Big Rock Park, also known as Bauer Rock Park, is a small Lehigh County park located on South Mountain in Upper Saucon and Salisbury townships, on East Rock Road about one-mile east of South Pike Avenue (Route 145) near WFMZ-TV Channel 69. The park was originally only about 57 acres but has increased to over 100 acres with the acquisition of additional land. Most of the property is woodlands with only a few hiking trails, some spectacular scenery and great rock climbing opportunities. There are clusters of rocks, covered with graffiti scattered over the hillside which can keep climbers pretty busy.
The park got its name from Bauer Rock, which is the main or central pile of boulders, a mass of dark-colored gneiss that rises about 40-feet above the surrounding mountain crest. Elevation is 312 meters, or 1,024 feet. The trees near the rock have grown so tall that the surrounding view is good only when the trees are bare. There are winter views of Interstate 78 and the Promenade Shops in the distance.
A tract of land about 20 acres, known as the Scholl Woodlands Preserve, used primarily for nature study and to prevent further development is adjacent to the park and is located downhill heading towards Interstate 78.
Bauer Rock can be reached by over a 1/4 mile hike uphill from a small parking area by the Big Rock Park sign on the south side of East Rock Road, directly across from Mountain Top Lane. Walk around the left side of the fence near a tower and follow the trail into the woods. Bauer Rock is to the right about 200-feet beyond the end of the fence.
There are about eight or so large to medium size boulders elsewhere where the best bouldering is located. Some are very high quality for climbing. The rocks seem to look fragile but in fact are very strong, especially compared to similar rocks in the area.
Bauer Rock is sometimes used by partiers and can be strewn with trash. There are groups of local climbers which do occasional maintenance to the area and constantly pick up trash. They are friendly people and don’t mind if you watch them climb or join them. They carry in their own safety mats to keep from getting hurt if they do fall.
The park is open sunrise to sunset and the park hours are strictly enforced by the Lower Saucon Police Department.
From Emmaus Ave. in Allentown, take Route 145 South, or S. Fourth St. which will become S. Pike Street as you head up the hill. At the top of the hill turn left at the stoplight, this is East Rock Road, drive for about a mile, park is on the right at the sign for Big Rock Park (parking is limited). Please do not block the gate. Latitude, Longitude: 40.56820, -75.43580