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. 

The Clark County Park District is working on expanding the park with new land purchases in the near future, and once this occurs, it will be the largest climbing area in Ohio featuring a mixture of sport, trad, and some bouldering routes.

Though a lot of work has been done to cleanup and develop proper trails at the park, there is still a lot of work to be done. The Ohio Climbers Coalition and Clark County Parks District is still closely working together to improve the area, but they are always looking for volunteers willing to help in this project. 


There are currently no camping options at the Mad River Gorge, but there are some campsites in the area that are great options. 


There currently is no guidebook for this area, but you can view routes on Mountain Project.


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.

Rules and Other Helpful Information

  • Anchoring/ top roping from trees is PROHIBITED at the Mad River Gorge. 
  • 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.

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*We are a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. 
All donations are tax deductible, to the extent permitted by law.