The Miami Valley will soon be home to Ohio’s largest natural rock-climbing area. The Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve, set to open in May on the west side of Springfield, will feature a set of limestone cliffs nearly 5,000 feet long and ranging from 40 to 50 feet high.
Carol Kennard, executive director of the Clark County Parks District, says the attraction will be available to climbers at no cost.
“We will be putting this unique geologic feature under public ownership. It will do a lot to bring people to the Springfield and Clark County area from outside the community," says Kennard, "so the economic impact will be great.”
Kennard says the cliffs have been on private land for several decades. Recently, The Clark County Parks District was able to purchase the land with the help of an $800,000 grant from the state’s Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, and volunteers have been busy removing trash from the site in preparation for the summer climbing season.
A community clean-up day is planned for Saturday, May 20th. The park's grand-opening is scheduled for Sunday, May 21st.
Access to the cliffs will be on Dayton Springfield Road. A camping site is also planned for future development.