Imagine the exhilaration of climbing a perfect pink granite wall with the thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean breaking against the rocks far below. Tethered safely to a colorful rope you scamper upward as your hands find just the right holds and your feet balance on tiny ledges. Heart pumping with excitement you pull over the top and feel the thrill of accomplishment of tackling a steep climb.
Maine’s Acadia National Park has the largest climbable sea cliffs on the East Coast, providing a unique and memorable rock climbing experience. The park is also dotted with crags that offer many fine climbs for all ability levels and climbing styles, from slabs and face climbs to finger and hand cracks. The South Wall of the Precipice is the most popular area with a multitude of routes and fantastic views.
The Camden Hills offer scenic climbing on the cliffs at Barrett’s Cove overlooking Megunticook Lake and the serene countryside of the mid-coast. Further Downeast, the clean, knobby granite crags in Clifton offer an array of climbing possibilities, from Big and Little Chick Hill to Fletcher, Parks Pond and Eagles Bluff.
Mount Katahdin offers big mountain alpine climbing with challenging 1,000-foot wall routes and long approaches and descents. The climbing is spectacular amid the intense wilderness beauty of the remote environs of Baxter State Park.
Maine offers experienced rock climbers plenty of opportunities for climbing at every standard. For information on local crags, check in with a climbing shop for expert advice. Novice climbers will want to hire a guide who can tailor a day of climbing to an individual’s experience and comfort level. Guide services provide all the necessary technical gear and offer safety tips and instruction on climbing techniques.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, try indoor rock climbing. The Maine Rock Gym in Portland provides shoes, harness and helmet and will certify you to climb in just a few minutes. Then you’re off scaling the molded holds of the simulated rock wall, all in the comfort of the indoors. It’s a great environment for the entire family to learn the sport and have fun together.