Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Sutton

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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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation Reviews
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232 reviews
  • Spent several days in New England with a friend, geocaching to all the best places. We got here later in the day than we had planned but I’m glad we still stopped by. I wold recommend planning at...  more »
  • This is a very scenic place with easy hiking, but with rock scrambling. Not for elderly or people with health or mobility issues. Great for kids (not toddlers or infants). Bring your active and...  more »
  • One of our favorite hikes in the area! It's easily accessible from the highway, has plenty of parking, and a very clean visitor's center and a nice playground. The chasm itself is really cool. Hiking it is short, maybe a mile at most, but there is a ton of interesting terrain. Despite that, it's navigable by most, even our 4 and 6 year olds. Give it a try!
  • Always like to stop when in the area. Nice picnic stop. Take a walk to relax. Lots of trees, lots of rocks for kids to climb on. Some pretty flowers pop up the right time of year. I do wish people would respect nature and pick up after themselves and not spoil the beauty.

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