DEC Issues Updated Regulations for Visitors to Peekamoose Blue Hole and Rondout Creek Area in Sundown Wild Forest

May 15, 2021

Permits Now Required Seven Days a Week May 15 through Sept. 15

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released updated regulations for visitors to the Peekamoose Blue Hole and nearby Rondout Creek area in the Sundown Wild Forest, the town of Denning, Ulster County. DEC issued the new regulations as part of an ongoing effort to protect this resource and promote sustainable use. The regulations will help improve public safety and reduce environmental impacts in the area.

The updated regulations will expand the current permit system for this location and require a permit seven days a week, including holidays, from May 15 through Sept. 15. The permits will be required for all visitors to the Peekamoose Blue Hole and the nearby corridor along the Rondout Creek, including campers, picnickers, hikers, and anglers. The updated regulations:

  • 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;
  • Limit parking to designated parking areas only. Each permit will be linked to a vehicle, and the permit must be displayed on/in the vehicle;
  • Permits must list the names of all members of the visiting party when making the reservation. Names can be changed up to one day in advance;
  • Prohibit alcohol and coolers larger than 12" in any dimension at the Blue Hole. Limited use will be allowed at nearby designated camping areas only; and
  • Camping permits are now required to reserve primitive tent sites in the Lower, Middle, and Upper fields. Visit Reserve America's website to make a reservation.

The expanded regulations for the Peekamoose Blue Hole and Rondout Creek area complement existing regulations. The Blue Hole is open to the public from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except for designated campsites nearby, and users are required to use portable restroom facilities for human waste disposal and the dumpster for all other waste. In addition, the following activities and items are prohibited (with limited use allowed at the nearby designated camping area only):

  • Camping
  • All fires (including charcoal fires, wood fires, gas grills, propane stoves, or other portable stoves)
  • Use of portable generators
  • Glass containers
  • Radios and other audio devices

Visitors to the area are advised that parking along the shoulder of the road is prohibited by the town and is a tow-away zone. Visitors can find out more information on these and other destinations in the Catskills by visiting the Catskills Visitors Center at 5096 Route 28 in Mt. Tremper, NY, calling (845) 688 -3369, or visiting the Catskills Visitors Center website.