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Elevation: 288 ft
GPS: 44.33042, -75.74103
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Shared By: Cooper Uliano on Jul 15, 2020
Admins: Morgan Patterson
Warning Access Issue: DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

This area is free to visit and has great access to routes and boulders. There are many sub sections of the Indian River Lakes, some of which being "Lake of the Woods", " Butterfield Lake", "Grand Lakes Reserve"(which contains the highest concentration of climbs) among many other lakes and trails. This is a beautiful and pretty remote area not often visited, although it is very close to the town of Redwood. The rock type is thought to be a mixture of mainly Leucogranitic gneiss, and what appears to be a few outcroppings of Potsdam Sandstone. In general the cliffs are staggered along a large area, much of which is still unclimbed. There has been a fair amount of recon and first ascents as of late, adding significantly to the boulder count in the region. No official permissions have been granted to climb on this land, and therefore no official development can take place. Please do not place bolts, leave tat, or leave any sort of fixed gear or anchors. As well, try to keep cleaning to a minimum as not to destroy or distort the wild nature of this area. Other than that, this is mainly a place for more adventurous top roping, trad climbing, and bouldering. Most of the potential routes have never seen a climber (that is known), and the place is truly untapped potential. If you do visit, please be respectful of the area as this place has no sets of rules and regulations for climbing yet. Please follow Leave No Trace ethics. As well, if you find yourself out here, leave a comment and let us know that you were checking things out! Having a better understanding of climbing as an activity here will give us a better chance to make it an accepted activity on the land!

Getting There Suggest change

As the area is somewhat spread and most is unclimbed, the approach can vary based on what you want to try out. Drive to Cottage Hill Road and find Burns road. Take Burns Road to either of the Grand Lakes Reserve Parking lots(There are two, both of which are on opposite sides of the trail). Park in the second/lower lot and take the North Ridge Trail for about a mile, in which you will come to several large overlooks, the first about 10-15 approach and the second about a 15-20 minute approach, each with pretty large cliffs below. There is also "The Bowling Alley" with several highball boulders only 8 minutes down the trail. The first overlook contains climbs like "Shark Fin Flake", and the solid classic “Euphoria” and "End of the Line". The “In Between” has wonderful romps like “A Wrinkle In Time”. For harder, more engaging boulders, find “The Boondocks”, which contains “Clover” and several harder projects surrounding. At the First Overlook, There is cliff base access by going either to the right or the left, and to the left of the second overlook(when looking out over the overlook). From there it is mainly free reign on untouched rock! There are also many smaller cliffs along the trail that also have some potential, as well as lots of bouldering abound. There are quite a few boulders, mostly friction slabs and not much overhanging. Again please respect the area as it is new and relatively undeveloped, and a conversation with the IRLC about access has not happened yet.

Seasonal Trail Closures (October 20th - December 10th)

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The Grand Lake Reserve is always open to the public, however there is a set of trail closures during hunting season (per deed access for the previous owner). What does this mean for climbing on the property? Well, it means that some of the current approaches on designated trails are closed from October 20th - December 10th. This is an unfortunate and difficult time to have a closure since it is prime climbing season, however there are some work arounds. For more information, look at the "Central Valley - Alternate Approach" Section for this seasonal closure.

Central Valley - Alternate Approach (For Seasonal Closure)

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To be clear, during the seasonal closure, the property itself is not closed. Only the designated trails. There is an alternate seasonal approach (and a pretty good alternative during the rest of the year too), that involves an old trucking road that has been recently cleared and manicured. This approach is shorter, more direct, and has less elevation change, but only applies to certain zones. It is faster for some of these zones, and slower for others. A quick breakdown below will explain the areas this can get you to.

- The First Overlook (all zones)
- Forager's Path (all zones)
- Second Overlook (all zones)
- Backstreet Boulders

Not Accessible: 
- The In Between - Located on closed Trail
- The Bowling Alley - Located On Closed Trail
- The Fairyland Wall - Accessed only via closed trail
- Hidden Valley - Accessed only via closed trail
- Roadside for Dummies - Accessed only via closed Trail
- Vile Boulder - Located on closed Trail

Zones Not Affected by Closure or Alternate Approach:
- Dam Ridge Boulders
- Lakeside
- Marshy Waters
- Seaside
- Starry Night
- The Boondocks

Details of Alternate Approach:

Park at the Lot 1 (sacrilege, I know). Walk downhill towards the second lot (and the large house on the hill). As the road goes flat and takes a hard left, a gate will appear on the right side. There is an old logging/hunting road behind the gate. Take this old roadbed. After 2-10 minutes (depending on the zone), boulders and cliffs will appear on the left hand (North) side of the road. The rocks are separated by a small marsh. Cross this marsh (wet feet possible!) and find the specific cliffs or boulders you are searching for. The first zone you should find will contain The "Vlad" projects, "Tiny Dancer", and (slightly uphill) "The Shrew". 

Tick Warning

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This place, especially in the grassy fields near the cliffs, is a safe haven for ticks of all stages. If you bring a dog, check your dog thoroughly. Check yourself and your friends too. These guys are everywhere, so if your shoe touched grass,  assume you have one.

*update* In recent years this has become even worse and the main tick season is starting even earlier. Please be aware!


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The area is mossy, damp, and lichen covered. There are, however, plenty of boulders with generally clean rock, where only a light dusting is necessary. In areas off trail, cleaning can be a bit more liberal, but boulders on trail should not have chalk or noticeable cleaning on them. Evidence of climbing should be kept to a minimum wherever possible. We are guests on this preserve, and many unique flora and fauna call this region home. It's not uncommon to find rare and endemic ferns, lichens, and mosses on these cliffs, so be cautious before you brush anything!

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