Beach City, Ohio (OH)
When the National Road reached Columbus from Baltimore in 1831 it was because of trade opportunities, not rock climbing, that more settlers wanted to travel to this little city nested on the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Most of the rock in this area is limestone, but there is also a lot of shale, both cut and flattened by another one of those pesky glaciers. This particular glacier, which covered Ohio during the Wisconsin Ice Age, left this area with sizable differences in elevation through the area, with the high point of Franklin County being 1,132 feet (345 m) above sea level near New Albany, and the low point being 670 feet (200 m) where the Scioto River leaves the county near Lockbourne. Numerous ravine areas near the rivers and creeks also help give some variety to the landscape. Thankfully this gives way for a few great rock climbing problems at Beach City Nature Preserve, just outside of Columbus. There is however public hunting allowed here, so be cautious if you climb during hunting season.
- Big Wall- 5.6-5.12b This frequently climbed wall faces the woods and offers some serenity in a nice wooded area near the falls.
- Spare Tire- 5.12a The bulge will definitely take some energy and you will have to be crafty because although it is a dry area, the rock is quite sandy. (Top Rope)
- The Swing- 5.6 Lots of ledges and easy moves. Great for learning. (Top Rope)
- Firepit- 5.10d Start on the roof and then straight up the crack. It is called the firepit because people insist on building illegal fires. Do your part and refrain from any type of campfire while you are visiting Beach City. (Top Rope)
- Roof Crack- 5.9 A fun, sustained climb.
- Fish Scales/Stumps- 5.7 Follow the zig zags to get a great warm up. (Top Rope)
- Nipple Route/Balance Beam- 5.10a The thin face tops out with a major horizontal shape. You may be tempted to use the crack but climbers say that it proves quite useless. (Top Rope)
- Recess- 5.10c A short route between two vertical cracks. A lot more exciting than it looks. (Top Rope)
- Pigs Snout Route- 5.12c Thirty five feet of twists and turns will challenge you and have you wondering if you should have made a different start. (Top Rope)
- Hornet’s Nest- 5.9 This route starts on the ledge and has a little bit of overhang. (Top Rope)
- Ripple Route- 5.8 Lots of slight variations end on the top ledge. (Top Rope)
- Easy A- 5.7 The overhang makes this one exciting! (Top Rope)
- Flake Face- 5.10a Higher up the slopers hold some great technical moves. (Top Rope)
- Recess- 5.6 A fun crack to climb with a slight overhang. (Top Rope)
- Blackboard- 5.7 Lots of great holds on this black rock. Pull the two roofs to create a more difficult variation. (Top Rope)
- Blacktop- 5.11c A black streak with a dyno start and a possibility for a boulder problem. (Top Rope)
- Detention- 5.12a Get over the two pockets you will get out of this punishment. (Top Rope)
- Unknown- 5.5 A mossy slab with lots of great holds. Another learning opportunity. (Top Rope)
- Unknown- 5.12a A direct start leads to a great climb that presents with a splendid view. (Top Rope)
- Unknown- 5.10a This overhanging chimney is a very interesting climb. (Top Rope)
There are six locations that have undocumented or rated routes and lots of opportunities for climbing in addition to the Big Wall.
- Dundee Falls Corner- 65 foot high sandstone offers a great opportunity for some top rope climbs.
- Hobo Cave- Just thirty inches from large trees which are capable of some good anchoring systems, is a 75 foot wall with various face problems that is begging you to hook up that top rope and make the send.
- Lower Springs Quarry- A smaller wall with quite a few boulder problems.
- Lower Springs Quarry II- 50 feet high, close to the trees.
- Railroad Boulders- This area is definitely primed for exploration. Mossy boulders await!
- Three Beach Rocks- Three large boulders with faces varying from slab to roof problems.
Amish Country Campsite
Winesburg, Ohio 44690
Rates- One Night with 2 people- $25.00
Weekly Rate with 2 people- $145
Inn at Amish Door Village
1210 Winesburg Street
Wilmot, Ohio 44689
Rates- Standard Room $105/night
To Nature Center:
Travel east on I-70 to I-77. Go north on I-77 to the Strasburg, Ohio exit. Exit and turn left going through Strasburg on Rt. 250 & Rt. 21. After you pass through Strasburg, Rt. 250 & Rt. 21 will split. Take Rt. 250 which is the left turn. Follow Rt. 250 through Wilmot and go about a mile. Cross a bridge over a creek and turn right immediately onto Alabama Ave. Another half mile and you’re at the entrance.
Thanks to Jonathan for writing updated and more detailed directions to the crags:
The actual climbs are scattered about the 1,912 acre Beach City Wildlife Area. There is a lot of sand-stone bouldering and top roping potential scattered about the park. The main area people climb is "Big Wall" which is located near Lower Dundee Falls.
Approach: Big Wall
Go to the Lower Dundee Falls parking turnout (which is located on Camp Rd NW, a few thousand feed north of the intersection of Dundee Wilmot Rd NW and Camp Rd NW). It is a small dirt parking lot without any signage on the east side of the road. Hike in and cross the creek early to hike above the falls. Stay to the left upper trail for 10-12 minutes. The Big Wall is to your right, the trail leads somewhat to the center of the wall.
Approach: Dundee Falls Corner
Go to the Dundee Falls parking turnout (which is located on Dundee Wilmot Rd NW about 1500 feet south-east of the intersection of Dundee Wilmot Rd NW and Camp Rd NW). This small dirt parking turnout has a large sign next to the road saying "Beach City Wildlife Area." Follow the trail down to the falls but cross the creek just before getting there. Stay on the left side of the creek, stay on the upper portion. To get to the top hike up around the left side of the slightly overhanging face. Walk off top.