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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

Outdoor Free
State Parks, Hiking Trails, Healthy/Active, Offbeat, Adventurous
Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Sutton, MA
URL: Purgatory Chasm State Reservation...  Phone: 508-234-3733

Activity Overview

This unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm is different than any other state park around. Instead of just walking through the woods, it's about climbing rocks big and small. Lots of free parking. Grills and picnic tables, bathrooms, as well as a terrific playground for the little ones.

Things to Do

The chasm trail runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet. Trails lead to a wide variety of rock formations, with such romantic names as The Corn Crib, The Coffin, The Pulpit, Lovers' Leap and Fat Man's Misery.

Popular with picnickers and rock-climbers alike, the Chasm is believed to have been created by a sudden release of dammed-up glacial meltwater near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago. Pretty amazing.

The park allows you to be as adventurous as you want - squeeze yourself into the dark and damp caves or try your wits getting through Fat Man's Misery. For the not so adventurous and nimble, the park offers an opportunity to watch rock climbers or just walk around on a normal hiking trail. (View Printable Trail Map)

There is lots of free parking, grills and shaded picnic tables are available, as well as a terrific playground for the little ones. You'll find a marvelously fun merry go round, large climbing structure with slides, bridges, and a really cool log rolling simulator.

**Please be advised the hiking the chasm is recommended for sure-footed visitors ages 6+. Rubber soled shoes (sneakers, hiking boots, closed toe sandals) are highly recommended.

Purgatory Chasm Insider Tips

  • The rocks are large, and can be slippery and hard to navigate. Some areas (for instance, the entry point to Fat Man's Misery) have a dangerously steep drop with no safety rail. Know your limits**.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes with rubber or grippy soles. (i.e Sneakers, Keens, hiking boots). Flip-flops are NOT recommended.
  • Definitely pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are grills on site with picnic tables in little nooks off the main road. There is usually an ice cream truck on site with hot dogs & treats as well. We recommend you bring your own lunch.
  • Food & drink is not permitted inside the chasm.
  • Bathrooms are centrally located at the visitor center.
  • Well behaved dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times.

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