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April 28, 2015

Reaching the summit: Rock climbing, bouldering spots in Pa.

Rocks can be fun. You can skip them across a lake. Or decorate them. Or climb them.

Rock climbing is a great workout that can be done outdoors or indoors, from small boulders to artificial rock walls to large, natural rock formations. Bouldering is similar to rock climbing, but it is done without the use of ropes or harnesses.

There are climbing and bouldering areas all over Pennsylvania for you to explore based on your experience and comfort levels.

Pennsylvania Climbing offers a comprehensive list of rock climbing and bouldering locations throughout the state. 

Birdsboro Climbing Quarry is located just 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Birdsboro has nearly 150 routes that range in difficulty. 

Hunter's Rocks bouldering area is a popular destination near State College. Located at the southwestern tip of Rothrock State Forest (about 3 1/2 hours from Philadelphia), Hunter's Rocks offers beautiful sandstone bouldering.

Experienced climbers with proper equipment can try McConnells Mill State Park. Located in Portersville, this spot is a bit of a road trip from Philadelphia (about a five-hour drive).

View Pennsylvania Climbing's list and interactive map for more locations.  

If you would prefer something more controlled, there are indoor rock climbing options to explore as well. 

Go Vertical boasts that it is the largest indoor rock climbing gym of its kind on the East Coast. The gym, located at 950 N. Penn St., features 250 climbing routes that change on a weekly basis. 

Philadelphia Rock Gyms (PRG) offer three climbing facilities in Oaks, Valley Township and Philadelphia. The East Falls location in Philadelphia, which is the newest of the three, features a 15,000-square-foot climbing facility. 

Penn’s David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center and the Drexel Recreation Center also offer climbing walls.

For those really looking to get into climbing, there is also the Philly Climbing Club.