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Dismal Rock

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About Dismal Rock:

Dismal Rock

Central Kentucky Sandstone

This is a huge sandstone wall just south of Nolin Lake Dam. You can actually see this rock from the dam looking south. The bluffs range from 150ft to 200ft. Head downriver for more interesting climbs. The area holds over 3 dozen routes with potential for dozens more. Mostly trad, but a few sport routes. Cracks, faces, off-widths, multi-pitch, etc.

CAMPING: The best place to camp is 7 miles away at the Nolin State Park. Ten dollars a site and they have everything you need even for the pickiest of campers. Other camping is available.

Nearest town or city: Edmonson County
Directions: When entering Leitchfield Kentucky go south on 259 towards Mammoth Cave. Go about 15 miles south going left on 728 which will take you straight to the Nolin Lake Dam. Just before the dam is the preferred parking area to the lower parking lot of the Dam. Take the walk around to get to the other side of Nolin River and walk all the way down the man made structure (south towards bluff) just before cutting up in the woods to the bottom of the structure. Alternate Parking is to go across dam and park on other side of the road. Cross the barricade and follow trail in to top of bluffs. It is preferred that climbers park in the lower lot.

Latitude, Longitude:
Access Issues: Rockclimbing.com received the following message from the current owner of the land above dismal rock, on Dec 2nd 2009:
The prevoius owner of the property, my uncle, rarely used the land, therefore trespassers were never confronted. After purchasing the property, and having to insure it, I've been informed of my liability issues if someone were to get hurt. After reading the deed and walking the perimeter of the land, it seems that the Corp of Engineers and I have a dispute over the actual ownership of Dismal Rock. However, I definitely own the land on top and they own the State Park land below. The cliff face is the million dollar question. But, this still means no tying off to trees, no hiking, no camping etc. I have found grafitti, trees that have been cut for firewood, piles of trash and other issues thanks to the widespread opinion that Dismal Rock is public domain. I've used this property since 1974, and the trees on top of Dismal Rock haven't shown much substantial growth in this 35 year span.This is due to the fact that there isn't much dirt and the tree roots are clinging to bare rock in most cases. My greatest fears are fire and someone falling from the top of the bluff. Trespassers will be confronted and escorted off of the property. The Edmonson County Sheriff's office has agreed to cooperate with me in my effort to maintain my rights as a property owner. Last Saturday afternoon, 2 of my deer hunters had to escort a group of hikers back onto park property. They had ignored all of my "No Trespassing" signs and wandered into the middle of my land, close to our camp. All I ask, is that people stay in the marked park area and stay off of the posted private land. Any way you can help will save your readers some real headaches later on.
Camping: Pay
When to Climb:
Quantity of Climbs: Week

Forum Discussions (3 posts)

  Subject Author Replies Last Post
No Replies Dismal/ Turkeyfoot printable guide/ website justen 0 Sep 19 2005, 4:23 PM
With Replies Rock Climbing in KY website rockhead26 3 Mar 18 2002, 4:03 PM
No Replies a whole hell of a lot of promise nessy 0 Jan 25 2002, 12:33 PM