Below is a note from the SCC Area Rep for Little River Canyon National Preserve, Paul Morley. For more information about climbing at the Canyon, please visit the Little River Canyon SCC climbing area page.
I hope that ya’ll are sticking with the training and keeping the stoke high for the upcoming season here in the South! Over the past year, I have been attempting to have a meeting with the National Park Service (NPS) about Little River Canyon, our recreational user group, and ways that we can help the National Preserve that we love so much. Due to some logistical items, we just now got to have our meeting, and I am very happy to say that our longstanding relationship with the Park is as strong as ever. Earlier in August, Andrea Hassler and I drove to Fort Payne for our meeting, luckily making it on time by mitigating a delay due to a full stopped I-59. The first items that were discussed were potential trail days, and the areas for possible support will be Little River Falls, Eberhart Point, and Lynn Overlook. Later this fall, we will be walking some of these areas as the NPS has some specific ideas in mind for trail improvement and upkeep of overlook viewsheds. Once we get the details solidified, the SCC will announce the date for which I would appreciate as much support as possible, even potentially from our friends who are arborists. You may notice that these areas are not actually clifflines, however our main goal is the provide Little River Canyon and the NPS with support in areas that have the most recreational impact. This is actually a testament to the care that climbers have for the Canyon. Our cliffs are clean and maintained, and for that, I thank YOU for your support of this amazing resource. There are improvements that have been discussed for certain crags, and before those can take place, the SCC will have to work with the NPS for an environmental assessment.
The next part of our discussion included issues where climbers need to remain mindful. There is absolutely no camping within the perimeter of the Canyon, and this includes Sprinter-style vans. There haven’t been any problems with local climbers, but if you have friends from out of state who are wanting to spend time at the Canyon this seasons, let them know that there are available spots to camp outside of the Park: True Adventure Sports, Little River Campground, DeSoto State Park, and Tranquility Campground. Additionally, use of drones for photos and video are strictly prohibited at Little River. No one actually enjoys climbing with that buzzing sound anyway. Finally, please remember to park fully off the road at each crag’s pullout. Keeping ourselves in check with NPS regulations only supports the positive recognition of our recreational group.
If you have questions about routes that need maintenance, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are ideas for area upkeep (i.e. erosion control, trail maintenance, etc) please direct those also to me, and I will forward those to the SCC.
What was clear throughout the meeting is that the NPS views climbers very favorably. In fact, over the many years that I have been climbing at the Canyon and working with the NPS, this meeting was the best to date, and is the result of many years of climbers keeping each other in check, keeping our crags clean, and stepping up to help Little River Canyon where it needs support. There have been many climbers that have been integral in these relationships, starting from the climbing development through several eras of those who were local and called Little River Canyon their home. You know who you are. Thank you.
Let’s continue to work with each other and do what we can to ensure that the mission of Little River Canyon existing as a National Preserved is continued. Thanks to all who climb at Little River and call it their home!