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Mad River Gorge aka Springfield Gorge

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Mad River Gorge aka Springfield Gorge Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.91448, -83.85989 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Dave Rock on Apr 28, 2016  with updates from Tricia D and 1 more
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Largest climbing area in Ohio 

More to area being opened up in 2017 The Ohio Climber Coalition in partnership with the Access Fund and the Clark County Parks Department is in the process of purchasing several acres of property containing choice climbing cliffs. This purchase will add to the already several thousand feet of climbable cliffs and boulders currently owned by the Clark County Parks. This purchase will make the Springfield Gorge aka Mad River Gorge the largest climbing area in the state. Most of the routes will be bolted.

On May 20-21 2017 the Access Fund Conservation Team will be at the Springfield Gorge for a day of volunteer work which will include trail-building, staging area development, building of natural steps, general cleanup, and more. This will be a huge undertaking to get the park ready for climbing. Clark County is also creating a future camping area for climbers. The hope is that this area is ready for the stewardship day and those wishing to camp can do so.

Go here for info on the stewardship day ->

2710 Dayton Springfield Rd, Springfield, OH 45506

Getting There 

The climbing area is along the Mad River, Parking and camping is in the old Clearview Mobile home park at 2710 Dayton Road in Springfield, Ohio 45506

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 0.4 miles from here

Featured Route For Mad River Gorge aka Springfield Gorge
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By Mica The Rock
May 1, 2016
This area not new, climbers climbed here a very long time, until accident and land owner had to shut it down, he was very friendly. Its rumored Jim Bridwell cut his teeth here, Jim Carns and other aspiring rock rats, many a great climbs here and fond memories. Limestone nicely featured and pretty bullet proof, can climb here year around.
By Zeke6
From: Akron, Ohio
May 6, 2016
I would love to see some pictures of the rock!
By chad zurinskas
Jun 3, 2016
Just checking in on ohio climbing scene. I live and climb in salt lake city now, but I cut my teeth when I was a teenager at Clifton and springfield gorge with my mentor Don Bader. Is this the same area that host such classics as Oh-well 11b, French lessons 12b, and orangutan 11 something?. I wish everyone involved the best of luck acquiring this area. It is great limestone and gave me a life long love for climbimg. Peace.
By Ronald Schilb
Jun 4, 2016
When I was president of the Ohio Climber's Association we tried to open this area. Unfortunately that was just after a visiting climber was killed teaching some friends how to rappel. I've been out of the loop for a while, but that is not for lack of interest. I was unaware that the Ohio Climber's Association was still operating. If I can be of help let me know. We also tried to open the then new Quarry Park in Fairborn to climbing. We even set some anchors there and then we lost cooperation with Fairborn Parks. Someone on their board talked to a lawyer and they rescinded all cooperation. Last I knew the Masonic Home owned the property and didn't want any liability problems.
By Scott Fife
Jun 4, 2016
This is exciting news--Kudos to the OCC and the Access Fund! The main attraction was (and I believe will be once again) that this area is not on a through hiking trail and therefore more of a pure crag.

Historical note: I haven't heard the Jim Bridwell rumor before, and I'm not aware of him having any connection to the area. A likely bet, however, would be Michael Kennedy, who attended Antioch College and climbed in nearby Clifton Gorge early in his career[1]. I do know that Jim Karn climbed here early on as well[2]. Those of us who climbed at Clifton Gorge were generally aware of and also climbed in the Springfield Gorge. The routes are generally shorter, but pretty high quality for limestone. Needless to say, humidity is generally a problem in this part of the country during warm weather.

By Stephen Winter
From: leon,wv
Aug 15, 2016
Would love to see some pictures of the area. I plan on coming for the trail day 2017 to volunteer but would love to see what it looks like before hand. Also, does anyone know if there is or if there will be any bolted moderates routes?
By adam9592
From: seneca rocks
Nov 3, 2016
There is a good variety of grades here with potential for new development.
Some of the old bolts could use replacement. The ASCA (american safe climbing association) donates full stainless steel hardware to prevent galvanic corrosion.
By Fleetwood Matt
Feb 8, 2017
I echo Chad's comment above. I went to UD back in the mid 90's and have the fondest memories of blasting out to Springfield after class to get in a few pitches before dark. Don't forget Telephone Booth, Johnson&Carns (or was is Carns&Johnson!),and Crankenstein. Add American Alpine Club to the list of organizations helping to get this crag back to public access. From what I understand, the ownership is transferring to County Park District.
Here's the link to the trail day:
I look forward to revisting next time I'm "back home."

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