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.

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.


Indy said...

Awesome, John!

Indy said...
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Indy said...
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michael kremer said...

just to let you know of a few bouldering problems and a nice wall not on your google earth map. I have been working on a few problems here as well as in the rest of the park as it is local for me. If you enter the entrance where the avalon location of the park is. when you come to the T in the road(for either side of the river) take the left like going towards bloade dam wall. But park in the first parking lot on the right. exactly 1/2 mile down the road along the bend in the river road up on the hill on the left is the wall and several small bouldering problems.

Mr Patapsco said...

Thanks Michael,
I will check it out and add it to the blog, what would you like to call it?

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