The Skinner area is located on the southern edge of Hadley, Massachusetts inside the beautiful J. A. Skinner State Park. Although modest in size, the high quality of both the stone and the routes themselves make Skinner an excellent destination for a solid day of climbing.
These two southeast facing crags are comprised of basaltic traprock, the dominate stone of Connecticut climbing. While most of the traprock in Massachusetts is highly fractured and heartbreakingly unclimbable – unlike Connecticut’s finer stone – some of this “Skinner stone” is bullet hard and quite challenging. Those familiar with basalt will note the absence of grit or horizontal holds and the corresponding importance of side-pulls, underclings and body position. The two cliffs – a lower tier of hard, bolted routes and an upper tier of more moderate top rope problems – top out at 30 feet and yield perhaps 25 routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.13.
Park at the New England Trail (formerly M&M Trail) Head on Old Mountain Road in Hadley, MA. Enter this one-way, gravel road from the south where it intersects the eastern side of route 47 at the South Hadley and Hadley town line. An old cemetary – on the western side of 47 – marks this intersection. The trail head kiosk can be found about 100 yards down Old Mountain Road just before the power lines cross the road. Park on the right, well out of the travel lane. This is a residential neighborhood so please behave accordingly.
Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.
The New England Trail (NET) is currently undergoing maintenance! Sections of trail nearby the climbing are being rerouted. We will update this information as soon as it is available!