Horsepens 40 is located in northwest Alabama, near the city of Steele and is renowned for its bizarre rock formations with awesome sloping holds and fine sandstone texture. Climbers from around the nation have flocked to this small boulder field to sample the brilliant stone. Horsepens has been described as a cross between "Fontainebleau" and English grit stone which makes for an exceptional bouldering experience. Throw in a high concentration of stellar quality problems all with excellent landings and a mature canopy of hardwood trees and you can understand what all the buzz is about.
As of June 2002, the Horse Pens 40 property was purchased by the Schultz family with the intention of keeping it open for bouldering, biker events, bluegrass and other types of festivals. Currently HP40 is open during the week from Wednesday until Sunday for day use from 9:00 a.m. until after sunset. The new owners have put up showers and bathrooms and have opened the country store again. The day use fee is $3.00 and camping is $10 per night. Campsites are limited to one vehicle and 2 adults. Each additional adult is $5 and kids in the family stay free. Electrical and water hookups are an extra $5 per night. The camping fee also includes use of the clean indoor bathroom and shower facilities.
The Horse Pens 40 country store provides camping supplies, basic and easy meals, drinks, chalk bags, chalk and they are working on getting in some crash pads to rent. Mrs. Schultz advised me that the restaurant would be open as of October 1, 2002 and would serve fast food, drinks and home cooked meals.
The Schultz family appreciates the business that climbers bring to the park and encourages traveling climbers to contact them ahead of time if they are going to stop by on a day that HP40 is not usually open so they can make sure you will be able to visit the park. You can reach someone at the park by calling (256) 570-0076 or by emailing them: HorsePens40@aol.com. You can also visit their website at www.hp40.com.
Horse Pens 40 Pictures:
From Chattanooga, Tennessee, take I-59 South to exit 166, US-231, go right/north off the exit. After passing US-11 and traveling a couple more miles, take a right on Road 35 (a.k.a. Gallant Road). Proceed for a couple of miles on 35 and look for the HP40 sign on the Right side of the road. Take a right hand turn on 42 and continue up through some switchbacks to the top of the ridge. When the road starts leveling out, look for the entrance to Horse Pens 40 on your right.
From Birmingham, Alabama, take I-59 North to exit 166, US-231 go left/north crossing back over I-59. After passing US-11 and traveling a couple more miles, take a right on Road 35 (a.k.a. Gallant Road). Proceed for a couple of miles on 35 and look for the HP40 sign on the Right side of the road. Take a right hand turn on 42 and continue up through some switchbacks to the top of the ridge. When the road starts leveling out, look for the entrance to Horse Pens 40 on your right.
DrTopo.com also has a good topo of the are with directions that are easy to follow.
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Published on: 2006-01-24 (11730 reads)
Horse Pens 40