There are no warranties, whether expressed or implied, that this guide is accurate or that the information contained in it is reliable. Your use of this guide indicates your assumption of the risk that it may contain errors and is an acknowledgment of your own sole responsibility for your climbing safety in what is potentially a life threatening sport.

Google Earth

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width:auto/ Note: Google Earth Plug-in is not the same as the Google Earth download. After installing the Plug-in you will need to close and reopen this page.

More About the Guide

There are just about 150 rock outcrops listed in this guide, although 40% really aren’t worth talking about. I chose to include the 40% so you can decide for yourself if they are worth climbing. Perhaps the vegetation just needs to be cleaned off to uncover something grand. There are lots of bouldering spots listed as well.

Click on the balloons in Google Earth to see information and pictures of each crag. All crags will have the height, the direction the rock faces, a clean rating, and the approximate number of routes. The clean rating is on a scale 1 to 5 where Ilchester is a 5 and Friction wall is a 2. Please keep in mind this is a small scale and very subjective. The last rating, approximate number of routes, is based on either having climbed at the crag or a visual inspection of the crag. This rating should give you an idea of how much a crag has to offer. Please note that the green park boundary lines seen here in Google Earth were hand-drawn and are not exact. I often get asked if I have climbed on all of the crags listed here and the answer is no, as some are just plain rotten rock or covered in vines.

Naming of the Crags

The majority of the crags were named by their location to the nearest road. I did take some liberty and gave unique names to some crags even though I may not have been the first person to discover the crag. If you feel you have the right to name a place, I’ll be happy to consider changing the name.


Many of the crags listed with in this blog have established routes that are not documented. This being the case, please ask before bolting to make sure a route doesn't already exists. There are several Crags in the area that are desired by many to stay bolt free in order to protect the established routes. The list is, Ilchester, Woodstock, Cascade Falls, Bloede Dam Crag, Alberton, Kelbel’s Karg, Marriottsville Gold-Silver-Bronze, River Rd Half Dome, and The Nest.

Google Earth Download

The link below has the rock locations for use in Google Earth, without the pictures and information contained within the balloons.
In Google Earth turn on the Park Boundaries by selecting “Parks/Recreation Areas”, a green pine tree, found in the “More” folder.
MrPatapsco Locations

Other Climbing Links

Mid-Atlantic Climbers (MAC) is an organization dedicated to ensuring responsible climbing and access in Maryland and Virginia. MAC is involved with Ilchester Rock and the issues at hand including erosion, Graffiti, and trash.

Indy-Adventures covers most of Maryland's climbing areas and contains more detailed information on some of the local areas listed here.

Bouldering and climbing in Central Maryland by Robin Close
with and emphasis on North West Branch.

Pebble Wrestling A Local group documenting there Bouldering trips.

Mountain Project / Maryland / Patapsco State Park

John Middendorf's Big Walls Website, has a report of what is belived to be Maryland's first grade IV route "Spectacular Spectacle 5.8 A3 IV"
FA: John Kelbel & Dominic Albanese 10/16/2005

John Kelbel

I grew up on a small farm on the West side of Baltimore and started climbing in the spring of 1988 through CCBC. I began lead climbing the fall of 1988 on nuts and hexes as camming units were not well known about. I’m proud to say that I lead my first two 5.10’s, Castor and Pollux at Seneca, prior to obtaining my first camming unit. I started guiding for Mike Carroll’s CCBC climbing class trips to Seneca in 1989 and it was an honor to guide for him for 17 years. In 1991, I took 2 courses with NC Outward Bound, the Wilderness First Responders and a 10-day Rope Rescue course. After completing these courses, I taught troubled youth to climb at Seneca for 4 summers. The last summer I taught the class, I lived at Seneca and my work-week was only 3 days long! With all this extra time to climb, I began leading 5.11 Seneca trad routes. I have enjoyed the challenge of climbing several routes approx. 1000’ tall, two of which I roped soloed - Moby Grape on Cannon NH, and Left side cracks on Pingora in the Cirque of the towers WY. I have established a route at Seneca “Before the Fall” 5.10b PG with Dan Caston and Maryland’s first grade IV route “Spectacular Spectacle” A3+ 5.8 IV at Maryland Heights with Dominic Albanese.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Having Google Earth Plugin Trouble!

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Spring 2015 update

I covered 95 miles on foot this winter and added 43 more boulders to the site with some near 20 feet tall. Bringing the crag / boulder count to 236. Most of the new boulders added are around Liberty Lake and have some of the longest approaches in this blog. Liberty Lake is Baltimore City watershed property and swimming is prohibited. Climbing is also prohibited but no climbing issues have come to my attention nor have I seen it posted anywhere. It seams the intent of this law was to keep people off the dam and rock that forms the sides of the dam, however that’s just my irrelevant view of it. I advise everyone keep a low profile while on Baltimore watershed property keeping climbing gear in a pack and out of sight. Here’s what’s new from North to South. On the north end of Liberty Lake In-between Rt 140 and Deer Park rd are 21 boulders with a few near 20 feet tall, some of which loom over the water. At the Lake and Rt 32 heading East are 5 boulders in the 12 to 15 foot height range this is the branch of the lake created by Morgan Run. To finish up with Liberty three more boulders were added just south of the Dam, the new JJ Boulder is worth checking out along with the existing KK and CC boulders. John Brunson and Ryan Jones located the “Grimhold Boulder” near Freedom Park Sykesville along the railroad and have established a few lines there. East of Woodstock around Fox Rock Quarry I add 7 boulders and some of them are granite. Near Cascade falls / Bloede Dam area four more outcrops were added, Carpet Rock, Eggbert, Green Monster, and Crusades. In the City at Leakin Park I turned up an unappealing old quarry named Barrier Cliff. Finally to warp up this winter’s rock hunt with a new area containing five mediocre boulders in Hawlings River state park just south of Triadelphia Reservoir. I’m happy to change things if there is reason too, like color of the place markers or even the name of a crags, obviously I’m not the first to come across all these rocks. If you find your group of friends climbing frequently at a crag that’s marked in red or blue let me know so I can update the map for the climbing community, particularly if the crag has been cleaned up and has become more accessible to climbing. I enjoy hearing that people are adventuring out to all these places. John Kelbel

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Update

Added a few more outcrops. The most interesting is South Morgan Run “H” and “G” Morgan Run Park is North of Skyesville off Klee Mill Rd.  From here hike south 1.2 miles along the river and left up a small valley with a stream. The rocks are pretty close to London Bridge Rd.  I haven’t checked to see if there is parking on London Bridge.
Added Pictures of Rory Bowman on Dana Tron V6 at Woodstock and also add pictures of him on the neighboring boulder called “West Boulder”.
Added 3 more outcrops in-between Woodstock Rock and Daniels on the south side of the Patapsco River, their names are “Cable Rock”, “Tom Thumb”, and “Rock Slide”
Another Group of 3 outcrops were added on the North side of the river from the old mill at Daniels there names are “Moss Pile”, “Boulder Line”, and “Cornerstone”

Friday, April 12, 2013

7 more Boulders

I logged 7 more boulders in Patapsco 4 are on the North side of the river and up stream from Woodstock Rock. I really enjoyed playing on the overhanging boulder I named "Passage" the others are "Chuck Fin" "Fish Head" and "Stonecutters".  The last 3 are along the river and there is only a faint trail to reach them.
The other 3 are East of Sykesville, actually between Rt 32 and Henryton Rd on the South side of the river which is Howard County.  Named "Axiom", "Linear Extension" and "Circular Edge" which offers some good rock quality.  They are along side a small stream that feeds the Patapsco river and there is also a tail following the stream.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Update: More Boulders added.

During Thanksgiving John Conaway and I came across two medium size boulders about a quarter mile south of Daniels.  The old town of Daniels is about a mile North-West of Rt70 and the Patapsco River as the crow fly’s.  The boulders are named “Turkey Pile” and “Mashed Potato Pile”.

Just East of Freedom Park which is located not quite a mile East of Rt32 and the Patapsco River I added 3 more boulders two of which are very small.  They are named “Methane” “Hydrogen” and “Sulfur” in conjunction with being next to the stinky sewage treatment plant.  Photos have been updated for Freedom Rock and both Upper and Lower Freedom Boulder.  The “Upper Freedom Boulder” is a favorite boulder of mine.

On the South side of the river across from Freedom Park and in between “The Nest” and “River rd Half Dome” I add the small and fun boulder “Dragon Scales” which is well worth the stop to traverse it overhanging lip.

The green park boundary lines have been updated to better match what Google is now claiming.  It was surprising to see large changes in the property lines, some changes make more sense while others don’t so beware they are not exact and only meant to be a guide line.

The download link for the KMZ file for use with Google Earth or perhaps other GPS programs has been updated.  The link is under the bold heading "Google Earth Down Load" and labeled "Mrpatapsco Locations"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Update - New Boulder - New KMZ download

With the recent updates the Rock Quantities for the blog has reached 144.

The boulder that Michael Kremer pointed out near the Avalon entrance to the Patapsco State Park, located just west of 95 and the Patapsco River has been added and called “Kremer”.  If Michael would like to give it another name he is welcome to contact me.

The download link for the KMZ file for use with Google Earth or other GPS programs has been updated.  This link includes all the balloons and paths excluding the information and pictures contained with in.  The link is under the bold heading “Google Earth Down Load” and labeled “MrPatapsco Locations”

Sorry that the site was down for a few days with a “Bad or null kmz” the files got deleted by mistake by some else and I didn’t realize it for several days.  If you ever see that error message come up please notify me through a comment on the latest post so it can be repair.

Have a happy Rock hunting season. Merry Christmas

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just in time for Thanksgiving 16 more rocks

Just posted 16 more rocks all but one are in Tri-adelphia on the west end of the lake south of rt 70.  About 3 miles south is another 18’ boulder “Sharp Stone” in Rahcel-Carson Conservation-Park.
Note that some rocks on the extreme west end of the lake are just outside the border of Patuxant-River State-Park, it seem here the fire road is the border between the park and reservoir properties.  There is a parking lot right off 97, I have parked here a few times even though there is a no parking sign on the trail head message board.  I assume its means to park on the opposite side or at least not in front of the sign.
The nice overhanging trio boulders Larry, Moe, and Curly are located on the West side of the lake and provide an access challenge as the woods are filled with sticker bushes and currently the water level is high (fall 2012) .  When the water level is down walking around the edge of the lake won’t be so bad however it’s going to be 1.6 mile approach from Tri-adelphia Mill rd.  The Fire road is another access point however that’s not keeping a low profile and is posted with signs.
The rocks on the East side are less of an issue since this is a permitted picnicking area.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2 more rocks

Two more outcrops to explore along the Patuxent River State Park, South of Mt Airy and West of Columbia, Labeled Damascus Rock and Brotherhood Boulder.

There are also some small Rocks/Boulders off Triadelphia Lark Rd, I have not documented. From the parking head left, North West, along the lake.
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