Hole in the Wall Beach

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Rating: B

Less than 10 people are usually spread out at the clothing-optional shoreline known as Hole In The Wall. But on the warmest days, the population may soar to several dozen. True to its name, this 600-foot long beach can only be reached through an opening in a wall of rocks at the south end of Panther Beach. Even in low tide, access can be hazardous: the water in the passageway between the two beaches looks deceptively calm. In a few seconds, it can turn deadly. Over the years, numerous drownings have been reported. And in 2002, a wave swept two men through the "hole" and into the sea; one never returned.

Legal status:

Privately owned, with public access under state law.

How to find it:

From Panther, walk south and through the hole.

The beach:

About 25 to 50 yards wide and backed by tall cliffs ending in a rocky shelf. Farther south, low rock shelves continue for several hundred yards.

The crowd:

Like Panther, Hole in the Wall attracts only a handful of users. On the hottest days, though, expect up 30-50 people.

Problems:

Fog; cold water; wind; rough waves; rutted parking lot; eroded trail; auto vandalism; litter.

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