I am always looking for ways to stay active during Central New York’s colder months.

Indoor rock climbing is one of those things I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten around to — until recently. One February weekend, my husband and I decided to check out Central Rock Gym.

Located in Franklin Square, the Syracuse location is home to 16,000 square feet of terrain, according to its website. Central Rock Gym’s main focus is rock climbing, and guests can choose from two types: bouldering, 10–15-foot walls that you can climb without ropes or a harness, and top rope climbing, 23-42-foot walls that require ropes and a harness. We tried both during our visit. Central Rock Gym also offers a full gym, youth programs, and yoga and fitness classes.

When we arrived, we filled out a waiver (to save time, you can also fill it out online), purchased our day passes, and rented shoes and a harness – all you need to bring is water and athletic, comfortable clothing. That was followed by a quick orientation, where a staff member explained the basics of bouldering and the grading system, and demonstrated how to use the gym’s auto-belays. Then we were free to explore.

We climbed for about an hour. It was a lot tougher than I expected, but it was a great workout – and stress reliever.

And don’t be nervous if, like me, you’re new to rock climbing. “You don’t need any experience,” says Assistant Manager Chandra Hewitt. “Generally, if you can climb a ladder, you can try rock climbing. Our staff will show everyone what they have to do…Just be ready to have a good time.”

I know we did.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, reservations are required if you are planning to visit during the weekend or after 4 p.m. on weekdays. Visit centralrockgym.com/syracuse for more information about current regulations.

If You Go:

Central Rock Gym
Where: 600 N Franklin St., Syracuse.
When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
More information:
(315) 671-4450. centralrockgym.com/syracuse.

Have an idea for a future Treat Yourself column? Email courtneyk@familytimescny.com.


Courtney Kless is the Editor in Chief of Family Times. Courtney is originally from Maryland. She earned her Master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from Syracuse University. Courtney began her career as a sports journalist, then spent several years working in higher education, before joining the company in August 2019. She enjoys traveling, reading and hiking, and recently adopted a Labrador Retriever, Bailey.

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