Nestled in the Angelina National Forest in Deep East Texas, 36 miles southeast of Lufkin, is one of the hidden jewels of Texas. The Blue Hole, as it’s known, is a brilliant blue-green-colored lake surrounded by the craggy white sandstone cliffs of a former rock quarry.
First opened in the late 1800s, rock was removed from the quarry and transported by the Rockland, Jasper & Northeastern Railway Company for use in the Sabine Pass and Galveston jetties extensions, according to an article published by The History Center in Diboll.
Once known as Kyle’s Quarry, the 12 acres were flooded in the 1920s and has been a popular spring-fed swimming hole for decades, the article stated. A 1918 University of Texas publication noted the distinct coloring of the water is from the sandstone, containing quartz and chert, as well as layers of clay.
Today, the densely wooded property and the unmistakable aquamarine lake are privately owned. Diboll native David Frankens purchased The Blue Hole in 2013, investing more than $1.5 million in improvements to the ranch, including trails, a pavilion, beaches, and a large cabin.
Though this tranquil setting isn’t open to the public, Frankens works to accommodate most anyone wanting to pay a visit. Permission is key, as more than 200 trespassing citations were handed out last year, according to KTRE-TV.
Frankens employs a small staff to maintain and preserve the grounds, also serving as hosts and guides when he’s not around.