Roadside in the Red River Gorge closed to public access

On May 24th, Roadside, a popular crag in the Red River Gorge, was closed to public access until further notice. Landowners are concerned about climber impacts and activities at the well-travelled climbing area. The Access Fund is actively working with the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition to address these concerns and help make Roadside a sustainable climbing area for years to come. It is a privilege to climb on private land; please respect the closure and stay tuned for future updates.

The 80-acre Graining Fork Nature Preserve, commonly known as Roadside, was purchased in 2004 by two climbers, Grant Stephens and John Haight, to protect the property from an impending development. The private landowners extended their gracious act of land conservation by keeping the property open to climbing. Yet, with our increasing numbers, climbers have an impact on the places we climb. Social trails, human waste, litter, and eroded staging areas are not just the landowner’s problem; they are our responsibilities too.

In addition to impacts on the ground, our behavior plays a critical role in keeping climbing areas open. We all love the freedom of hiking an unknown trail, ascending a new line, and spending a day crag-side with our closest friends. Yet, we share the crag with dozens of fellow climbers on any given day, as well as those climbers that came before us and the future generations to come. Staying on established trails, keeping a low profile, and packing it out are just a few ways to protect access. Climbing access is everybody’s responsibility. We ask you to educate others kindly if their actions may be negatively impacting the environment or access to the area. To learn more about how to tread lightly to protect climbing access, visit: http://www.accessfund.org/treadlightly


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