Working to Keep Blue Hole Beautiful

September 25, 2017
Heather Darley
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Working to Keep Blue Hole Beautiful
C. Stephens, Ian Dunn, Nikki Wowaka, and Sabina Cardenas greeted and educated visitors at the Blue Hole.


Due to overuse and misuse, Peekamoose Blue Hole in the Catskills was identified as a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot. In other words, the Blue Hole has now been nationally recognized as a place in danger of being loved to death.

As part of the Leave No Trace Hot Spot Week at the Blue Hole in August, the Trail Conference-managed Catskill Conservation Corps, along with our friends at Leave No Trace, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, came together for a litter clean-up. On August 18, over 40 volunteers removed more than 18 bags of trash from this swimming hole and the surrounding area.

The following weekend, DEC staff and Sabina Cardenas, the Trail Conference’s Head Summit Steward in the Catskills, set up an information table at the Blue Hole trailhead to greet visitors and educate them on regulations and Leave No Trace principles. “We wanted everyone to feel welcome, but also instill a sense of responsibility,” says Sabina, who happily offers greetings and tips to Catskill guests in two languages. “Large groups gladly took bags for their garbage and tossed it at the nearby dumpster. That’s the kind of help we’re looking for from our visitors.”

Sabina continued to welcome visitors at Blue Hole on weekends through mid-September. The Catskill Conservation Corps organized two additional clean-ups, all in an effort to continue the message delivered during the events of Hot Spot Week. “People are starting to realize they need to do their part,” Sabina says. “Blue Hole is a gorgeous place, and hopefully these efforts continue so that everyone can see its beauty for years to come.”

Get Involved

Help us say goodbye to summer at Peekamoose Blue Hole with the last big clean-up effort of the season on National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 30. Join the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Catskill Conservation Corps, and Trail Conference volunteers as we remove trash and restore the beauty of this cherished Catskill destination!