Elevation: 953 ft
GPS: 39.914, -83.86 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Dave Rock on Apr 28, 2016 with improvements by Tricia D and 2 others
Admins: Courtney Curtner
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Largest climbing area in Ohio

In May 2017, the Ohio Climbers Coalition in partnership with the Access Fund and Clark County Park District, opened the Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve. There is a great history of climbing and bolting at the Mad River Gorge (previously Springfield Gorge) that spans many years before its official opening in 2017, but now that the CCPD owns the property, it is legal to climb here! There is a great mix of sport, trad, and bouldering at the park. The southside is currently open to the public, and once a pedestrian bridge is constructed over the Mad River, the northside will be developed for climbing as well. Check out the area map below:

Mad River Gorge Area Map- Note that the area on the north side (by the Masonic Home) will not be officially opened to the public until the pedestrian bridge is constructed).

Ohio Climbers Coalition

OCC Logo

Though a lot of work has been done to cleanup and develop proper trails at the park, there is still more work to be done. The Ohio Climbers Coalition and Clark County Parks District are working together to improve the area, but they are always looking for volunteers willing to help in this project. If anyone is interested in volunteering their time, please visit the Ohio Climbers Coalition Website or the Ohio Climbers Coalition Facebook Page .

Getting There

Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve Google Maps

Located in Springfield, Ohio off of Dayton- Springfield Road.

View of sign at entrance to gorge

Please park in the paved parking lot at the front of the park and walk back towards the kiosk area.

The brand new parking lot at the Mad!

If you are caught driving around the barrier and parking in the grassy area by the kiosk, the CCPD will ticket your car. Be respectful and park in the lot (and if the lot is full, park in the gravel overflow area by the road.

Camping

There are currently no camping options at the Mad River Gorge, but there are some campsites in the area that are great options.

Buck Creek State Park (approximately 15 minutes away)
1976 Buck Creek Lane Springfield, Ohio 45502
Buck Creek State Park Camping Registration​​​

John Bryan State Park (approximately 20 minutes away)
3790 Ohio 370 Yellow Springs, OH 45387
John Bryan State Park Camping Registration​​​

Cleanup Efforts

The Ohio Climbers Coalition working alongside the Clark County Park District and Access Fund continues to work hard to cleanup this area. During the Adopt-a-Crag event in May 2017 at the Mad River Gorge, 125,000 pounds of trash and over 200 tires were removed from the MRG. Many trails were also constructed, but there is still a lot of work to be done in the area. Please make sure to do your part and pack out any personal trash from the area. There are buckets placed at various walls for those who would like to do there part to help pick up glass or other items while out at the crag. Once you fill a bucket, bring up back up to the top of the gorge so that it can be properly disposed of by the park district.

Starting in January 2018, the Ohio Climbers Coalition will be hosting monthly adopt-a-crag work days at the Mad River Gorge. For those who are interested in volunteering, please visit the Ohio Climbers Coalition Facebook page or website for more information. During the weekend of September 29th- 30th, the OCC is hosting the 2018 Mad River Gorge Adopt-a-Crag Presented by Black Diamond. This will be a major stewardship and climbing event. Check out the link for more information.

You can also see before and after videos of some of the cleanup here: Mad River Gorge: Main Trail Pre & Post Cleanup

Bolting

All route development at the Mad River Gorge is completed by the MRG Climbing Committee (part of the Ohio Climbers Coalition). They are in charge of all rebolting and new route development in the area, and maintain a data base of all routes to ensure that the bolts and anchors are safe for climbers. Some of the routes at the MRG were present before the park was opened to climbers in May 2017, and the OCC/ MRG Climbing Committee are working to ensure that all of these bolts are replaced with Wavebolts with the help of a grant from the Access Fund.

If you have ideas for new routes to be bolted or questions about routes that are already present, please contact the MRG Climbing Committee at: sgcc@ohioclimberscoalition.org .

The Ohio Climbers Coalition has listed all bolted routes at the Mad River Gorge on the BadBolts.com site. If you come across any dangerous bolts or anchors while climbing at the MRG, please report the issue on the Bad Bolts site: Bad Bolts: Mad River Gorge

Rules and Other Helpful Information

Anchoring/ top roping from trees is PROHIBITED at the Mad River Gorge.

Stick clips are strongly suggested for all sport routes.

Practice the Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash.

Stay on trails/ steps and avoid creating new footpaths through the natural vegetation.

156 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3 6A
 17
Lukewarm Sausage
Boulder
V4 6B
 9
Shark Week
Boulder
V5 6C
 5
Hang Ten
Boulder
V7 7A+
 3
Fresh Squeezed
Boulder
V7 7A+
 3
Anxious Arrival
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 53
Excellent Ella
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 39
Knope We Can
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 43
Slingshot
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 48
Scrub-a-Dub-Dub
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 31
6 pack
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 29
Slippery When Wet
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 28
Slappy McCracken
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 25
Bangarang
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 11
Smokey
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 11
Recycler
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lukewarm Sausage MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 17
V3 6A Boulder
Shark Week MRG Southwest (… > Rusty Ravine > Crinoid Cove
 9
V4 6B Boulder
Hang Ten MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 5
V5 6C Boulder
Fresh Squeezed MRG Southeast (… > Fern Buttress
 3
V7 7A+ Boulder
Anxious Arrival MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 3
V7 7A+ Boulder
Excellent Ella MRG Southeast (… > Dad's Wall (aka Glass…
 53
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Knope We Can MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 39
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Slingshot MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 43
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Scrub-a-Dub-Dub MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 48
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
6 pack MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 31
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Slippery When Wet MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 29
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Slappy McCracken MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 28
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Bangarang MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 25
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Smokey MRG Southeast (… > Overpass Area > Overpass Wall
 11
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Recycler MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 11
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve »

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