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Crow Hill

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Buttress, The 
End Crags 
Fisherman's Wall 
Green Corner 
Main Face 
Practice Face (right end) 

Crow Hill  

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Location: 42.5145, -71.8578 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Old Timer, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: jeremyadams on Jan 6, 2007
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View from the top of Crow Hill in the summer.


Located 20 minutes north of Worcester and an hour west of Boston, this crag in Leominster State Forest offers a varied concentration of traditional rock climbing routes within a reasonable drive of many Eastern and Central Massachusetts climbers. Facing east-southeast and situated on a hillside, many of Crow Hill's cracks and faces often seep longer and wetter than other New England areas. The climbing season at Crow Hill begins in March, if it's a dry winter, or as late as June, if it's a wet spring.

The cliff's faces and features are comprised of gneiss, offering a grainy texture unique from the typical Northeast trad haunts (i.e. Cathedral, Gunks). A handful of easier routes at the north and south ends (called Practice Face and End Crags, respectively) are often busy. The crag's 5.8s are among the best in The Commonwealth, including Intertwine, Tarzan, and Diagonal, but the local classic is Cromagnon, a 5.10 crack that teaches toproping newbies how to jam, and how to swing.

The Midstate Trail runs along the clifftop, and locals residents of the Fitchburg area frequently hike and scramble around the crag, so brain buckets, vigilance, and common sense are wise complements to your rack, rope, and bug dope.

A climbing permit (free) [used to be] required of each climber by the state forest to legally climb at Crow. [A climber used to] obtain this at the park HQ prior to climbing, and renew annually, by showing harnesses and ropes to a ranger. Now it is climb at your own risk.

Getting There 

From Route 2, take the Route 31 exit (west of Fitchburg) and travel south. A couple miles past the hotel and utility facility, the park headquarters appear on the right. Farther down the road, pass a pond with swimming area (comfort facilities, seasonal, $5 per car to park and swim). From the roadside pond parking area (not always open), a trail climbs perpendicular to the road, meeting the cliff base in 5 minutes.

A more reliable (typically prefered) parking situation is available about 1/4 mile further south on the right (dirt lot, aka "Climber's Lot"). From this lot, walk up the (closed to autos) gravel road about 10 minutes. From the road's terminus, a trail climbs through a break in an old stone wall to a fork, where signs offer guidance to the top of crag (via End Crags, left) or base of crag (right).

L->R of the walls 

End Crags
Green Corner
Fisherman's Wall
The Buttress
Main Face
Practice Face


Leominster weather.

Map of Leominster Trails 

Leominster trail maps.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

33 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',15],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Crow Hill:
Tomís Dilemma   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   End Crags
Boardwalk   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   Practice Face (right end)
Green Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 2 pitches, 120'   Green Corner
The Chimney   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 120'   The Buttress
Layback   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 32'   End Crags
Triple Overhangs (aka Sun Gypsy)   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Green Corner
Sidewinder   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   Practice Face (right end)
Outersite   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 55'   Main Face
Franny's Folly   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Main Face
Intertwine   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   Main Face
Karen's Folly   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Face
Diagonal   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 35'   Fisherman's Wall
Thin Line   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Face
Tarzan   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Fisherman's Wall
The Nose   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 25'   The Buttress
Buttress   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   The Buttress
Fool on a Hill   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Buttress
Cheetah   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 75'   Fisherman's Wall
Cro-Magnon   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   Fisherman's Wall
Jane   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 100'   Fisherman's Wall
Browse More Classics in Crow Hill

Featured Route For Crow Hill
Jane. This only shows the bottom half through the ...

Jane 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13  MA : Leominster Area : ... : Fisherman's Wall
Jane is the obvious finger crack on the right side of the Fisherman's Wall (the tallest, and largest wall). This is one of my very favorites. Most jams are secure depending on your hand size and ability level. The crux is the obvious bulge with chockstone in the crack. Directly above the bulge/crux is a sling anchor, which most people lower from. The climb does continue to the top; however, this is not the common practice. When Jane was first freed, it is was one of the hardest pitches...[more]   Browse More Classics in MA

Comments on Crow Hill Add Comment
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By tetrault
From: CT
Nov 2, 2014
Found: pair of base layer bottoms near the base of Diagonal/Cro-Magnon. Contact me if they are yours!
By Padraig
Sep 1, 2011
The free climbing permit appears to no longer be necessary for climbing at Crow Hill. Park staff told us yesterday (August 31,2011) that it is now simply "climb at your own risk."
By Jcomeau
From: Hopkinton, MA
Nov 23, 2012
Looks like I left some gear on Lizard head. I think a number 1 BD stopper with an oval wire gate on it, and a number 8 I believe, the orangeish one. Would be great to get it back.
By mikeinvt
May 20, 2013
Found some gear at the anchor for Intertwine. Respond with description, and I'd be happy to get it back to you.
By Read
From: Townsend, MA
May 29, 2013
Mike I messaged you about the gear, but if you didn't see that it was two DMM lockers, Mammut pear, some blue cord. Let me know if that's what you found.
By Brett Maguire
Jun 12, 2013
Gear happily retrieved from Mike. Three cheers for climbers being awesome people.
By Andrew Bennett
Oct 12, 2013
Total shot in the dark. I left a yellow number 2 OP link cam in the crack by greens corner last night. If anyone finds it there is a six pack in it for you.
By JD1984
From: Worcester, MA
Oct 13, 2014
I just noticed a video camera in the parking area fastened to a tree. Is this area actively under surveillance? I know the parking area has been the site of many car break-ins in the past. Does anyone know who put this up?