Cutting Off Access to Bolton Potholes

If all goes according to plan a new property owner wants to make Bolton Potholes off-limits to the public.

It involves cutting off access to the Bolton Potholes.

The Bolton Potholes have always been privately-owned, but that hasn’t kept visitors from one of Vermont’s natural wonders.

But David Parot said that will change when the land purchase is final in March.

Visitors to the Bolton Potholes come from all over.

“It’s a great place to swim. A lot of fun. I remember going on a sunny day. Lots of people from all over,” said Ben Doyle, from Montpelier.

Former Select board member and Bolton resident David Parot said not once he owns it.

“I’m certainly not going to make this purchase and pay the taxes on it and have folks I certainly don’t know come and use my property,” said David Parot, buying land.

Parot said the contract is signed and a deposit is paid.

He plans to close on the 3.1 acres of land in March.

“I’ve always enjoyed going there. I’ve always accessed it from the other side,” said Parot.

While people will no longer be able to get to the Bolton Potholes via his land, it can be accessed from the elementary school.

That side of Joiner Brook is owned by the school district and Town of Bolton.

Right off of Bolton Valley Access Road is the popular entrance point to the Bolton Potholes.

The soon-to-be-owner’s property would start at the guardrail and extend 700 feet up the road.

The property line ends at the waters edge.

The water isn’t off-limits.

The Vermont River Conservancy said it’s a public trusted resource meaning everyone has the right-to-use it.

The trick is getting to the water.

80% of the land surrounding the state’s 200 swimming holes is privately-owned.

“Everybody should have the right to get into these beautiful rivers that we have, so if we lose that collective opportunity to swimming holes, it would be a real blow to our whole sense of place here in Vermont,” said Steve Libby, Executive Director Vermont River Conservancy.

After Seven Days reported on Parot’s purchase, people wrote about their concerns about limited access on Facebook, some even threatening physical harm.

“People are leaving negative comments and people calling me names but no one has left their home address, so I can come and swim in their pool or have a barbecue with 100 of my closet friends,” said Parot.

Parot said he may look into opening a private club or allowing an ownership option for members.

He may even hire a security guard on the hottest days of summer.