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Popular Upstate NY swimming hole steps up fines, enforcement due to social media

Some of the most popular natural swimming spots in Upstate New York also happen to be illegal to visit, but this doesn’t stop people from jumping in every year.

For park police at Stony Brook State Park in Steuben County, however, things have gotten out of hand. This year, rangers will be stepping up patrols and enforcement, and issuing more fines of up to $250 for people caught wading in prohibited areas of the popular park.

Those areas include the waterfalls along the creek that hugs the gorge trail.

“Social media helps make the problem more popular,” Stony Brook Park’s manager, Arthur Briley, told WHAM-TV. “People post pictures of them doing illegal activities.”

Briley thinks people see those photos, and believe those areas are safe for swimming.

However sharp stones, slick algae on surfaces, rushing water and large crowds all make them dangerous areas, and park police want to curb use of the prohibited areas before a major tragedy happens.

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