Jamestown
Submitted by: saxfiend
Please respect surrounding private property.
Though the Jamestown crag is owned by the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, access to the cliff passes through privately-owned land. The landowners in the valley have been gracious enough to grant this right-of-way, so the SCC asks that all climbers be respectful of these property owners' privacy.

Additionally, the land above the cliffline as well as the land past the end of the SCC property is owned by private landowners, many of whom are hostile to climbers. Do not top out on the cliff under any circumstances. Do not climb in areas that are plainly marked off limits, and do not go past the sign at the end of the SCC property (about where the route Cinnamon Girl is located).

There is no camping allowed at Jamestown. The nearest camping is in DeSoto State Park near Fort Payne.
Description
Jamestown is Alabama's surprise gift to trad climbing. Located where the tail end of Lookout Mountain pokes down from Tennessee, Jamestown's sandstone cliffs have a lot in common with some of that state's great crags. And unlike some more popular destinations, Jamestown retains a pristine wilderness flavor, due in large part to its isolated location.

Climbing at Jamestown goes back to 1978, when Rich Gottlieb scouted out the crag on a day too rainy for climbing at Sand Rock. Over the several years, Gottlieb and well-known southern climbers like Chick Holtkamp, Shannon Stegg, Rob Robinson and others established numerous excellent trad lines.

For a long time, Jamestown was one of those semi-secret destinations, known and climbed by only the chosen few. But even the chosen few got shut out in the early 90s when a local property owner who claimed ownership over the crag forbade climbing there. All that changed in 2005, when the Southeastern Climbers Coalition did some research and found the real owner of the cliffline. A deal was worked out and Jamestown was sold to the SCC, reopening climbing there for the first time since 1993.

With a few notable exceptions, Jamestown is a trad climbing area. No bolting is allowed without express approval by the SCC. It's also worth noting that the cliff is prone to water seepage, which makes large sections slick and wet for a week or more after any rainfall.

Getting There
From Atlanta, head north on I-75 to the Rome exit (Hwy. 411/20, exit 290). Continue through Rome on GA 20 and into Alabama; about five miles past the border, turn right (north) on SR 35. Proceed on 35 past the intersection with Hwy. 68, then watch for the next major crossing, county roads 273 and 15 (you'll see a gas station/convenience store at this corner which may or may not be in business).

Turn right on CR 15 and continue for about three miles. After passing a cemetery on the left, watch for a gravel turnoff on the left with a small street number sign (3147). Turn left here and follow this dirt/gravel road past an old stone dam on the left and through the woods until you reach a clearing for farm pasture on the left.

Look for a gated turnoff on the right and turn here, following the track through a pasture and back into the woods. Continue until this intersects with a well-defined farm road that follows the power lines. Turn left here and go through another gate, finishing at a dirt parking area at the base of the power lines. IMPORTANT: Do not leave the farm gates open! Hike up the powerline trail and watch for flagging with surveyor's tape to indicate where the trail cuts left into the woods. Follow the flagged trail up to the cliff and turn left at the SCC kiosk.

NOTE: The old access trail from the top of the cliff is permanently closed. Do not use this trail or you'll be trespassing.
Photos
Jesse Guthrie on pitbull Photo Roy Simmons
Jesse Guthrie on pitbull Photo Roy Simmons


This drawing shows the road in to the new Jamestown trail from the valley@SEMICOLON@ read the text description for more details.
This drawing shows the road in to the new Jamestown trail from the valley@SEMICOLON@ read the text description for more details.

The view from atop Jamestown on one very hot and humid July day.
The view from atop Jamestown on one very hot and humid July day.

The awesome freestanding pillar at Jamestown.  If you climb it a girl will lick your armpit.
The awesome freestanding pillar at Jamestown. If you climb it a girl will lick your armpit.

Comments
Jeff Mekolites  Apr 15, 2007
Heard some great and funny stories about the development of Jamestown from Rich Gottlieb while visiting the Gunks and his shop Rock and Snow in New Paltz...if you're in the shop introduce yourself...he loves to talk.

R Squared  Jul 29, 2007
This place was a blast in late July. It was super hot and even more humid. This place would be off the chain in the fall and winter months.

Amy Denicke  Jul 13, 2008
First time at this area!! I love it!!

James Ruch  Feb 19, 2011
Does anyone know the current condition of the access trail? Is this area easy to find for a first time visitor?

Jeff Mekolites  Feb 27, 2011
Trail in and out of Jamestown is in good shape and well marked. I believe it also has blue survey tape marking it. As you hike in, you will reach the SCC kiosk. Head left along the cliffline to reach the Harvest Wall. This is prime Jamestown season, y'all need to get out there and check it out. Plus there are some new route additions out there.

Tipton  Jan 19, 2012
This place is awesome. Really fun trad routes, most are slightly less than vertical which is great for trad leaders who don't like placing gear while pumped. I just wish the entire cliff were open, the climbing is truly awesome.

Teddy Malley  Mar 4, 2014
Thinking of visiting Jamestown on my way through the southeast. Wondering if there is any camping close by? Is it safe to leave a truck with a few tools and some other gear there while we climb? Any input appreciated!

ecessg  Mar 7, 2014
i have tent camped here in the past littleriverrvpark.com/ . i thought it was quite satisfactory. the parking for jamestown is quite secluded. the only people that are going to be back there are climbers. your stuff should be safe. note: it's been a couple of years since i have been to j/t so take everything with a grain of salt.

Teddy Malley  Apr 24, 2014
Thanks

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