Elevation: 953 ft
GPS: 39.914, -83.86 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 295,550 total · 5,303/month
Shared By: Dave Rock on Apr 28, 2016 · Updates
Admins: Courtney Curtner

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).

When visiting the Mad, please stop by the kiosk and sign into the visitors log. This will help the CCPD and OCC determine how many visitors are coming to the park.

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.

For those who are interested in volunteering, please visit the Ohio Climbers Coalition Facebook page or website 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. Slacklining is also not allowed.

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.

If you see red tape on the first bolt of a route, PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB THIS ROUTE. It has either been freshly bolted (and glue needs to dry) has no anchors, or is currently a closed project. 

If you find a questionable bolt/ anchor, please mark the first bolt of the route (using tape, a stick through the bolt, etc.) and email the MRG Climbing Committee at: sgcc@ohioclimberscoalition.org to let them know of the questionable bolt/ anchor. 

259 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.
V2-3 5+ PG13
 30
What Just Bit Me
Boulder
V3 6A
 29
Lukewarm Sausage
Boulder
V4 6B
 26
Shark Week
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 78
Excellent Ella
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 64
Knope We Can
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 67
Slingshot
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 73
Scrub-a-Dub-Dub
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 52
6 pack
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 33
Wu Who
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 49
Slippery When Wet
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 42
Slappy McCracken
Sport
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 40
Bangarang
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 21
Smokey
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 42
J-Ella
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 13
Recycler
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
What Just Bit Me MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 30
V2-3 5+ PG13 Boulder
Lukewarm Sausage MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 29
V3 6A Boulder
Shark Week MRG Southwest (… > Rusty Ravine > Crinoid Cove
 26
V4 6B Boulder
Excellent Ella MRG Southeast (… > Dad's Wall (aka Glass…
 78
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Knope We Can MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 64
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Slingshot MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 67
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Scrub-a-Dub-Dub MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 73
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
6 pack MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 52
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Wu Who MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 33
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Slippery When Wet MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 49
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Slappy McCracken MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 42
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Bangarang MRG Southeast (… > Amusement Wall
 40
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Smokey MRG Southeast (… > Overpass Area > Overpass Wall
 21
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
J-Ella MRG Southeast (… > Dad's Wall (aka Glass…
 42
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Recycler MRG Southeast (… > Clear Creek Crag
 13
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve »

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