Chapel Ledge is tucked away in the quiet hills of Ashfield, MA. This spectacular setting has strong roots to the climbing history in Western Mass and has evolved into one of the area’s premier beginner crags.
This southwest facing rock is boldly featured granite reminiscent of crags in the White Mountains or Yosemite. Slabs dominate the moderate climbing here; however, more difficult test pieces can be found on brief, overhanging sections of the walls. Additionally, some shorter walls yield moderate bouldering. Typically, the crag is free of the crowds one would see at Farley, but Chapel is popular with outdoor educators and other groups, so be prepared to see ropes on the main slab. Many groups that make regular use of Chapel, such as our local chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), are generous about sharing time on the rock, so don’t be afraid of saying hello and sharing a belay.
Chapel Ledge is located on the Chapel Brook property owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. Two, six car lots are located approximately six miles north of Williamsburg on both the eastern and western side of Ashfield Road. An obvious trail leaves the western lot and heads to the crag. Great swimming holes – made by Chapel Falls- located on the eastern side of the road help to round out a hot, humid afternoon. The Trustees do not charge climbers (or any other visitors) for the use of this beautiful resource, but the WMCC strongly encourages regular climbers to support this worthy organization with either time or a donation.
Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.
The main trail takes the dirt road that exits the western parking lot and winds beyond the gate to the kiosk. From here, timber steps and the obvious trail lead to the base of the cliff. A newly renovated climbers’ trail leaves the main trail and hugs the climbable sections of the cliff band. The climbers’ trail rejoins the main trail and continues up to the summit of the cliff.
The WMCC completed some major trail improvements here as part of Adopt-A-Crag ’05. A variety of projects along the climbers’ trail yielding some much needed improvements.