Climbing in Central Ontario North
The Niagara Escarpment which runs from Niagara Falls to Tobermory has dozens of crags open to climbers. Climbers will find world class routes, and incredible views, at Lion's Head on the Bruce Peninsula. There are several other less developed areas in the immediate vicinity at Cabot's Head, White Bluffs and Halfway Log Dump which also has excellent bouldering. In Grey County you'll find several areas in the Owen Sound area including Harrison Park and the Catalan Quarry. They've once again opened Old Baldy to climbers in the Beaver Valley area of the Escarpment. In the same area you'll find some easily accessible climb at the side of the Talisman Ski Hill in Kimberley. To the south of the region the Escarpment is home to routes at Mount Nemo, Kelso Elora Gorge and Rattlesnake Point.If your willing to do some driving Bon Echo,several hours to the east, has an excellent large wall to challenge you. Finally north of the region, in the Thunderbay area (a long day, or perhaps, day and halfs drive) you'll find some of Ontario's best ice. If you're into bouldering and your in the south, Niagara Glen is getting the worlds attention with its endless array of problems. Speaking of problems, if the weather isn't on side, you might want to visit one of areas many rock gyms. Finally, there's our friend Pete who insists that he wants to develop the first routes on the CN tower - I don't think so!.



Note: The Escarpment provides a delicate and unusual ecosystem please have full respect for the area and please don't put up new routes. In addition many access routes and crags are on private land. If you camp make sure that the it is permitted and be sure to use low impact methods. Better still there are dozens of parks and conservation areas along the Escarpments length, take advantage of them.

  • Bowles Bluff - 9 routes, 5.6-5.11. The crag is located at the Talisman Ski Resort on the last trail to the south. Contact Talisman Resort for more information.
  • Cabot Head - 12+ routes, 5.4-5.10 The cliffs are almost 50m (150ft) in height. Follow Highway 6 from Owen Sound passed Miller Lake then head east to Brickman's Corner and Dyer's Bay. At Dyer's Bay follow the road along the coast to the northeast to the Cabot Head lighthouse. Hike north/northwest along the beach for about 3-4km and watch for the small path into the area.
  • Halfway Log Dump - 7 routes, 5.4-5.10 The routes are short but the rock is very good and the bouldering is excellent. Just north a few hundred metres further is Cave Point where you'll find the solitary and difficult Terminal Beach (5.12), reputadly one of the best crack climbs on the escarpment. From Owen Sound follow the 6 north to Emmett Lake road just before the turn off into the Cypress Lake campground. Bear right at the fork and follow the road to the parking lot for the Bruce Trail access. Head north about 1.5km. Cave point is another 200m furthur on. There is wilderness camping on the Bruce Trail about 9km south at High Dump (reserve with the park) or front country camping about 3.5km north at Cypress Lake. Contact Bruce Peninsula National Park for more information, Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County.
  • Lions Head - 100+ routes, most climbs are 5.10 or higher, access is from a hanging belay. Follow Moores Road and watch for the fork which follows the Bruce Trail (white blazes) which will lead you to the cliffs. Contact Lions Head Provincial Park, Bruce Peninsula for more information, Bruce County
  • Old Baldy - 80+ routes, mostly 5.10 and higher. The area was one of the best in Ontario but it has been closed for several years. Access has again been granted but some of the routes may have been lost in the interim. There is contact the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority for details. From Meaford head south on the 7, then head east on the last road before you enter the town of Kimberly. Continue on for a short distance then turn right at the top of the hill. The trail from the parking lot leads to the cliff.
  • White Bluff- 15+ routes, 5.8-5.12. Cabots head is just north of Lions head across Isthmis and Whippoorwill Bay from the climbing area. The Monument is with its excellent roof cracks is the best know route here. From Lions Bay head north on the 9 and park on Whippoorwill Road then continue on to the end of the road and follow the trail to the area.

Bordering Region

Southwestern Ontario

Eastern Ontario

Rock Gyms

  • Off the Wall - Barrie
  • Bordering Regions

  • Clarkson Rock - Mississauga
  • Joe Rockhead's - Markham
  • The Rock Oasis - Toronto
  • Toronto Climbing Academy - Toronto
  • Guides


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