For decades climbers have been heading to Lions Head in Ontario. Lions Head is a limestone cliff on the Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron. Access to the climbing has been an issue for years. It shares access issues with other rock climbing areas in the southern Ontario region. Areas are closed for a variety of reasons but a disconnection between climbers, land owners and stake holders has long been an issue. It seems things have made a positive turn.
Recently Adam Reeve, the co chair of the Ontario Access Coalition, made a presentation to the agriculture, tourism and planning committee of Bruce County. The result is a cooperative effort to promote and market rock climbing on selected areas along the Bruce Peninsula.
Reeve is optimistic about the future of rock climbing at Lions Head saying, “When managed correctly it really is a low impact, self-powered outdoor activity that . . . connects people to nature in a really great way and builds stewards for places like the Bruce.”
Across Canada access to rock climbing areas is threatened. In BC the Squamish Access Society has been working with local government to ensure access for climbers. In Alberta the Climbers Access Society of Alberta (CASA) is currently working with land owners, park officials and government to develop a long term access plan to climbing areas outside of the National Parks in Alberta.
Rock climbing is a growing sport. It is important for land owners, stake holders, government, climbers and access groups to cooperate and maintain access to Canada’s climbing areas.
The Lions Head