One of Burlington's most spectacular natural areas is now officially open to rock climbing.
Under an agreement reached Friday, up to eight climbers at a time are allowed to scale Lone Rock Point, the sheer limestone cliff that rises up out of Lake Champlain in the north end of the city.
Climbing group CRAG-VT and the Rock Point Center, which helps manage the sprawling 130-acre lakeshore property where the cliff is located, had been negotiating the deal for months. The Episcopal Church in Vermont owns the land, which is dotted with trails and home to church headquarters.
The dramatic overlook a mile from downtown Burlington has attracted climbers for years. Sometimes they had permission, and sometimes they didn't. Then two years ago, the diocese prohibited climbing, partly out of concern that rare plants were being damaged.
Rock Point in Burlington
The deal sets up rules that encourage climbers to be stewards of the land, backers say. CRAG-VT also has designated specific routes up the cliff — which rises roughly 55 feet up from Lake Champlain — designed to minimize the ecological impact.*
“Limestone is a unique and scarce resource for climbers in Vermont and we
are so pleased that Lone Rock Point will be available to climbers,” said Seth
Maciejowski, president of CRAG-VT, in a press release. “Lone Rock Point provides Burlington climbers the opportunity to truly ‘climb local’ and cut down on their carbon footprint.”
Members of CRAG-VT help install a new sign-in kiosk at Rock Point.