The hike to Bear Rock is, by far, the most challenging trail on the Preserve. It’s not too long, but it’s not that short, either. For the first five minutes of hiking, it seems a hike like any other, then you start to ascend. The system of switchbacks, ropes and narrow squeezes make for a truly formidable excursion, and that’s just to get to the climbing face of the rock. Upon arrival to Bear Rock, you look up and think, is that a straight 90 degree angle? It’s not, but it sure looks that way, until you start the climb. While Courtney and Danny–our Mentors/Climbing Coordinators–began to set campers up with harnesses and helmets, I latched into a carabiner toward the top of the climb, to capture each camper’s epic scramble up the rock face. Each one had the chance to climb any of the three sections and one camper was able to finish all of them, effectively conquering Bear Rock. It’s definitely one of the hidden gems of GRP, with a view at the top that makes you want to sit back and take it all in.
Story and photos by Brandon S. Marshall