Climbing in Spencer

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Within Stone Age Rock Gym's indoor facility, 4,500 square feet of textured climbing walls help visitors ascend to new heights. Bouldering, 32-foot lead routes, and top-rope climbing areas await gym guests, surrounding them in technicolor handholds that creep up the walls at challenging angles. Elsewhere, a simulated ice-climbing wall absorbs the blows of axes, and a gear shop preps climbers to ascend walls with the dexterity of Spiderman.

A staff of certified guides lead classes that teach students as young as 6 the fundamental skills needed to ascend simulated peaks. Alternatively, the experts head up guided climbing trips to sites across the state. They help eager climbers scale the 30-foot Wolf Rock in Mansfield Hollow and reach the Sasquatch hugs awaiting them atop Ragged Mountain's 120-foot cliff.

195 Adams St
Manchester,
CT
US

Climbers cling to the carefully placed hand grips, strategizing their way up the side of the rock-like cliff. They have come to Watertown to conquer the Central Rock Gym's 28,000 square feet of indoor mountains, climbing walls reaching 50' in height. The new Watertown location with temperature control and air-conditioning is one of Central Rock Gym's four indoor facilities spread throughout New England. At each, experts guide novice climbers through introductory classes or supervise more seasoned members scaling the walls' highest heights. Memberships unlock access to all four facilities, gear for the first month, and the use exercise equipment and weights. In addition to climbing and conditioning, members can also take advantage of fitness classes ranging from yoga and Pilates to Zumba and spin sessions. Gyms also welcome non-members, whether they're trying things out with a day pass or interested in events including birthday parties, summer camps, and corporate team-building breakouts.

259 Eastern Blvd
Glastonbury,
CT
US

Intent on combining the recreational comfort of an outdoors ropes course with the comfort of an indoor facility, the structural engineer behind Soarin' Indoors designed a traditional aerial adventure park that isn't subject to the whims of inclement weather. Two separate courses fill the 12,000-square-foot space, including one built 2.5 feet off the ground and the other towering 12 feet in the air. Each route consists of a series of challenges—including wobbling rope bridges, high wires, trapezes, cargo nets, and zip lines—which can be overcome with a combination of problem-solving skills, balance, and stamina. Although youngsters and newcomers might want to try the lower course first, each route was designed to be accessible for first-time visitors as well as experienced climbers. The danger of falling is minimized by the harnesses guests wear, which are attached to overhead safety lines with two auto-locking carabiners, turning any slips into a fall of inches as opposed to feet. As further proof of their dedication to safety, trained guides will routinely walk the course grounds and offer tips, guidance, and stock investment advice to anyone in need.

422 North Street
Hebron,
CT
US

New Britain-Berlin YMCA's 90,000-square-foot complex helps members improve their lives through community programs, personal training programs, and a variety of fitness facilities, including a new massage studio. Besides bulking up on full circuit of Nautilus strength equipment or powering through Precor treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, visitors can join friends for games of basketball in the double gymnasium or chuck tomatoes at the walls of five on-site racquetball courts. The clear waters of the 25-yard swimming pool parallel the mirrored walls of an 800-square-foot fitness studio, where members can partake in several health and wellness programs throughout the week.

50 High St.
New Britain,
CT
US

Made up of wooden footbridges, ziplines, and demanding rope courses, each of the 5 aerial trails at The Adventure Park at Storrs winds higher and higher above the forest floor. The color-coded pathways were built with climbers of all skill levels in mind, ranging from low-to-the-ground beginners' courses to the more advanced skyward trajectories. Safety orientations precede every climb, upon which participants embark while strapped into a climbing system that always remains securely connected to a safety line. The park strives to keep its surrounding forest and trees healthy by making sure light, air, and moisture flow freely along each trail.

2007 Storrs Rd.
Storrs,
CT
US

The team at CrossFit Factory Square knows that each person has a different fitness goal. For some, that might be having more energy and losing weight. For others, it might be improving athletic performance or doing enough bicep curls to eliminate the need to shop with a grocery cart. Whatever the motivation, their strength and conditioning program?which is used by many police academies and military units?is designed for universal scalability, and it can be implemented by beginner or advanced exercisers.

The protocol calls for constantly varied, functional movements such as squatting, pushing and pulling, and running. Staffers challenge guests with more than 6,000 square feet of traditional kettlebells and rowing machines, as well as some devices you might not expect to see.

37 W Center St
Southington,
CT
US