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Climbing Orgs Team Up to Purchase, Protect Tennessee Crag

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Tennessee residents and visitors alike can look forward to a new cliff.

The Access Fund and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) have joined forces Purchase, protection and development of Woodcock Cove, an important new climbing area in Tennessee.

Woodcock Cove is centrally located in Dunlap, Tennessee, between Chattanooga and Nashville and Huntsville, Alabama. The newly acquired SCC property includes 64 acres of undeveloped land and a full mile of sandstone cliffs.

Features of the zone include a 75 foot high freestanding tower and rock quality reminiscent of that New river canyon – High quality resources that are sure to attract climbers from near and far.

According to the SCC, the area has 50 to 60 established routes with levels of difficulty from 5.8 to 5.13. But officials say the area still has the potential for “at least 100 more routes and possibly more”.

Southeastern Climbing Coalition: Adds Crag to its growing portfolio

After receiving a notice from a local climber that land was for sale, the SCC and Access Fund quickly worked to acquire the entire cliff line through purchase and land swap.

To complete the acquisition, the SCC received support from Access Funds Climbing Conservation Loan Program (CCLP). Over time, the SCC will repay the loan to the CCLP, which acts as a financial support system for local climbing organizations.

The SCC is also asking climbers and enthusiasts to come forward if they can, hoping to repay the outstanding $ 209,000 within the next 3 years. You can learn more and donate Here.

In fact, the program has already helped support the purchase of 30 rock climbing areas in the United States. In addition to Woodcock Cove, the SCC owns and manages several other climbing areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. Woodcock Cove will be the group’s second largest cliff area.

Sixty single pitch routes already exist on the Sandstone rocks in the region, and the Access Fund estimates there is room for over 100 more. When fully developed, Woodcock Cove offers a wide range of climbing difficulties and appeals to climbers of all skill levels.

Woodcock Cove: Rock Climbing and Local Economic Benefits

Woodcock Bay is located in the Sequatchie Valley, a largely rural region made up of small towns and large forests and agricultural land. Although the region is known for its high conservation value, Tennessee has also classified it as “economically vulnerable and in need,” the Access Fund reported.

The Access Fund, SCC, and county officials hope that the preservation of Woodcock Cove will help further fuel a needy economy. Nearby climbing areas, including Denny Cove and Foster Falls, have experienced significant economic impetus from recreational tourism dollars.

While a small number of climbers have visited the area with the landowner’s permission, there has been no public access to date. Before it can officially open, the SCC will build a new parking lot and a new access path to the cliff. Access is restricted during this construction phase.

The SCC expects the new rock to be fully open to the public by winter 2021 or spring 2022.

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