Looking for a fun way to get fit? Rock climbing is exercise for both your body and mind. Whether you’re a skilled climber or a beginning, there are plenty of places in and around the New York City area for you to get your rock on. For your climbing convenience, CBSNewYork has compiled a list of 10 places in the tri-state area where you can get your fix of rock climbing.
The Sports Center @ Chelsea Piers
Pier 60, 23rd Street & the Hudson River
New York, N.Y. 10011
This mega-huge facility on the West Side of Manhattan is apparently the largest indoor rock climbing gym in New York City, boasting over 10,000 square feet of craggy terrain. Lessons are available for complete novices and advanced climbers and all can access the facilities for $25 ($50 for non-members); special private and semi–private classes cost more.
Rockwall @ New York University Palladium
140 East Street
New York, N.Y. 10003
This facility at the gym on the NYU campus is for the novice and the super skilled climber and is available to non-students for $10 fee if signed in by a student. The Rockwall boasts a 30-foot high Nicros A.R.T. wall and a bouldering cave and spans two floors.
Umpire Rock/Rat Rock @ Central Park
Mid-Park at 63rd St.
This boulder at Central Park is apparently very popular with climbers, reportedly drawing them by the thousands every year. It’s located at Mid-Park at 63rd St. There’s also a 12-foot high indoor wall at the North Meadow Recreational Center ( at Mid-Park and 97th Street) http://www.centralpark.com/pages/attractions/north-meadow.html.
The Climbing Gym @ The Manhattan Plaza Health Club
482 West 43rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
Come by yourself, with a friend or an entire group to scale the 5,000 square-foot facilities at the MPHC and see what you’re truly made of. Prices range from $20 a day to a $70 monthly pass, and there are a variety of workshops, seminars and competitions for climbers of every skill level.
Aviator Sports And Events Center
3159 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11234
The so-called “Aviator Rock” at this Brooklyn facility is 35 feet high and the trainers cater to every age group and level. Climbers pay $10 for two runs or $18 for an all-day pass. Belay certification costs $10 and the session lasts about 30 minutes.
575 Degraw Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
Brooklyn Boulders is not for the faint of heart. This 18,000-square-foot facility which opened in 2009 is basically a climber’s dream — it’s all about climbing and nothing else. The facility, set up from scratch by the owners, is open for daily use for $15 (off-peak hours) and is available for novices who want to learn the ropes.
The Rock Health & Fitness
22-15 31st Street
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
This fitness club in Astoria, Queens has three walls but only one may be available to climbers as construction is on-going. The gym offers a $20 daypass, but if you’ve never been the three-day guest pass may be the way to go — it’s completely free for three consecutive visits. And, of course, classes are also offered (Tuesday nights).
60 Skyline Dive
Plainview, N.Y. 11803
This Long Island facility has a climbing area of 9,000 square feet, 30-foot climbing walls and more than 100 routes for climbers of every level. You can sign up for a yearly membership ($600), purchase a day pass ($16) or take advantage of their Quick Star instructional package for $38.50.
The Rock Club
130 Rhodes Street
New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801
This space is located in New Rochelle and is accessible via public transportation (about 30 minutes away from Grand Central Station). The main wall at the Rock Club is 40 feet high and there are 80 climbing stations with more than 200 routes. Rates start at $15 (for a bouldering daypass). There is also a meet-up group for women looking to strut their girl power while socializing: http://www.meetup.com/womensclimbing/.
Take It Outdoors
If you want to take it outdoors without having to travel far, here are two options that will get you close enough to the real thing (sort of):
The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course in Queens, hosted by the New York City Parks Department, has a climbing wall that’s about 35 feet high and totally free to the public on Sundays from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Join Eastern Mountain Sports every Wednesday between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a trip to New York City’s Outward Bound five-story outdoor climbing wall at Queens Plaza. The cost is $25 (some of which is donated to the Outward Bound student program) and gear is provided. (Related: Rock Climbing Weekend Getaways)