In just a few hours on a sunny Saturday in April, more than 75 volunteers tackled invasive bamboo, removed graffiti and prevented trail erosion at Rocks State Park in Jarrettsville, Maryland.
Rocks is home to some of the best routes in Maryland, including classics like Strawberry Jam and the Breakaway Wall. With opportunities for fishing, hiking, picnicking, canoeing and tubing in addition to climbing, the park sees a lot of users and deserved some special treatment.
Volunteers from areas throughout the Mid Atlantic region spent the morning working on park maintenance and trail improvement projects throughout the throughout the park including:
- Removing graffiti with a power washer from the cliff at Kilgore Falls
- Re-mulching and updating the Nature Exploration Area
- Cutting down invasive bamboo near the park headquarters
- Installing water bars and four steps on the Orange trail at the Rockridge Pavilion
- Trimming back poison ivy and prickers around the climbing and bouldering areas
- Replacing rotting steps on several bridges on the white trail
In 2012, Mid Atlantic Climbers hosted Rockfest at Rocks and our volunteers were instrumental in developing the park’s Nature Exploration Area-- a natural playscape that features a miniature rock climbing area, an oversized birds nest, stump jumps, balancing logs, and other natural playground activities for kids. This year, volunteers continued to work on the project, mulching and lining the area to preserve it for the future.
Rocks has a long history of being a special place for both locals and outdoor enthusiasts. The King and Queen Seat on the top of the 190 foot rocky outcrop were once a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians, and continues to be both a fantastic climbing resource and a beautiful spot for a day trip.
Additional support was provided by Patagonia, Skratch Labs, REI, Misty Mountain, Sportrock, Rock Candy Holds, Mammut, Spiroll Rope Protectors, Blue Water Ropes, Alpine Inspirations, Mountain Khakis, La Sportiva, Organic, Five-Ten, Solid Rock Climbers for Christ, and Petzl.