After doing a new and very tough hike in the Catskills (Devil’s Path trail), my buddies and I were very tired, sweaty and figured the best way to end our day trip would be to visit Peekamoose Blue Hole to cool off.
Though it was our first time visiting this place (and it is beautiful), if you’re going there for the first time too, there’s at least 5 important things you need to know about it because lack of proper preparation can ruin your trip there. So check out the list below and get the most out your visit to Peekamoose Blue Hole!
Quick info on Peekamoose Blue Hole:
- Name: Peekamoose Blue Hole
- Location: Peekamoose NY
- What is it? The most popular swimming hole in the Catskill Mountains
- How deep is it? 20-25 feet
- Can you swim here? Yes
- Rating: 5 out of 5
- Recommended? Yes if you visit this place at the right times. Please note that there are unfortunately a lot of people who litter here (or worse). If you visit Peekamoose Blue Hole, make sure to follow the rules (and common sense).
5 things to know before you visit Peekamoose Blue Hole:
These are the 5 most important things to keep in mind so you actually get to go here (and at the best times).
A permit is required to visit Peekamoose Blue Hole (on weekends):
This is apparently a recent thing that came up and had it not been for my friend investigating the spot earlier, we may have ran into trouble. Currently, if you plan to visit Peekamoose Blue Hole on a weekend, you will need to buy a pass (for each person) which is $10.
You can buy a pass to Peekamoose Blue Hole here. And remember, this is for weekend trips there (I think they’re just trying to limit the number of people). Now for us, we visited this place on a weekday and though we got the passes just in case, we saw no one there to enforce it, and were told it only applies for weekend visits.
The water at Peekamoose Blue Hole is very cold:
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about swimming holes, but you should definitely keep this in mind if you intend to go swimming here. This photo shows you how clear the water is in Peekamoose Blue Hole, but honestly, it’s freezing (usually that’s how it is all the time).
When we reached this area, it was around 4 p.m and the shadows from the trees around the swimming hole made it even colder to jump in. Though it took some prep, we eventually swam in it and did some cliff jumping too. If you are very sensitive to cold water or think you might get sick, obviously use caution and consider skipping the swim if necessary. One thing that might help with the cold is wearing rash guard shirts and pants which will help your body heat insulate better and warm up after getting out of the water.
You can swim in Peekamoose Blue Hole, but wear good water shoes:
While swimming in the blue hole isn’t a big deal and you don’t need water shoes for that, when you hike up to do some cliff jumping or walk on the shallow areas and touch the rocks or step over slippery spots, if you’re not wearing the right gear, you might slip and fall. Most water shoes will work well for you here and in my case, there’s 2 brands I recommend:
- The Body Glove Rip Tide Water Shoes which are very cheap ($10).
- And the Zhuanglin Water Shoes which I used for my hike at Peekamoose. ($30).
- You may even wear hiking crocs (or regular ones) for this too if you don’t plan on hiking anywhere else.
Both are very reliable for these places and I rarely slipped, even in the most dangerous spots. Here is a video of me hiking Peekamoose Blue Hole with a pair of them:
Zhuanglin water shoes (great for Peekamoose Blue Hole):
Check out Buttermilk Falls nearby:
Buttermilk Falls was a very pleasant site to check out after our swim at Peekamoose Blue Hole and we hiked a little bit of it. The great news is that this waterfall is very close to Peekamoose Blue Hole and it’s one of the best waterfalls in the Catskills.
By car, it’ll literally take you 30 seconds to reach (from the Peekamoose parking lot), and by foot it’s only about a 5 minute walk. It’s a pretty big 50 foot waterfall that is very scenic, and we were fortunate to not have anyone else in the area when we went there! Also a fun fact, there are multiple waterfalls in New York State that have the name Buttermilk Falls.
Avoid going to Peekamoose Blue Hole on weekends:
Not only do you have to pay the fee to enter, but this place is extremely packed on weekends (as is any spot in the Catskills during that time). Speaking from experience (unless you love packed parking lots and large crowds), go here on a weekday. Even though we went here mid day, the parking lot (which is quite small) was almost fully packed, so that shows you how popular this area is. On the weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised if it got packed 10x more.
All these things combined with your visit to Peekamoose Blue Hole will make for an awesome adventure in the Catskill Mountains!