Let me tell you about the story of New Jersey’s “Blue Hole”. Located deep in the Pine Barrens of Winslow, NJ “The Blue Hole” is a small but legendary body of water that is said to be bottomless and also a favorite hang out of The Jersey Devil. Although the surface is calm and blue unlike the neighboring flowing rivers that sport a brown undertone, those foolish enough to venture into “The Blue Hole’s” waters have told stories of powerful currents that try to suck you under and freezing water tempatures regardless of the time of season. Some believe the hole was made by a meteorite striking the Earth. Others believe its a portal for the supernatural. Whatever the true secret of The Blue Hole is, I was determined to take a look at it and decide for myself.
My journey to The Blue Hole began by turning down a dirt road that lead me into the heart of New Jersey’s infamous Pine Barrens. The road is actually pretty close to the Atlantic Ciy Expressway, which I’ve been on a million times so I didn’t feel that uncomfortable. However, my comfort level soon changed as the foliage of the trees grew thicker and thicker and the image of the main road in my rear view mirror grew smaller and smaller.
You see most people that go on these weird travels usually don’t go alone. But yet here I was all by myself driving further and further into the Pine Barrens looking for some obscure hole in the ground. Maybe if I was used to hiking and camping this wouldn’t seem so unusual but I don’t know how to explain it, The New Jersey Pine Barrens has a spirit of its own. Its almost like no matter where you are you feel like someone or something is watching you. Even in the middle of a beautiful summer afternoon I was getting sudden feelings of dread as my Jeep slowly crept down the dirt road.
Eventually the dirt road led to a circle with a group of trees in the middle of it. This is pretty much as far as you can go by vehicle, so I parked and set out on foot for the rest of the trip.
If you don’t have an SUV you probably want to stop before reaching the Tree Circle landmark because the dirt road suddenly turns into sand. Heavy sand that the tires of my Jeep sank into and I could only imagine a normal car getting stuck in.
After parking I noticed I was right by a river and what appeared to be a broken bridge. This bridge once made the “The Blue Hole” easily accessible, but about 40 years ago a violent storm wiped it out. At least that’s what they say. Maybe the destroyed bridge is a way of someone saying you don’t want to go down this path any further.
Fortunately to the left of the broken bridge is a shallow area of the river that is passable on foot. You can see in the picture above that the rocks on the floor of the river almost make a clear walkway right to the path on the other side. On the day I went the highest the water got was to my knees, but don’t get me wrong, I was just waiting for something to jump out of the water at me. However, I ventured on, knowing that my goal was only a few hundred feet away down the path on the other side of the river.
I had made it to “The Blue Hole”. At first I wasn’t that impressed, but after looking at it for a minute or so the thing I noticed the most was how deathly silent it was around it. No chirping birds, no wind blowing the branches, it was really strange. Also, its crazy how almost perfectly round the hole is, and how it just seems to appear out of nowhere for no reason. One second your walking on a dirt path and the next there’s just this random round body of water to the left of you.
My pictures don’t do “The Blue Hole” justice but there really is a blue tint to the water. I think its because that same heavy sand I experienced earlier is probably what lies beneath the water causing the sun to reflect off of it and make the water look blue, a la the kind of water you see in The Bahamas. Now did I test out the waters? No fucking way! I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, there was no way I was going in that water. Being in the woods alone is one thing, swimming alone in the woods is just fucking crazy. Again, for you nature freaks out there you’re probably laughing at me and calling me a noob, but I don’t care. I had made my way and found the legendary Blue Hole all by myself, that has to count for something.
BONUS MATERIAL: Check out this short film about “The Blue Hole”