The Blue Hole is one of the most mysterious areas of the Pine Barrens full of legends about the Jersey Devil pulling people in, drowning's, and myths of it being bottomless. It sits in an area full of wetlands and swamps. There are bridges crossing various streams, trails and the area is mainly used by hunters. The area has a little bit different of an ecosystem then the rest of the pine barrens. 

Over the years locals told the children not to play in it cause the water was freezing cold and rumor has it once you went in it was hard to get out cause of the muddy banks. I did not see it being difficult to get out as others claim since the hole is about 100 feet across and surrounded by trees. 

A story was told about a Henry Beck took a team of scientist out here with a large weight and long cable line to find out deep the Blue Hole was. It was said the cable went all the way down until it ran out then more cable was attached but it turned out to be bottomless no matter how much cable was attached. Some say a mile of cable was used others say a crane was brought back here to conduct the experiment whether this is all true who knows that is what makes the whole Blue Hole mysterious.

When we first started our hike we ran into a man and his son off roading in his Jeep. He has been out here dozens of times and never found the Blue Hole. But then we hitched a ride with another local who showed us it. Its really not that hard to find but other bodies of water can easily be mistaken as it. 

What makes the water so strange in the Blue Hole is that its crystal clear water their is no cedar water or rather water with a brown tint found here. Most of the water in the Pinelands is a murky brownish color. The egg harbor River runs about 50 feet away from the Blue hole is murky brown yet the Blue Hole is not. The water no matter what time of year always remains a constant chilly temperature. Even in July the water is much cooler then other bodies of water nearby or rivers. 

There is also an old bridge which is collapsed nearby at the end of the dirt road to the Blue Hole. Across from the river is a giant sand dune hill leading off deeper into the Pine Barrens. The area is said to be full of wild fierce dogs and home to the Jersey Devil. Some say the devil drinks from the water here. There are more signs of humans then a cryptid as you see beer bottles, torn clothing etc surrounding this oval body of water which is about 130 feet across. 

Then I read that the Blue Hole was an old marl pit excavation site that filled with water. The marl is a blue/greenish bright color. There is one in Birmingham also. In the late 1800's it was very popular after that the hole was used for fertilizer. One thing is for sure the Blue Hole existed over a century ago. Over those year some people have drowned here even broken their necks trying to dive in. 

While others say its a marl pit others say its a natural artesian spring. The water being so deep blue and cold is where the bottomless rumor started however with it bubbling their was signs that somewhere in it their was an artesian flow.  Other say its a prehistoric site where a meteorite had struck. The reason they say the bubbling of the spring has stopped is that the lowering ground water levels reduced the pressure that once churned the sand bottom to keep the water flowing. 

Below is an article about the Blue Hole which appeared in the newspaper think my fans and the curious will find it very interesting. Speaking of the Blue Hole I found another one hidden out near some foundations out in the Pine Barrens that one I was told may be the real blue hole. That hole was bright green and we stuck a large tree limb into it and there was no bottom so who knows.....that is what makes the Blue Hole one of the Pine Barrens greatest myths.

By

Lord Rick

 

dibriswoods.jpg (65420 bytes)  chimney.jpg (45976 bytes)  drainagetube.jpg (64459 bytes)  swamp.jpg (66146 bytes)  woods1.jpg (74060 bytes)  woods.jpg (75029 bytes)  woodstrail.jpg (87154 bytes)

tub.jpg (59771 bytes)  adammarsh.jpg (62674 bytes)  gianttree.jpg (67895 bytes)  dirtroad.jpg (65161 bytes)  hitchingaride1.jpg (46731 bytes)  hitchingaride2.jpg (40520 bytes)  hitchingaride.jpg (39834 bytes)

rickbluehole.jpg (59663 bytes)  woodbridge.jpg (48679 bytes)  adambluehole.jpg (52865 bytes)  bluehole2.jpg (65931 bytes)  bluehole3.jpg (61105 bytes)

    roadtobluehole.jpg (71399 bytes)  adamtreestand1.jpg (68059 bytes)  adamtreestand.jpg (71825 bytes)  bluehole1.jpg (57509 bytes)

Some Say The Blue Hole You See Above Is The Real One You Decide

Getting to the bottom of the myths of the Blue Hole in the Pine Barrens

SouthJerseyNews.com
Friday, February 7, 2003
By DANIEL WALSH
Courier-Post Staff

MONROE

They say the Blue Hole's bottomless.

Surrounded by quicksand.

Created by a meteor crash.

Filled with water blue as the sky itself, quite unlike the murky brown
cedar water elsewhere in the Pine Barrens.

It's been called the Bottomless Pit of Beelzebub and the Jersey Devil's
Bathtub, where swimmers insisted they felt a hand come up from below and
grab their legs.

All this over a pool of water about 130 feet in diameter just south of
the Great Egg Harbor River.

Ever wonder if any of it's true?

Tony Scriviani did.

"It's not really a lake," Scriviani said. "It's a hole. It has blue
water. Here in the Pine Barrens, we usually have cedar water. They say
that this hole is deep."

Seekers of the strange here often relay a story about a group of
scientists who some years ago dropped a huge weight with a long line of
cable into the middle of the pool. Supposedly, the cable kept going down
until it was all fed out. So, they dropped more cable. Same thing
happened.

The thing is, that story's as apocryphal in 2003 as it was in 1937 when
the late South Jersey historian Henry Charlton Beck first put it into
print in More Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey.

Joe Gionti, 87, a member of the Williamstown Historical Society, never
took a dive into the Blue Hole, but he remembers it well.

"Children were forbidden to go into that water for two reasons," said
Gionti. "One, there was no bottom. Two, there were demons in there."

The science, however, is quite different.

According to Richland natural historian Mark Demitroff, the Blue Hole in
Monroe is one of numerous such blue holes in the Pine Barrens. There are
also blue holes in Newtonville and Egg Harbor Township, each with its
own folklore. The science is something unique to the Pine Barrens.

"Blue holes are places in or near streams where large amounts of water
under pressure upwell," Demitroff said. " They shoot up like a geyser.
They're large springs."

Most water in the Pine Barrens, at least when the weather' s warm,
appears brown and murky and is called "cedar water" locally. Bacteria
take iron from marl, a type of heavy soil, near Marlton and turn it to
rust, Demitroff explained. The warmer the temperature, the more active
the bacteria will be, and the rust color will be produced in the water.

Because blue holes' water comes from so far below ground, the water
temperature stays relatively constant, about 55 degrees year-round,
Demitroff said. The bacteria is less active in cooler water and doesn't
turn the water brown. As a result, the clear water reflects the sky.

And what swimmers thought was the Jersey Devil grabbing them from
beneath the surface was really just the frigid water.

"You were always told never to swim there because you would cramp up and
sink like a stone," Demitroff said. " Suckholes would come up and grab
you."

These days, the only thing close to the Blue Hole is a shooting range
off Piney Hollow Road. The remnants of a bridge over the Egg Harbor
remain, about 50 feet from the Blue Hole.

The best way in is a dirt road off Piney Hollow Road, leading northwest
into the Winslow Wildlife Management Area. Hike in three-fifths of a
mile and follow blue trail markers, and you'll eventually come to the
Blue Hole.

A crew from the Courier-Post made the pilgrimage Jan. 29 amid a drifting
snowfall. Elsewhere, the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers froze over in
spots. Children played hockey on ponds in Medford. Temperatures had been
below freezing for days.

The Blue Hole had no ice on it. Neither did the Egg Harbor.

The hole wasn't blue this day. But it wasn't brown. Rather, it appeared
crystalline green at many parts. You could see the bottom, where odd
vegetation grew.

Measured at several spots from a canoe in the center of the lake, the
Blue Hole rang up at no more than seven feet deep. Demitroff blames
urbanization and agriculture for this, saying the Pine Barrens have been
drying up for years.

As for the quicksand, Bill Witcraft, who runs the Auto Express shop on
Piney Hollow Road, said he has towed many cars from the side of the Egg
Harbor opposite the Blue Hole. They all sink in the sand.

But no, it's not quicksand, he says.

And no, there's no Jersey Devil around here.

At least not that anybody's seen lately.