Located just north of Providence, Rhode Island (about 45 minutes south of Boston), Lincoln Woods State Park is a fantastic destination for the beginning and intermediate level rock climber, trail runner, mountain biker, and just about every other outdoor activity you can think of. The park is centered around the beautiful Olney Pond, which features trails radiating in every direction. Lincoln Woods is truly a wonderland for the outdoor enthusiast, especially considering the park’s location to large, heavily populated areas, like Providence, Springfield, and Boston.
What Makes It Great
Ease of access, short approach, and a large number of quality beginner level climbs lend Lincoln Woods to being a beginning climber's paradise! Located only 45 minutes southwest of Boston and 10 minutes north of Providence, Lincoln Woods (or the "Woods", for short) has been a haven for boulderers for over 40 years. Many climbs are relatively short in height and offer a variety of hold types, but all tend to be sharp to the touch after just a few climbs.
Due to its location and growing popularity over the years, you will likely run into climbers as soon as you walk into the park, especially if you visit during a nice weekend. This is great for climbers who are not familiar with area. Make some friends and learn about some cool new boulders while you're exploring this fun climbing destination.
Who is Going to Love It
Beginners will love Lincoln Woods. There is a high concentration of easy to moderate rock climbs and all are connected to one another with paved roads and well-worn paths.
So where’s the best place to start? The aptly named Warm-Up Area is a great first stop, with countless link-ups, variations, and eliminates to try out. Afterwards, simply follow the well-marked dirt and paved paths around the park and start climbing some classics!
Like traverses? "Mack's Traverse" (V2) and "The Wave" (V2) are both Woods favorites. Psyched on cave climbing? Check out Pond Cave, with climbs like "Quiet Buddha" (V3) and "Who Needs Hueco?" (V8). Think you're a dyno master? "Try Again" (V5) and "Leap Frog" (V7) will certainly test your meddle.
The best time to climb is in the fall and spring, as the depths winter and summer tend to be too extreme in either direction of the thermometer for effective climbing.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take I-93- South to I-295 South (Exit 4) to RI-146 South (Exit 9A). From there, take the Twin River Road Exit and bear left off of the exit. Continue straight for 1/4 mile.
Parking is easy and free. There are lots and pulls offs for your vehicle located at the entrance, which is open year round. During the summer months, Olney Pond Road is open to park traffic, which allows for even more parking pull offs and lots that are only accessible at this time of year.
Note: Lincoln Woods State Park has a large volume of people running, fishing, picnicking, dog walking, etc. throughout the day, making for a fun, family-friendly environment. That being said, should you be climbing after dark, be sure to stay with a group and have a cell phone handy, as shady characters tend to frequent the park in the after-hours.