CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – It’s one of the most popular swimming destinations in our region, and in the next few years, it will be seeing some major renovations to keep up with the growing demand.
The Blue Hole in Elizabethton is a series of waterfalls that offers a fantastic place for families and hikers alike to cool off and enjoy the chilly mountain water.
On a hot summer day, the Blue Hole can see hundreds of people.
Chad Ingle, the Recreation Program Manager with the Forest Service, says the renovations are necessary.
“The demand here is so high that we recognize that and so we want to make it easier on the public to access the blue hole,” Ingle said.
For people all across the region, the Blue Hole has been a place of spend some time off for years.
Whether you’re coming to enjoy the view, cool off, conquer some amazing feats or snap that perfect waterfall picture, the Blue Hole has it all.
However, with the high traffic, the Blue Bole is seeing some wear and tear. On the hike to the hole, visitors will have to walk down a steep embankment riddled with exposed roots. These roots can pose a tripping hazard if you’re not careful.
That’s why the stairs are going to be one of the first things renovated at the Blue Hole.
“The plan is to improve and replace the stairs and add more of the stairs on the way we walked down, so they’re over the roots as opposed to walking on the roots. It will be a new concept. It will be in the same area, but it will look a lot different, but it will be in the foot path of the same ones,” said Ingle.
On a hot summer weekend, the Forest Service says the Blue Hole can see upwards of 50 to 75 vehicles, making their other project very important for visitors.
According to Ingle, the Forest Service plans “to expand the parking lot that we have here, to accommodate the amount of vehicles that we’re getting here, about twice the size of the parking lot that it is now.”
Just don’t expect to see any big changes soon. The Forest Service says their projects wont be done for another year or two.
Another big problem they’re having at the Blue Hole – litter.
All around the area, there is garbage. From diapers to bathing suits, food wrappers and beer cans and water bottles. The trash is scattered everywhere.
So right now, the Forest Service is working on promoting one of their biggest rules- “Pack it in, pack it out; everything that you bring with you, must also leave with you.”
Also be aware, it is not permitted to camp at the actual Blue Hole itself, but there are no rules regarding the surrounding woods. Also remember rules for food, because bears have been spotted in the region.