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For many rock climbers, Maine means Acadia National Park. Climbers love scaling Acadia’s walls while hanging above the waves. But Maine offers other great spots as well, including coastal crags, stashes of inland granite and challenging indoor gyms.
Acadia National Park
Maine’s only national park hosts dozens of routes, some complete with salt spray, others farther from the sea. Otter Cliffs may be Acadia’s most famous and photogenic rock-climbing area. Climbers revere Otter for its pitches beginning right at the surf line. Watch the tides or prepare to get wet. Otter Cliffs can get crowded. Other areas in the park, including South Bubble and the Precipice, offer additional challenges with fewer folks. Bouldering, too, is growing. Read ‘Rock Climbs of Acadia’ by Grant Simmons, a 2015 guidebook, for details. The park’s websiteprovides information on climbing regulations.
Many climbers hire Acadia’s climbing guides and schools to lead them and help them brush up on their technique. Two schools - the Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School and the Atlantic Climbing School - have plenty of experience in the park.
Another popular coastal playground is the Camden Hills area, in the MidCoast & Islands region. The area has long offered a range of traditional climbs and has good ice-climbing routes as well. Contact the Camden-based Equinox Guiding Service for classes as well as guided rock and ice climbs.
Tucked away in Maine’s western mountains, Shagg Cragg is a popular for its many levels of good, granite climbing. Follow your directions carefully; getting here can be fun.
Weather stink? Head indoors to climbing gyms such as Salt Pump Climbing Company in Scarborough, which offer considerable challenges, good workouts and even classes. They’re also great places to introduce kids to climbing.
Check out this extensive list of Maine climbing areas at The Mountain Project.