Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Peekamoose Blue Hole

A $10 permit is now required for use of the entire Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor including the Peekamoose Blue Hole. See information or see details on how to obtain a permit.

Para el español, haga clic aquí.

hiking fishing portable toilet parking icon key

The Peekamoose Blue Hole is located in Sundown Wild Forest, set within the secluded wilderness of the Catskill Forest Preserve. The Blue Hole is a depression in the streambed rock of the Rondout Creek, a unique natural feature formed by sand and swirling gravel in an ancient whirlpool. The creek is part of the New York City drinking water watershed. Over the last few years, the wilderness experience has been affected by the presence of large crowds on summer weekends.

Please keep in mind that parking is extremely limited and parking along the roadway is prohibited. Any vehicle parked along the roadway will be ticketed or towed.

This is a carry in/carry out facility - users are required to take out any trash that they bring in. Two portable toilets and a dumpster are provided during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Special Regulations

DEC has issued special regulations for the Blue Hole and Peekamoose Valley because of the huge increase in visitors. The purpose of these regulations is to increase public safety and reduce impacts to the environmental resources.

  • Require visitors to obtain a permit for a $10 fee through Reserve America, consistent with fees for other recreation-oriented Day Use areas in the Forest Preserve;
  • Each permit will be linked to a vehicle, and the permit must be displayed on/in the vehicle;
  • Limit parking to designated parking areas only. Parking along the shoulder of the road is prohibited by the Town and is a Tow Away Zone;
  • Users are required to use portable restroom facilities for human waste disposal and the dumspter for all other waste;
  • The following are prohibited at the Blue Hole (limited use will be allowed at the nearby designated camping area only):
    • Except for the nearby designated camping area, the Blue Hole is only open to the public from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
    • Camping
    • All fires (including charcoal fires, wood fires, gas grills, propane stoves or other portable stoves)
    • Use of portable generators
    • Alcohol
    • Glass containers
    • Coolers larger than 12" in any dimension
    • Radios and other audio devices
  • Parking is limited to designated parking areas only. Parking along the shoulder of the road is prohibited by the Town and is a Tow Away Zone.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Trailheads for the Peekamoose Table Trail and Bangle Hill Trail in Sundown Wild Forest both begin in the Peekamoose Valley near the Blue Hole.



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

The Rondout Creek provides excellent trout fishing opportunities where anglers may catch brown and brook trout within clear, pristine waters. Water cascading down Samson, Van Wyck and Peekamoose mountains drops into the Rondout Creek through numerous tributaries.


There are limited parking areas located along Peekamoose Road (Route 42) - see the Parking Map for Peekamoose Corridor (PDF) (845 KB). Only one parking area is located near the Blue Hole; the others are some distance away and are meant to provide access to other parts of Sundown Wild Forest.

Parking is extremely limited and parking along the roadway is prohibited. Any vehicle parked along the roadway will be ticketed or towed.

The Blue Hole is located at 41.915043°N, 74.428761°W (Google Maps - leaves DEC website). Coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating in the Catskills to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other backcountry users.

All users of the Peekamoose Blue Hole must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How to Get a Permit

A permit will be required for all visitors to the Peekamoose Blue Hole and the entire nearby Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor along the Rondout Creek, including campers, picknickers, hikers, and anglers everyday between May15th and September 15th of each year.

Permits are $10, and must be acquired at least 24 hours in advance, but no more than a week in advance. Only advance registrations will be accepted. No walk-in registrations are available. Permits must list the names of all members of the visiting party when making the registration. Names can be changed up to one day in advance. Each permit will be linked to a vehicle, and the permit must be displayed on/in the vehicle. Permits can be acquired from our Blue Hole permit page on Reserve America.

Planning and Management

DEC currently manages these lands in accordance with activities described in the Sundown Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP). In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Because of heavy use of this area, DEC encourages users to enjoy these other nearby state lands.

State Land Distance from Blue Hole Distance from NYC Day Use Fee Swimming Hiking Campground Picnic Area Restrooms Parking
Belleayre Beach (leaves DEC website) 29 miles 130 miles Yes x x x x x
Kenneth L. Wilson Campground 18 miles 110 miles Yes x x x x x
Minnewaska State Park (leaves DEC website) 29 miles 96 miles Yes x x x x x x
Mongaup Pond Campground 27 miles 121 miles Yes x x x x x x
North-South Lake Campground 38 miles 124 miles Yes x x x x x x
Bear Spring Mountain Campground 60 miles 145 miles Yes x x x x x x
Little Pond Campground 46 miles 129 miles Yes x x x x x x
Lake Superior State Park (leaves DEC website) 37 miles 101 miles Yes x x x x
Lake Tiorati Beach, Harriman State Park (leaves DEC website) 75 miles 48 miles Yes x x x x x x
Lake Welch Beach, Harriman State Park (leaves DEC website) 82 miles 46 miles Yes x x x x x x

Gas, supplies, lodging and dining opportunities are located in the nearby communities of Boiceville (13 miles away) and Ellenville (21 miles away).

Discover the Catskills (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.