Purgatory Chasm is located in Sutton, Massachusetts just off route 146 on Purgatory Road (imagine that!). Purgatory Chasm was designated as a state reservation in 1919. Geologists feel that the chasm was formed when large volumes of glacial ice melted and were suddenly released. The melted ice ran through the chasm.
Ok, enough of the history. On to the hike. We left my two year old with a baby sitter which was a good move especially when I saw this sign...
The unique thing about this gorge is you can actually walk in the gorge since the river is long gone. All the other gorges I've been to have rivers at the bottom.We all had a good time walking around and over the large rocks in the chasm. We quickly realized we were right in leaving our two year old behind. I personally would wait until my children were 5 or 6 before letting them climb around. There are lots of places they could get hurt.
My girls enjoyed looking into the various little caves and deep holes. Next time we go we will bring some flashlights and let the girls go into the caves more.
Here are my girls looking into one of the caves near Devil's Coffin.
We saw some people who were getting ready to climb some of the rock walls. A park ranger stopped them. You need a permit to climb the walls. They also highly recommend you stay on the trail which is marked with blue dashes.
There are six named spots to stop and look at: Devil's Coffin, Fat Man's Misery, Devil's Pulpit, Devil's Corn Crib (above), His Majesty's Cave, and Lover's Leap.
There are three main trails to take - one takes you right through the gorge and the other two are above the gorge on either side. You can get a map of the trails at the visitors center. Pay attention to which trail you take above the gorge or you could miss Fat Man's Misery and the Devil's Corn Crib.
Purgatory Chasm is open year round from sunrise to sunset. I am considering going during the winter to see the icicles!