Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve

Located at 2710 Dayton-Springfield Road, Springfield, Ohio 45506
Mad River Gorge Google Locator Map

The Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve has been recognized by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association for our development efforts, and has honored the Clark County Park District with the first-place award in the Natural Resources & Conservation category.

The Gorge has also been nominated as one of three finalists for the Governors Award, an honor given to the best project in the state that includes a $500.00 prize. For more information about our newest Park, and one of the only climbing parks in the state of Ohio, click on the image to the left, or click here.

For amazing video taken during our major cleanup and grand opening, provided by Broken Rotor Pictures, click the links below:

The Clark County Park District’s latest acquisition is a big win for rock climbing enthusiasts in the region, as it is Ohio’s largest natural rock-climbing area.

The cliffs – about 45-50 feet at their highest point – have been on private land for decades but the Park District recently purchased the first of several acquisitions of land with the help of a $800,000 grant from the state’s Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. Clean up and development of this new nature preserve is a collaboration with the Ohio Climbers Coalition and The Access Fund. The attraction is available to climb at your own risk, at no cost. In addition to climbing, there are hiking trails, limited water access to the Mad River, and serene nature trails.

Leave No Trace Hot Spot

Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve, part of the Clark County Park District, has been named a 2017 Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Hot Spot . The Hot Spot Program identifies areas around the country facing heavy recreational use, and offers solutions and preventative measures to reduce impacts and protect these areas for generations to come.

From September 26 – October 1 the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers team partnered with the Clark County Park District and the Ohio Climbers Coalition to host free community events and educational activities to help educate the community on Leave No Trace practices. Our schedule of activities included:

Leave No Trace Workshop – The workshop focused on elements of the Leave No Trace principles and was specifically designed for agency employees, park partners, guide services, outfitters, park hosts, friends groups, volunteers, and other educators who educate the public.

Homeschool Day  Children ages 6-12 and their parents learned about the Leave No Trace principles while exploring the Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve with the Traveling Trainers.

Leave No Trace at Vertical Adventures –  Traveling Trainers were at Vertical Adventures in Columbus to teach people about important Leave No Trace principles they can use anytime they climb (hike, explore) outdoors.

OCC Pint Night at Mother Stewart’s  – This information session with the Ohio Climbers Coalition and the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers included a new 16 oz. Klean Kanteen steel pint glasses for sale along with OCC t-shirts and memberships.

Night Fishing Leave No Trace – The Ranger Patrol Division and Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers joined many for an evening of fishing at Hosterman Lake in George Rogers Clark Park.

Community Cleanup – Over 50 community volunteers joined the LNT Traveling Trainers, and Ohio Climbers Coalition on September 30 at the Mad River Gorge for a variety of stewardship projects including: trash cleanup, invasive species removal, and trail/stair building.

Scout & Youth Group Cleanup – Over 35 Scout and Youth groups and adults joined in on more stewardship projects at the Mad River Gorge on October 1. In partnership with the Clark County Park District, the Ohio Climbers Coalition and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Traveling Trainers, volunteers came together for a day of stewardship and to learn more about key Leave No Trace principles that you can use every time you explore outdoors.


Other Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve Information

For a history of this new nature preserve, check out the booklet developed for the Grand Opening on May 21, 2017 MRG Grand Opening Booklet

Join us! There are many volunteer opportunities to help with the on-going clean-up of this park. For  information regarding how you can help, please call the Clark County Park District at 937-882-6000 or email us at If you are interested in helping with the major cleanup and trail building days, please contact the Ohio Climbers Coalition at, and follow us on Facebook.




Over 60 organizations came together to make this preserve possible! THANK YOU!

The Access Fund, A.G. Samuelsson, American Alpine Institute, American Alpine Club, Ashland, Black Diamond, Butora Climbing, CamelBak, C.A.M.P., Capstone Wilderness Guides, Clark County Combined Health District, Clark County Solid Waste District, Clif, Clintonville Outfitters, ECO, Entre-Prises, Evolv, Friends of the Clark County Park District, Great Miami Outfitters, Greater Springfield Chamber & CVB, GSI Outdoors, Hertzler House Museum Advisory Committee, Home City Tent and Awning, Huffman Tree Company LLC, Jeep, Klean Kanteen, La Sportiva, Liberty Mountain, Madden Building, Mad River Township Fire Department, Metolius, Misty Mountain, Moja Gear, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company, Mountain Hard Wear, Nate and Bear Chalk Bags, Ohio Climbers Coalition, Ohio Public Works Commission, Ohio Masonic Home, Osprey, Outdoor Research, Panera, Patagonia, PRIDE program, Red Bull, Reed Equipment, REI, Rock City Resort, Rock Mill Climbing Fitness Yoga, Scholl Surveying, LLC, Sender Films, Smith’s Roll Off Containers, Solid Rock Climbers for Christ, Springfield Conservancy District, Springfield Fire Department, Storts Sanitation/Mr. Clean, The Wright Cup, Thermarest, Trango,  TrekNetwork,Urban Krag Climbing Center, Vertical Adventures, Walter S. Quinlan Foundation, Yakima, 22 Days Nutrition