Haycock Mountain (Nockamixon)
Submitted by: Dan Allard
Areas on State Game Lands may face full hunting season closure starting in 2015 - please read and respondLarry S
writes: The PA Game Commission is considering restricting access to state game lands during hunting seasons, potentially shuttering access to many of our climbing areas during the best times of the year. See the thread here mountainproject.com/v/haycock-...
DescriptionSolid Triassic Diabase bouldering on Pennsylvania State Game Lands 157. with everything from slopers to crimpers to slabs to cracks on ratings from V0 to V10+. Landings range from good to terrible with most problems surrounded by rocks.
The climbing is entirely in the woods with generally poorly marked trails you may find hundreds of quality, established problems exist, plenty more to be explored.
Friction seems to pop in cooler temperatures making early spring and late fall the ideal seasons for this area.
Be sure to wear bright colors (blaze orange) accordingly during hunting seasons as much of the climbing is on PA State Game Lands.
The main footpath is Top Rock Trail. It starts at the Top Rock lot in the east, goes to Top Rock, and then goes south to the Hanger 18/Mill Road parking.
Teddy Bear, Top Rock, the Glass Wall, Area 15, and Hanger 18 are all along Top Rock Trail.
Hobo Trail is reached by going through Teddy Bear, and further north.
The Caves Trail is a cutoff that avoids the summit. Caves Trail (east) leaves Top Rock trail before Teddy Bear, connects to Gateway, reaches the Caves, passes under the River of Rocks, then Caves Trail (west) returns to Top Rock Trail about halfway between Area 51 and Hanger 18.
If you want to stay somewhere civilized overnight, Nockamixon State Park right next to Haycock Mountain has cabins and hostel for rent. For camping, the next park west, Lake Towhee (Bucks County) Park offers tent camping sites.
The nearest climbing store and guide service to Haycock is the Doylestown Rock Gym. It's only a short detour if visiting Haycock. They seem to be the best place to look for the current guidebook, and may offer other information, too.
Circa 1970s: Pete Cody and Ed Vansteinwick were early climbers to establish and document routes at Haycock (per Holzman).
1990s: Problems up to V9 were established.
2000s: Char Fetterolf has established and published problems up to V12.
2002: Char's first edition of "A Bouldering Guide to Haycock Mountain."
2012: Char's second edition of his guide book.
Getting ThereTop Rock parking
Use Top Rock for most Haycock areas.
Off of RT 563 turn north onto Top Rock Trail Road. About a mile down on the left is a small parking area. Follow the obvious singletrack hiking trail up to the Trail-split Boulder; go left at this junction for the Caves Trail East, and right for other areas.
After this, trails are generally poorly marked. Look for cairns and blazes on trees.
Hanger 18 parking
Use Mill Road parking for Hanger 18.
Off of RT 563, turn north onto Harrisburg School Road. Turn right at Kinzler Road. Pass a stop sign, park in a small lot on the left, and follow a trail to Hanger 18, the Caves Trail West. and other bouldering areas.
CommentsLars Torkelson Nov 15, 2011
I recently moved to Philadelphia and went to Haycock for the first time on Sunday. I was amazed at the quality of the rock, the sheer number of problems and the possibilities for endless bouldering circuits. I have but one thing to ask: would any local climbers please, please shed some light on this wonderful area? Even the simplest of topos, photos, descriptions or links to other extant guides would be tremendously appreciated.
Justin Johnsen Nov 16, 2011
Hey Lars, I agree Haycock is a quality climbing spot. I'm slowly collecting and putting together content for Mountain Project - hopefully others will contribute content for this too.
Rob Holzman's PA climbing guidebook is one of my sources for this (included in the guidebooks section if you navigate to Pennsylvania here on MP). There's one section free online here: www.paclimbing.com/haycock_page.htm .
rockclimbing.com has some coverage of Haycock too.
Justin Compton Dec 4, 2011
Char Fetterolf is putting an updated guidebook together now. No word yet on when it'll be out. You might be able to locate an old copy of it if your lucky or meet some locals.
Justin Johnsen Jan 12, 2012
Justin C., thanks for the tip, I picked up an '02 Fetterolf!
Justin Johnsen Jan 24, 2012
I also spoke with someone at Doylestown Rock Gym [edit: Thanks for posting the full details, Dana!], and the new 2012 Char Fetterolf guide is planned for release in a few weeks.
Doylestown Rock Gym Jan 24, 2012
Haycock Bouldering Guide is due out next week. It is a 75-page color guide book, include GPS coordinates, easy to use rating scale and much more!
Pre-Order sale going on now until Jan 29, 2012. Pick it up for only $25 (MSRP $30).
Reserve Your Copy Today!
Tim Quick Feb 1, 2012
Thanks for posting about the new guidebook. I actually happened to stumble upon these posts when trying to search for directions to Hobo and I am SO happy to learn about the new guidebook. I can't even begin to count the number of times that I got lost on Top Rock side of the mountain when trying to find the trail/problems! Just pre-ordered the book and looking forward to spending more time working problems instead of trekking through the woods!
Brian Monetti May 23, 2013
had an great day climbing here last weekend, but spent an hour bushwacking back to our car once we got off trail (added adventure, right?) finally got around to buying the guidebook from doylestown rock gym, and the quality is awesome, one of the best bouldering guidebooks i own. the gps will also keep me from getting lost next time! highly recommended, and basically required if you are new to the area
JamieRe Jun 21, 2013
Does anyone know if you can camp in the park? If not are there any recommendations for climber camping in the area?
I am heading out there this weekend from RI looking for something new and definitely want to camp but don't want to pay 37 dollars a night. Bringing my one year old and dog. Should be a good time. If anyone wants to show us around that'd be radical. I am going to buy the guide at the Doylestown Gym for sure as well.
JamieRe Jun 26, 2013
Hey I had a fabulous time out at Haycock! I want to apologize for the giant tick marks left on Gumball. I was going to brush them on day two which didn't happen because my 1 year old decided she wanted to go home haha so we didn't get back there.
Larry S Jan 14, 2015
It's on the State Game lands agenda to close access to for non-hunting/trapping uses during hunting seasons - see the forum post here mountainproject.com/v/haycock-...
Josh Gian Jun 27, 2015
We are looking to go to haycock the second weekend of July. Is this a good idea or will conditions make it a waste of time? Any help would be appreciated!
Larry S Jun 28, 2015
Josh - I'm not the most knowledgeable on haycock - but things we probably be pretty overgrown, and with the heat & humidity, the climbing might be greasy. I think i went in the summer a few years ago and the caves trail was practically gone. It's tough to follow when the foliage isn't in. If you've never been and do go, i would start at the hanger 18 area.
If it doesn't work out for you, Ralph Stover / High Rocks is just down the road too, with easy top-rope setups, but that place is an oven on a sunny summer day. The redeeming factor there is you can go swim in the river.
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