Big Hole - Hammersley Wild Area, PA
Posted by: bogleman
N 41° 30.708 W 077° 52.038
18T E 260718 N 4599544
Quick Description: Nice deep swimming hole - 10'12' deep
Parking is at N41 27.402 W77 52.467. This is an unimproved area, use caution.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 6/13/2012 2:35:30 PM
Waymark Code: WMEMC0
Where do I begin? Several years ago I remember my father telling me stories of a fishing adventure he and his father had in Hammersley PA when he was 14. He told me all about the native trout and rattle snakes and everything that would excite a young mind.
Unfortunately my father had a brain tumor and was unable to physically share his memories. One day my grandmother opened the photo album and showed me pictures of their Hammersley adventure in 1953 – to a 12 year old boy (me) they were nothing more than pictures that really did not mean anything.
My father passed away in 2005; while going through his belongings I stumbled on many old pictures including the ones taken in Hammersley. I collected the pictures and tucked them into my pocket and took them home to be stored away for several years.
In 2009 while cleaning up some of my secret stashes I came across the pictures of Hammersley. On the back of the pictures were various descriptions one being labeled as the big hole. I decide to do a Google search to see where Hammersley was and what was so special – well there is not much to be found other than it’s the name of the stream they were fishing on - "Hammersley Fork".
I decide let’s take it one step further. I enter the search string to include the big hole and low and behold I find a link
describing a swimming hole and there are nearly identical photos
and there are GPS coordinates to the location!
I immediately decide that I need to take my son on an adventure and retrace their adventure. I start planning our trip and find there is a nearby virtual geocache
and we will use that as our starting point.
Skip to next year, I plotted a better route since all of the trails seemed to disappear or were completely inaccessible we hiked the stream, we got about 1 mile from the big hole and again abandoned our search due to heavy storms and lightening.
TOUCHDOWN!!! 2012 Sunday Memorial Day weekend my son (now 16) leave home at 530am and arrive on site at 930am and start off following along the stream. I tell my son this year is it we are pushing through no matter what. Right around 1pm we arrive within 85 feet of the listed coordinates and find nothing special. None of the landmarks look familiar and we decide to continue walking – we made it this far what’s another .5 mile.
We turn the bend in the stream and notice there are people? We get closer and things are starting to look good, I approach one of the people and he confirms this is the “big hole” – we finally made it.
There very well may be a much easier way to the swimming hole but you will miss 99% of the fun we had. Plenty of wildlife entertainment, snakes, turtles, deer and bigfeet.
If you follow out route be prepared for no less than a 8-9 mile hike round trip and plan on getting wet with multiple stream crossings.