State police towed several vehicles Saturday afternoon parked along Blue Mountain Road belonging to swimmers lured to the area of "the Rock" on the Schuylkill River at the Schuylkill County line, troopers said.

The vehicles were illegally parked on the berm of the roadway, only yards from where it intersects with Route 61 north of Hamburg, police said.

No-parking signs are posted along the road, which is lined with large stones to deter parking near an entrance leading to a small beach on the river below.

State police had received reports of cars parked along the roadway, said a trooper, who estimated there had been a dozen or so vehicles involved.

After troopers made an announcement, all but three were moved before trucks from V&M Towing in Hamburg arrived.

Some of the vehicle owners were swimming in the river and others might have been walking the Appalachian Trail, which has a portal along Blue Mountain Road.

William J. McEllroy III, Tilden Township police chief, said township officers on the Rock observed about 25 people swimming in the river about 3 p.m.

The Rock is in Tilden Township. The swimmers were on the West Brunswick Township side of the river in Schuylkill County.

Swimming in the river and at the Rock, an outcropping that doubles as a diving platform, was banned several years ago. Over the years, there have been several drownings at the site.

Police emphasized that illegal parking in the area is going to be strictly enforced. Violators pay a fine and towing costs.

It was not specified if stay-at-home-order penalties would be enforced since Berks and Schuylkill counties are still under the "red" order until June 4. All such penalties issued across the state have been as secondary offenses to criminal arrests.

McEllroy said on the police department's Facebook page that "although citations can be issued for defiant trespass if you go to the Rock, no citations would have been issued related to the PA stay-at-home order because outdoor activities are permitted.

"Also, swimming in the river is not illegal. What is illegal is being on private property that has been marked No Trespassing," said McEllroy.

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