To say Long Island has some of New England’s best boulders is a bit of understatement. It literally has boulders from the rest of the region. When glaciers moved across North America during the last ice age, they picked up a number of boulders from the mainland. When the glaciers receded, they deposited those blocks on Long Island. So, while the island is relatively flat, its bouldering is just as good as any you’ll find in the Whites or beyond. (Well, perhaps better; unlike in the mountains, you’ll rarely have to lug your crash pads up a hill on LI.)
Head to the following four favorite spots that local climbers take advantage of these so-called “glacial erratics,” and sample the best bouldering Long Island has to offer.
1. Wildwood State Park
This is where you’ll find some of the most popular boulders on Long Island. Wildwood hosts about two dozen distinct climbs, many of which are on the Bluff Boulder, an enormous glacial erratic in the park’s northeast corner. Many of the problems here are techy, featuring a collection of in-cut crimps, crisp edges, and interesting footwork. Because the Bluff Boulder sits atop a hill, the landings afford stunning views across the sound, especially when the leaves are off the trees in winter. (For more specific route info, reference the Long Island Bouldering guidebook.)
To enter Wildwood State Park (on the east side of Wading River), you’ll need to pay the park entrance fee. Camping is available, as well, both in tent sites and in a handful of park-provided cabins. Both can be reserved in advance online.
- Delivery (V2)
- Parachute Landing Fall (V4)
- Hillside Strangler (V6)
- Postal (V8)
2. East Marion Boulders
Located at the end of Rocky Point Road (on LI’s North Fork), this area is composed of about five egg-shaped boulders right on the beach. Landings tend to be flat and straightforward, and styles range from compressions and sloper problems to long traverses. While the beach does make for a gorgeous setting, it also comes with its downsides; there’s generally a stiff breeze coming off the ocean, so bring a good wind shell.
The parking area at the end of Rocky Point Road is off-limits to nonresidents, but you can park farther down the road without issue. Be sure to obey any posted signage. Also keep an eye on local tidal charts and start heading back to your car well before high tide strikes.
- Bo-Jangle aka High Tide Traverse (V0)
- Father and Son (V3)
- Fisherman’s Friend (V6)
- Equinox (V10)