Best Outdoor Rock Climbing Near Chicago

October 2, 2010 1:08 PM

Ferne Clyffe


Rock climbing is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in Illinois. While you won’t find outdoor rock climbing in the city of Chicago, just outside are some great state parks for recreational use.

ferne Best Outdoor Rock Climbing Near Chicago


Ferne Clyffe – State Park

Rt.37, P.O. Box 10
Goreville, IL 62939

Located on Illinois Route 37, just one mile south of Goreville and 12 miles south of Marion, the 2,430-acre park is easily accessible from both I-57 and I-24. Camping, picnicking, hiking, hunting, fishing and sightseeing are also available at Ferne Clyffe.

giant city Best Outdoor Rock Climbing Near Chicago


Giant City – State Park

235 Giant City Road
Makanda, IL 62958

Climbing and rappelling are permitted at the park in two locations. The areas of Devil’s Standtable cliff and Shelter #1 bluff at the Makanda entrance are accessible to climbers, and ropes are permitted on these cliffs. Climbers should bring their own equipment and go directly to the bluff. No permanent anchors allowed. No check-in is necessary. All climbing activities at the park are conducted at your own risk. Cliffs are steep, sandstone can be slippery when wet, and protected venomous copperhead snakes are found on sunny ledges, please use caution. Southern Illinois sandstone bluff plant communties are fragile, so tread lightly in these areas.

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