Governor’s Stable With Kids

Atop Moby's Dick BoulderGovernor’s Stable

The weather this weekend was as close to perfect as you get in Pennsylvania in August.  Sunny, breezy, no humidity, high 70’s etc. We decided to take the kids to Governor’s Stable, a bouldering area in Central PA that is right near Elizabethtown College and Three Mile Island.

Access to Governor’s Stable

For those that haven’t been to GS before, access to this area has been obtained through the hard work of the Friends of Governor’s Stable organization.  Information can be found on their website.  Memberships are available (we happen to be charter members with a 3 year pass) but day passes can also be purchased online.  The kiosk at the entrance is looking great and the instructions make it quite clear that payment, a waiver, and sign in is required to access the area.

The Approach at Governor’s Stable

This trip was a lot easier than earlier trips as the kids walked the entire way.  The hike in is as much of an adventure as the climbing, as there are tree stumps to protect the trail (it’s a muddy/swampy area after rain).  It was quite the adventure, as C & R jumped from tree stump to tree stump the entire way in.  From the park parking lot to the first boulder is well under a mile, with a bridge crossing, plank walking, and the aforementioned stump jumping along the way. The first portion of the hike is along the road (less than 400 meters) and there isn’t much of a shoulder, but there isn’t much traffic either.

Poison Ivy

Warning: Watch out for poison ivy and know what it looks like, as there is a good bit of it around.  They’ve done a great job of clearing it off the trail area and away from the immediate climbing boulders, but it is out there and should be avoided.

Climbing at Governor’s Stable

While we usually stop at the warm up boulders on the way in (there’s a great area for the kids to play), we’ve gotten stuck there for hours in the past as the kids love the big flat boulder that they can play on and jump off.  We skipped it this trip and went straight for some of the climbs we don’t get on very often. We went to the area known as Moby’s and friends to start.  The kids love climbing the slab that is the top portion of the Moby’s Dick problem an they managed to smear up that for a bit before hanging out at the top of the boulder (picture above).

While they snacked, I climbed the v3 ish Minky Mantle (I started to the right) which went pretty quickly after a few warm up tries.  We also messed around on Moby’s Dick, but didn’t give it a real try, as that is where the kids were climbing.

After an hour or so of lunch, climbing, and hanging out on top of the Moby’s Dick boulder, we packed up and hiked over to the Bread Loaf arete.  I love this climb but can’t seem to top it out – it’s a head game for me, as the crux (for me) is quite high and I’m disinterested in turning an ankle (let it be known that the landing is flat, so I’m just being a bit whiner).  The Bread Loaf Arete (v4ish) climb lost a hold in January but it is apparently not any harder (just headier. . . ).

Kids standing on top of boulderAfter another kid climb on the backside of the Breadloaf Arete, we decided to call it a day.  On the hike out, C ran theentire way, trying to beat her dad and brother.  It was amazing.  I could barely keep up (with the crash pad).

All in all, a successful day at GS with not too much climbing, but a lot of family adventure fun!





New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.