet stream with some orange flagging 3 minutes up to the cliff (18T 447641 4902795).

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Nick Cavallo
Nick Cavallo   Massachusetts
I was wondering if this area has been developed any more than the routes that are up here on mountain project. I was planning on stopping by this summer and I'm curios to see if there is any more routes/potential. Thanks if anyone knows! Mar 22, 2018
Zach O'Neill
Pirrepont, NY
Zach O'Neill   Pirrepont, NY
Nick, I have been the main developer at this area over the past number years. The routes documented here are the bulk of the "developed" routes. The cliffs directly over the water will need work (scouting, cleaning, bolting) to produce anything climbable. I have been to the top of most of the obvious lines in the left gully via lead or TR but there is a lot of choss, moss, and vegetation to be contended with so I have not posted these "rough diamonds" as routes yet. Feel free to message me with any other questions, I'd also be happy to show any one around once the ice clears from the lake. Apr 6, 2018