Out There: Saving Blue Hole

From the Highland Currant
By Brian PJ Cronin 

How a Catskills swimming spot could protect Breakneck

Photo by: B. Cronin

Photo by: B. Cronin

Five years ago, the Blue Hole swimming hole near Peekamoose Mountain in the Catskills was a beloved, locals-only destination at the end of a narrow herd path.

Then the travel journalists found it.

Suddenly this tiny, tranquil location was lauded in Men’s Journal and Travel + Leisure. It was featured on a Travel Channel show, “Top Secret Swimming Holes,” making it not a secret. Instagram didn’t help.

Visitors poured in by the thousands. The herd path became a trampled highway. Cars parked on the shoulders for miles along winding Peekamoose Road. Bags of trash were left behind on the trail, in the woods, and in the water, which feeds the Rondout Reservoir, a source of New York City drinking water.

Like Breakneck Ridge in the Highlands, Blue Hole was in danger of being loved to death.

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