Twenty-Foot Hole

Twenty Foot HoleName of Project: Twenty-Foot Hole

Location: Reading, VT

River: Black River

Type of Project: Swimming Hole, Waterfall

Public Access: Yes

Date Completed: 2002 and 2003

Size: 41.5 Acres

Water Frontage: 5,580′

Landowner: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation

Funding Partners: Vermont Housing and Conservation Fund, Businesses & Individual Donors

Property Description: An exceptional natural area listed in ANR’s inventory of swimming holes, there are three places on the property where bedrock constricts the stream into lovely cataracts. Below each drop a deep mini-gorge broadens out into an expanded swimming and wading area, ringed with rocks and woodlands of hemlocks, white pines and northern hardwoods. The depth of each hole gives the site its name.

Project Background:
Fred Hunt, a forester who had managed his 800 acres of woodlands with expertise and ardor, felt strongly that the Twenty-Foot Hole area should eventually be in public ownership. Highly developable, any sale or transfer of the property to new private ownership could have terminated the history of public enjoyment of the site. VRC was able to negotiate a purchase and sale agreement with Mr. Hunt, and many in the Reading area responded to its fundraising efforts. Schools raised funds on Earth Day, and contributions came from as far away as California and Bermuda, testifying to the widespread love for this spot. An additional 1-acre parcel that adjoined Mr. Hunt’s parcel was acquired the following year for better public access to the swimming holes.

Directions: From I-91, get off at Exit 8 and proceed west on Route 131. Turn right on Route 106N. At Felchville (Reading PO), turn left on Tyson Road. Proceed approximately 1.25 miles west on Tyson Road to the property. Look for community of tall pines with few branches on lower trunks. Park at small turnoff on south side of Tyson Road. Trail from Tyson Road takes you to swimming holes.

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