Review: Blue Hole

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Maundering through the hardwood forests of the Shenandoah Valley, one is certain to find a variety of pristine natural sights that are just waiting to be conquered by human explorers. There is so much in the realm of outdoor entertainment in rural Virginia that makes finding fun-filled places a breeze. Never has nature’s tranquility been so disturbed by the reverberating screams of drunken college students jumping off of a giant boulder than at the popular swimming spot referred to as “Blue Hole”.

With a name that could very well be slang for a sexually transmitted disease, Blue Hole is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Harrisonburg, VA and is a well-known destination for outdoor adventurers at JMU. Bathing suits and a care-free attitude are a must have as you pull off and park on the shoulder of US Route 33. The rocky path leading down to the swimming hole would be pretty undetectable if you didn’t know what you were looking for, or if the jeep with the “Heritage, Not Hate” tire cover wasn’t parked at the top of the hill.

At the end of the roadside trail you are immediately greeted by a fresh-water swimming area bordered by both tall rocks for jumping off of and a gravel beach for relaxing in the sun. Make your way over to the main rock formation and scale up a shoddy, homemade ladder that is as structurally sound as the bird house I built in 4th grade to get a great view of the entire swimming area. If you’re brave enough, you can jump off the cliff into the water below, which is “probably like 10 feet deep or something” according to the shirtless backwoodsman holding a can of Busch beer on the shoreline.

The swimming hole allures the daring college students of Harrisonburg, simultaneously combining the threats of trauma induced paralysis and waterborne pathogens into one off the grid destination just 30 minutes to an hour away from the nearest hospital. It’s a great way to get out into the Shenandoah and let go of the stresses that come with work, school, and other responsibilities.

While you’re out there be sure to snap a photo of yourself jumping off of the rock perch (maybe while boasting your sorority’s hand signal, if you are so bold) so that you can Instagram it later. Undoubtedly the best part of escaping into nature for a day is uprooting its meaning entirely by capturing it on your cell phone, and Blue Hole in Rawley Springs is the perfect scapegoat for your social media addiction.

Rating: 7/10

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