Climbing cliffs closed for falcon nesting

The state Department of Environmental Conservation temporarily closed numerous rock climbing routes on Monday to protect peregrine falcon nest sites.

Rock climbing routes with active nest sites are closed every spring to prevent climbers from disturbing the birds and their young. Peregrine falcons are listed as endangered species in New York state.

“The closure of climbing routes is based on a number of factors, primarily the route’s proximity and visibility to a nesting site,” according to the DEC’s website. “Each situation is unique and a specific distance from the nest site can not be used to make a closure determination. DEC’s priority is protecting an endangered species; however, attempts are made to maximize the opportunities for climbing at the same time.”

Routes that have been temporarily closed include those on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch, Upper and Lower Washbowl cliffs near Chapel Pond in the town of Keene, and most of the routes on the main face of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain near Interstate 87.

Current route closure information will be posted at trailheads and online at