the future of Blue Hole

Brent Finnegan -- September 14th, 2007

I count myself among the local residents that have enjoyed spending time at Blue Hole*, the county-owned swimming hole in Rawley Springs. But according to WSVA, the County BoS will soon hold a public hearing “to get residents’ thoughts on the county declaring the property as surplus. Supervisor Bill Kyger says the county is struggling to manage it in the public interest and perhaps it is time to sell the property and let someone else manage it.”

The DNR and The Breeze have recently run stories about Blue Hole, reporting that residents are complaining about “illegal parking, trespassing, underage drinking and littering” near the swimming hole. The RoCo Sheriff’s department is cracking down on all of the above, particularly underage drinking.

The DNR story from August 28 states, “residents who live near the swimming spot do not want the county to close it,” and the county had no intentions of doing so. But now it looks like they may be ready to throw in the towel.

A date for the public hearing has not been set, but it’s expected to be held in late October or early November.

*Technically, there are two “Blue Holes” in the county. I’ve been to both. This post is referring to the one off 33 West, not the one off 259 West.

5 Responses to “the future of Blue Hole”

  1. Thanh says:

    This is interesting. I very much enjoy public spaces being open for anyone and everyone to use and recreate in and I find it sad when public spaces have to closed due to irresponsibility and lack of common sense and consideration for others. I’ve never been to this blue hole, and that’s because I’ve found it to be dirty. Some of the other swimming sites that I’ve been to have also become victims of trash dumping people leaving food scraps, beer bottles, soda cans, broken items and other things behind after they’ve enjoyed the site. PLEASE DON’T LITTER and please adopt the “take out what you take in” policy so that others may enjoy what you did. This goes for camping and hiking areas too. I fear that more and more restrictions will be placed on these beautiful and fun places because we can’t be responsible.

    I know there’s tresspassing issues – I can’t speak too much to that because I don’t know who owns the properties and where in that area – I guess common sense says to be considerate of other people’s properties and don’t tresspass. For parking issues – park in the designated areas, and when these areas are full, I guess visitors will just have to come back another time (instead of parking in spaces that either block entrances or create a public safety issue). And drinking issues – I’ll leave it up to the other post to discuss. :o)

    Whatever the case, it sounds to me like the residents nearby don’t want to see this spot closed either. Hopefully, there is something that can be worked out for everyone at the Public Hearings.

  2. Frank J Witt says:

    Thahn, it is a shame that the majority of people who litter at such sites don’t read this blog or newspaper “letters to the editors” about littering.

    I saw first hand what happens when soneone who owns land near/on the South Fork in Port Republic has had enough with trash left behind. The man used to let us walk all up and down the bank of the river. 1 year ago though, even with us cleaning up the trash and me taking care of the downed trees from floods, he put up notices and actually had sherriffs arrest people that wouldn’t follow his no trespassing signs. So, now you can only fish up river form the boat launch and to the right about 12 feet because of people that litter. The more that people litter, the less free space we will have.

    I just don’t get why they can’t throw it away at home.

  3. Tina says:

    I haven’t been out to Blue Hole in years, but part of the issue has to be safety too. Since it isn’t an actual recreation area, there really isn’t a parking area – you just pull off along Rt. 33. There are some places that have more space to get out of the road. But when those are used, people just pull off anywhere.

    Then there’s the issue of crossing private property to get there, and what is left behind. Is it really that difficult to clean up after yourself?

    Growing up, my family had a swimming hole – not very public, but the neighbors liked to use it. Some would ask (Dad never said no), others wouldn’t. It got to a point where we couldn’t leave anything there… innertubes, picnic tables, chairs, etc. Some “yahoos” would throw them into the creek!

  4. Tim says:

    One bad apple is all it takes. It’s unfortunate but I find myself avoiding the popular sites like Blue Hole and keeping the location of my personal favorite places to myself.

    Outside of the griminess of litter, it is also a public safety concern, especially if glass is involved. About 5 years ago my dog stepped on someone else’s broken bottle at Dry River Dam and sliced a tendon in his foot completely through. I’d never heard him make such an awful sound and I hope I never do again. I doubt that who ever broke the bottle thought that it could end up doing harm, and I bet they would feel awful if they knew the end result, but they never will.

    Hunter is fine but he and I had a very long, bloody, and expensive day because someone else thought the sound of breaking glass was cool. Everybody uses these sights, kids included, and people need to keep in mind that their actions might have consequences even if they never hear about them.

Reader Tweets

Latest Flickr photos in the hburgnews Flickr pool
Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.