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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

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Ages:Kids, Teens, Adults
Cost:Free see below
Category:Parks & Nature
Other Ideas: Garden In The Woods: Native Plant Trust; Maudslay State Park; Stage Fort Park Beaches; Rose Kennedy Greenway; Massachusetts DCR State Parks

purgatory chasm state reservation photoThis 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.

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 offbeat names as The Corn Crib, The Coffin, The Pulpit, Lovers' Leap and Fat Man's Misery.

View photos of Purgatory Chasm in our photo adventure guide.

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.

There is lots of 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. It's free, has a place to picnic, play ball/frisbee, go the bathroom, and get water. Truly a wonderful day trip.

**Please be advised the hiking the chasm is recommended for sure-footed visitors ages 6+. Rubber soled shoes are highly recommended. 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**.

COST↑ top

Parking cost $6 for out of state; and $5 for in state



198 Purgatory Road, Sutton, MA, 01590 map
Phone: 508 234-3733

From the East/West/Boston/Southeast:

Take MASS PIKE (Rte. I-90) to exit #10A in Millbury, rte 146 South.
Take Rte 146 South to exit # 6 in Sutton, Purgatory Rd.
Take a right onto Purgatory Rd.
Reservation entrance & visitor center is mile on your right.

From Northeast/Worcester:

Take Rte 495 to Rte 290 West towards Worcester.
Take exit #12 and follow Rte 146S to Exit #6 in Sutton.
Take a right onto Purgatory Rd., following signs.
Reservation entrance & visitor center is mile on your right.

From Northwest:

Take Rte 2 East to exit #33 in Leominster, rte 190 south.
Take Rte 190S to end, onto Rte 290 West in Worcester.
Follow Rte 290 West to exit #12, Rte 146 south.
Follow Rte 146S to Exit #6 in Sutton, Purgatory Rd.
Take a right onto Purgatory Rd., following signs.
Reservation entrance & visitor center is mile on your right.


5-starGreat Spot
I planned a stop here when heading to western mass. I can't believe i had never stopped before. This reservation was 10 minutes from the MAss PIke exit. The building was very clean. The hiking trails are well marked. there is no admission fee. there is a huge playscape for the kids. Climbing the chasm was a great time. My kids are 4 and 6 and they climbed everything very easily. I would wear sneakers or hiking boots. We only spent an hour or two there but you could make an afternoon or day of it for sure.


Info changes frequently. We cannot warrant it. Verify with Purgatory Chasm State Reservation before making the trek. If you find an error, please report it...
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