Safe Harbor Access Open!

Safe Harbor, The New “New”.  Or Not.

It was quite the hullabaloo in November of 2011, when it became clear that the Safe Harbor Climbing area in south central Pennsylvania would become open to the public once again.  Largely due to the hard work and dedication of some local climbers, this once-popular east coast climbing destination (restricted for almost twenty years) was reopened for public access. .  .and not just public access, but CLIMBING access.  Yay!

This area is a great place for locals to come with their young kids.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the climbing is mostly slab and/or vertical, and the rock tends to be slow to dry out.   On the upside, it is located in central PA, less than 15 minutes from the Maryland border and only 25 minutes from our house.

The approach is only 15-20 (flat) minutes. Most of the approach is a wide-open stone trail (jogging stroller friendly, if you can believe it!).  The area at the base of the rock is flat and wide open.   The rock is south facing, so it is a perfect locale for a winter, fall, or cool spring day of climbing. . . not so much for mid day summer sun (scorching!).

If this sounds appealing, check out the guidebook, written by our own Eric Horst.  Want to get involved?  Join the Safe Harbor Facebook group. Parking is an issue, so be sure to follow the guidebook and/or check out the group for more information.  As always, donate to the Access Fund to help keep this and other climbing areas open.

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.