Antlion Cliff Acquisition

The Gunks Climbers’ Coalition (GCC) and Access Fund are pleased to announce the purchase and opening of a new section of cliff line in the Shawangunk Mountains of New York!!!

The newly acquired property includes 1,000 feet of the Millbrook Mountain cliff line, including the historic Antlion Crag. The Antlion adds a new, backcountry climbing area to the Gunks, offering a uniquely remote experience that boasts traditional climbing, top roping, overhangs, vertical faces, and even a little crack climbing—ranging from 5.5 to 5.13.

As with many cliffs in the area, there is some historic evidence of climbing here, but the area has never been officially opened to climbing or route development because the land was privately owned, as well as surrounded by other private land, making it inaccessible to the public.

We anticipate that the cliff will open during the Fall of 2021. The trail, parking area and management plan will need be finished before we can open it to the public. This acquisition took many years working with multiple property owners as well as the town and we cannot have any poaching or trespassing. This crag is the first property we’ve purchased and it’s important that we do things properly as respectful neighbors and good stewards. We know everyone is anxious to get on a new cliff. There’s a lot more work that needs to be done and we appreciate your patience and support!

Climber on Ant Lion cliff on Millbrook Mountain in the Gunks, purchased by the Gunks Climbers' Coalition.

Climbing at Ant Lion. Photo by Chris Vultaggio.

History of the Antlion Project

The GCC began working with the Access Fund in the spring of 2018 to find a way to obtain the cliff when the owner of the parcel wanted to sell it. Partnering with neighboring residents who also were interested in parts of the parcel, we worked out a complicated three-way purchase that would let the GCC own the cliff with an easement for access, while the two other partners would own subdivisions of the land below the cliff to the road.

Access required an access easement across the partners’ land to get to the cliff line. A new trailhead and parking lot will be established on South Mountain Road, and a trail built to cover the mile and a half hike to the cliff.

To preserve the Antlion, the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program (CCLP), provided $109,000 to allow GCC to purchase this property. The CCLP is a revolving loan program, which means loan funds will be repaid so that those dollars can be used to open or save other threatened climbing areas.

Climber on the Gunks Climbers' Coalition cliff, Antlion. (photo: Chris Magee)

Climber on Antlion. (photo: Chris Magee)

We need your help!

We now need the community’s support to raise $200,000.  Donations will go directly to the acquisition of the cliff, site improvements, costs for a new access road, parking area, trailhead amenities, and construction of a new trail to the cliff. Once the loan is repaid, donations will be allocated to support long term stewardship efforts and site improvements.

Donate Today!

Your donation is tremendously appreciated!!! Click the “Donate” button to make a one-time donation, or set up a recurring monthly donation to secure this amazing crag. Please share on social media either by using the buttons or reposting the link to this campaign:

The Gunks Climbers Coalition is a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible.

Interested in volunteering to help with trailbuilding? Use our Antlion Volunteer form to sign up.

Volunteer for Antlion Work Days

We will be providing regular updates as site improvements begin to prepare for access to the public. Thank you for your generous support!!!

Additional Information About Antlion

Recent Updates

Progress!!! But our work is not finished…

Thanks to all of you who have donated to the campaign and to the volunteers who have labored to install anchors, build significant portions of the trail, and lay the massive blocks to complete the staircase leading up the hillside from the cliff. The reality is that there is more work to be done and we still need your financial support to repay the loan, and ultimately to complete the project.

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