The Trek to the Blue Hole
It was about 90 degrees the day we decided to make the hike to the infamous "Blue Hole". I have been interested in the Jersey Devil legend since moving to South Jersey. I have read some stories in the papers and even read a book on the subject. So when an article was written in the Inquirer on the Blue Hole, I decided I would obtain the map and take the hike.
The kids were with me when I secured the map. I hoped it would be more like a scrolled up treasure map, you know, in order to get into the right mood, but it was a mimeographed sheet. The kids were enthused nonetheless.
It was hard to believe that the kids wanted to take the hike. We have been in the mountains where the trails are abundant and getting them to venture down a trail was as difficult as actually meeting up with the Jersey Devil. They were eager to try this one.
We found the beginning of the trail easily. The trailhead was clearly marked with 2 red-tipped posts. We parked adjacent to an outdoor shooting range, (I was thankful that no one was practicing), and started following the blue trail markers.
The beginning of the hike was on a wide gravel road apparently used quite often by hunters on 4 x 4's. We passed an old deserted building that looked like it had been a garage. Perhaps the Jersey devil built a place where he could come in out of the rain.
When we turned off the main trail onto a narrow less frequently traveled path, the area began to take on an eerie appearance. The stunted pines and the scrub, no signs of civilization. I was keeping my eyes open for a flash and sudden movement in the woods, the kind of blurry video scene shown on a TV docudrama.
As we approached the Blue Hole, I thought about the history of the area. This must be the point where the old Indian trail crossed the Egg Harbor River. There was at one time, a wooden bridge nearby, which spanned the river. It must have been a busy trail years ago. The only place to cross the river. Indians, travelers, traders passed this way. Maybe even the Jersey Devil.
It was silent now at this spot, deep in the woods. A perfect place to imagine life as it was many years ago and perhaps hear some thrashing noise echo through the trees and brush…Could it be?
We didn't spot the Jersey Devil this time out. The short hike (about 1 3/4 miles round trip) was fun anyway and it got the kid's imagination and muscles going. Maybe we'll have better luck next time.