Self-Guided Opportunities
Rock Climbing
Location Rocks State Park, Route 24 north of Bel Air, 410-557-7994
Trail Access Park at rapids parking lot on Route 24. One half mile steep trail (purple blazes) from Route 24 gets climbers to the top of the rock formation.
Distance One half mile to the formation
190' drop to Deer Creek
Climbs range from 8' to 115'
Time Vary, depending on skill
Skill Level Ranges from grade 4 to 5.12
Vary in height and difficulty
Suitable For Families? Yes, with previous experience and proper climbing equipment
Hazards/Restrictions Copperheads often found in rocks
Bee nests along some climbs
Some loose, falling rock
No fixed protection
Dangerous area if not properly equipped or trained
Groups are required to register at the park office
Potable Water Carry your own water. Bathrooms at Rock Ridge picnic area near the top of the climb
Natural Features This has been a popular tourism spot since the early 1800's. Impressive view overlooks Deer Creek valley.
White-tailed deer and wild turkey habitat.
Historic/Cultural Features A railroad stop for the Ma and Pa Railroad was located across Deer Creek. Historical carvings in the rock formation date from the mid 1800's.
Trail passes former LaGrange Iron Works and Rogers Furnace site and quarry site.
King and Queen Seat was a ceremonial site for Susquehannock and Mingo Indians.
Guiding Earth Treks Climbing, 410-872-0060
Camping None
Other Points of Interest Rapids area on Deer Ceek is quite scenic and accessible from the same parking area. There are three picnic/day use areas nearby: Rock Ridge, Wilson's and Hills Grove. Deer Creek offers tubing, canoeing/kayaking and put and take trout fishing.
Other Accommodations None
Service Charges or Permits Groups are required to register at the park office
Description The rocks are of Wissahickon schist formation, characterized by cracks, flakes and quartz crystals. This is a popular climbing area due to ease of access. It provides climbs of varying difficulty.

Resources Recommended Gear and Safety Tips
  • Helmet
  • Climbing ropes and other safety equipment required for youth groups
  • Leave a trip plan with a family member
  • Small first aid kit
  • Water and a snack
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Check for ticks upon returning