The Best Bouldering Spots on Long Island

Photo: Courtesy Long Island Bouldering Guide

Head to these 4 local-favorite bouldering locations that offer the best of Long Island’s unique geology.

To say Long Island has some of New England’s best boulders is a bit of understatement. It literally has boulders from the rest of the region. When glaciers moved across North America during the last ice age, they picked up a number of boulders from the mainland. When the glaciers receded, they deposited those blocks on Long Island. So, while the island is relatively flat, its bouldering is just as good as any you’ll find in the Whites or beyond. (Well, perhaps better; unlike in the mountains, you’ll rarely have to lug your crash pads up a hill on LI.)  

Head to the following four favorite spots that local climbers take advantage of these so-called “glacial erratics,” and sample the best bouldering Long Island has to offer.  

1. Wildwood State Park

This is where you’ll find some of the most popular boulders on Long Island. Wildwood hosts about two dozen distinct climbs, many of which are on the Bluff Boulder, an enormous glacial erratic in the park’s northeast corner. Many of the problems here are techy, featuring a collection of in-cut crimps, crisp edges, and interesting footwork. Because the Bluff Boulder sits atop a hill, the landings afford stunning views across the sound, especially when the leaves are off the trees in winter. (For more specific route info, reference the Long Island Bouldering guidebook.)

Red Tape

To enter Wildwood State Park (on the east side of Wading River), you’ll need to pay the park entrance fee. Camping is available, as well, both in tent sites and in a handful of park-provided cabins. Both can be reserved in advance online

Recommended Routes

  • Delivery (V2)
  • Parachute Landing Fall (V4)
  • Hillside Strangler (V6)
  • Postal (V8) 

2. East Marion Boulders

Located at the end of Rocky Point Road (on LI’s North Fork), this area is composed of about five egg-shaped boulders right on the beach. Landings tend to be flat and straightforward, and styles range from compressions and sloper problems to long traverses. While the beach does make for a gorgeous setting, it also comes with its downsides; there’s generally a stiff breeze coming off the ocean, so bring a good wind shell.  

Red Tape 

The parking area at the end of Rocky Point Road is off-limits to nonresidents, but you can park farther down the road without issue. Be sure to obey any posted signage. Also keep an eye on local tidal charts and start heading back to your car well before high tide strikes. 

Recommended Routes

  • Bo-Jangle aka High Tide Traverse (V0)
  • Father and Son (V3)
  • Fisherman’s Friend (V6)
  • Equinox (V10) 

3. Split Rock

Located just east of Wildwood State Park, Split Rock is home to about 20 total problems. The boulders are all within close proximity to one another, which makes this a great place to bring a larger group. Another bonus: Because many of the problems are in the V0 to V4 range, it’s an ideal place for newer boulderers to cut their teeth outdoors. 

Red Tape

Split Rock is located among a web of recreational trails accessible from the trailhead on North Country Road. This is private land (owned by Keyspan Energy Development), so pick up after yourself, be quiet and courteous, and be sure to park such that you’re not blocking the road. (If you’re looking for an alternate group-friendly spot that’s on public land, check out the ever-scenic and moderate option-packed Blender Boulders, 45 minutes east, in Greenport.)

Recommended Routes

  • Teepee (V2)
  • Lynn Hill Face (V3 R)
  • Dank (V5)  
  • Quarantine (V10) 

4. Duck Pond Point Boulders

A secluded beach on Long Island’s North Fork, Duck Pond Point is home to a handful of scattered boulders. Routes here span a wide range of styles and difficulty levels. You’ll find the best lines on the Golden Boulder, a tall, terracotta-colored block just a short walk left of the parking area. (Note: The difficulty of the climbs here may vary by sand level, which can change from year to year.)

Red Tape 

While beach access is free, the parking area is limited to Southold locals. You’ll need a town resident permit to park. If you don’t have one, park elsewhere and bike, or get someone to drop you off at the end of the road. As with the East Marion Boulders, be sure to keep an eye on local tidal charts

Recommended Routes

  • Golden (V1)
  • Crimp and Grips (V2) 
  • Hang 10 (V5)
  • Each Wave (V6)

 

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.

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