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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Sutton

4.7
#15 of 82 in Nature in Massachusetts
Geologic Formation State Park
Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is a state-owned geologic preserve and public recreation area located off Route 146 in the town of Sutton, Massachusetts. The state park is notable for its.25mi, 70ft chasm of granite bedrock with abrupt precipices and boulder caves where ice lingers into the early summer. It is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.HistoryVarious theories have been proposed to account for the chasm's creation. According to one, the chasm was created when glacial meltwater from a burst ice dam ripped out blocks of bedrock at the end of the last Ice Age (14,000 years ago). Purgatory Chasm was declared a state park in 1919.Activities and amenitiesThe park is open year round, although the chasm is closed to hikers and climbers during the winter months because of ice hazards. There are 2mi of hiking trails around the chasm; rock climbing is allowed by permit. The reservation also includes picnic areas, a visitors center, and playground.In popular cultureA book of poems by Susan Edmonds Richmond titled Purgatory Chasm, a song by Holly Hanson of Neptune's Car titled "Lover's Leap," and Purgatory Chasm, a novel by Steve Ulfelder, were inspired by hikes in the chasm.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
198 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Absolutely recommend this place to anyone who's close! Purgatory has amazing hiking and climbing paths to hike on!  more »
  • This is a fun place to go and hike, read about how the chasm came to be, stay cool in the woods. Bring bug spray!  more »
  • It's a fun hike through lots of rocks. There's a lot of climbing involved, it's not for someone who is not surefooted. I wouldn't recommended anyone who needs help walking, or small dogs; there is a l...  more »
Google
  • Fun hike. My 14 year old loved clambering up the sides of the chasm. Hike was challenging for us old folks but not too bad. Great views.
  • Good place for family hiking. Different experience levels. Sliding rock is a real fun for kids... Just be prepared that clothing ( pants ) is going to have extra hols...
  • This is an amazing place to visit, for all ages. It is a fine place to stop and appreciate the wonders of nature. There are easier paths and harder paths, so use judgement when visiting with small children or those with physical restrictions.
  • Great place for a family day or small event. Trails for all experience levels. My niece and I went with three children 4,5, & 8 and had a wonderful time. Plenty of places to sit and cook on grills. Bring charcoal and lunch.
  • One of the great local hiking spots in the area. Trails range from easy to moderate. Usually not too crowded.

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