Beaches are typically the go-to way to cool down on a hot summer’s day, however a quick journey north opens up a world of natural swimming holes that can arguably be better than a trip to the beach (think: no sand getting everywhere, no lugging all your stuff to the ocean, calmer waters, and likely way less crowds).
There are a ton of swimming holes surrounding NYC, and about 2.5 hours from the city you’ll find one of them–Peekamoose Blue Hole.
A short hike through the Catskills brings you to this swimming hole carved out completely by nature–specifically years of sand and swirling gravel in an ancient whirlpool, according to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation.
The crystal clear waters here offer a welcoming way for NYer’s to cool down, and if you’re not feeling brave enough to plunge into the water from the raised rock platform, there is a path that allows you to walk into the water at your own pace. However, the water here is so refreshingly cold that jumping straight in may be the only way you actually do make it in!
Peekamoose Blue Hole is located in Sundown Wild Forest, about 120 miles northwest of New York City within the Catskill Forest Preserve. It’s open a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.
Keep in mind that parking is extremely limited, and parking along the roadway is prohibited, so getting there as early as possible is your best bet to find a parking spot. And being it has gotten more popular in the recent years, visiting on a weekday may be best.
Before visiting, please note the following park rules:
- Visitors must obtain a $10 permit through Reserve America before their visit
- Fires, alcohol, glass containers, coolers larger than 12″, and radios are prohibited