Jun 172014

Purgatory Chasm

You know how there are local places that you hear about over and over, but never seem to get to?  For me, Purgatory Chasm was one of those places.  I knew a ton of people that had gone, but I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what it was.  So I did what anyone would do and Googled it.

This is what the mass.gov site had to say:

A unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet. Popular with picnickers and rock-climbers alike, the Chasm is believed to have its origin in the sudden release of dammed-up glacial meltwater near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago.

That sounds cool, right?

So, over Memorial Day weekend, we took a drive up there.  It was about an hour from my house, but as soon as I saw the place – it was totally worth it!

Purgatory Chasm 1

We spent about an an hour tackling the rocks along the quarter mile chasm.  The rocks were slippery not to mention rather steep in spots, so this probably isn’t appropriate for real little ones – although I did see people there with toddlers.  I was nervous about my six year old thinking he might be too young to traverse the rock formations, but he actually did better than I did.

Purgatory Chasm 2 Purgatory Chasm 3

It was a last minute decision to go there and I didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into. I was not prepared for the amount of rock climbing we were going to be doing that day and was not wearing the appropriate footwear for the challenge.

But at least I can say that I conquered the chasm in flip flops.

Purgatory Chasm flip flops

Purgatory Chasm is located in Sutton, MA.  It’s on Purgatory Rd off of  Rte 146.  Purgatory Chasm is totally free, the parking is free, there is a playground on site and there are clean-ish bathrooms there, too.

It’s one of those things that I am kicking myself for not checking out sooner.  If you’re local and looking for a fun adventure this summer – check out Purgatory Chasm….but be sure to wear sneakers when you go.

  147 Responses to “Purgatory Chasm”

  1. Another hint along with to wear sneakers is to leave the sparkly pocketbook home

  2. That is the kinda thing i would do wear flip flops in all the wrong places lol.This looks like a fun place to go.

  3. Hari Om
    Oh this brings back memories from both South Africa (the Drakensbergs) and Australia (Blue Mountains…many a trail traversed with huffing and puffing and completed with satisfaction as well as exhaustion. The atmosphere in such places truly is prehistoric. Mind you, i DID have hiking boots on &*> YAM xx

  4. Ok, I had to laugh a bit at Chris’s comment. Btu seriously looked like a great time and glad you finally got to do this 🙂

  5. Haven’t you figured out yet that young people come with glue afixed to their soles? That does look like an interesting place to explore and unusual as well. I would have fun just trying to name all the different rocks.

  6. What a cool place! My boys love hiking and would love to visit PC. This is just south of Auburn, MA? (Still 1 hour away from me! Isn’t everything? lol)

  7. That sound’s like a really interesting place to go hiking. We don’t really have places for hiking around our island. Will have to go abroad for the kids to try hiking.

    • I have the same problem here in Miami – there’s lots of places to walk but never to hike! Robin, this looks like such a cool place to spend an active summer morning!

  8. looks like a great place to go hiking and have an awesome time, the flip-flops well not such a good idea :)…

  9. Had you not told me where this was I would have believed it’s a place you go when you die when you have been too naughty for heaven but too lame for hell! ROFLMAO

    Extra props for doing it all in flip flops! 🙂

  10. Perfect place to go hiking….nice flip flops btw and well done LOL

    Have a flipfloptastic week

  11. a natural wonder. I love how wooded it is, and your boys look like they were worn out!

  12. Looks like an interesting place, with an unusual name. The climbing looks like fun.

  13. Flip flops? You’re lucky you didn’t break an ankle, but apparently you have skills! That is a COOL place!

  14. That looks like an awesome place for the kids to explore!

  15. Aww these are great pics! So funny, me being from RI and all.. this was always one of my favorite places as a kid and young adult. I miss that place, such a true gem!

  16. My whole family would enjoy this spot!!! How cool is that!

  17. That’s cool that you went to check it out and had lots of adventure climbing and looking around. Too bad about the footwear. Thanks for sharing!

  18. This is SO cool! I love finding unique places like this.

  19. That does sound cool, what a neat place to visit!

  20. love places like that – reminds me of some we went to in NH

    flip flops might not be the best choice though – lol

  21. That looks like a really neat place to visit!

  22. I can’t believe you conquered it in flip flops! Then again, I would have probably been rocking flip flops also (I ALWAYS wear them). Purgatory Chasm seems like it would be a cool place to visit!

  23. I’ve never heard of purgatory chasm (what an odd name, btw), but it looks like someplace my family would love!

  24. That sounds like super fun! I used to love to go hiking when I was young. The area is beautiful!

  25. I’m a flip flop girl too. 🙂 I like how you say cleanish hehe. I have different levels of describing bathrooms too. the kids would like doing something like that. looks like fun.

  26. Amazing adventure. I would like to see this place. Maybe not in flip flops! Looks like you had fun exploring!

  27. wow that is a huge accomplishment in flip flops! LOL!

  28. seems like such a cool place to visit, I don’t know about wearing flip flops though….

  29. That is awesome that you did it on flip flops. You’re lucky you didn’t skip and break your leg!

  30. This is very cool! I would love to visit.

    It seems like I always wear flip flops when I should have worn sneakers, so I feel your pain.

  31. My son and I love rock climbing (in athletic shoes – lol) This looks like areally cool place!

  32. I love your photos! That looks like a fun place to visit. Have a terrific day!

  33. Leave It To You To Wear Flip Flops Looks Like A Beautiful Place To Visit Glad You Had Fun!!

  34. Flip flops are definitely not good footwear there mama. We love visiting places with large rocks to climb. Looks like a fun day.

  35. I’ve never heard of Purgatory Chasm. It looks like a neat place to visit, though I would have to wear tennis shoes. I’m the gal who would break an ankle in flip flops. LOL

  36. That totally lookslike a place my kids would love to visit. Thanks for the great idea. I need to add it to my list of places we need to visit.

  37. What a cool place! My boys love to explore areas like this. In WNC we have so many cool places. We need to get out and explore a little more.

  38. That looks like an intense climb for sure! I’m super impressed your conquered all of those rocks in flip flops!

  39. Very cool that to conquered this beast in flops. Your calves must have been aching the next day.

  40. I loved how cool this was to visit. The Mom in me came out and I wanted to say “Girl your lucky you didn’t break a bone” but love that you don’t have to plan to have a great time.

  41. This looks awesome. I can’t believe you scaled those rocks in flip flops, though!

  42. What a great place to explore! LOL at the flip flops, I live in mine! Glad they didnt slow you down.

  43. That looks like a lot of fun! You guys are always doing fun things!

  44. How awesome! That sounds like a really fun adventure!

  45. Wow! what a beautiful place to go for a hike!

  46. Yep, that’s something i would do – or wear heels. Looks like a beautiful spot though.

  47. I am so glad you found this cool place. There are a few spots in my area that I’ve been meaning to check out. I hope they are as fun as this!

  48. I’m such a klutz I wouldn’t have made it very far in those flip flops! Looks like a cool place!

  49. Oh goodness, you went in flip flops? I would have fallen definitely! Great view!

  50. Impressive to make it in flip flops. I definitely would have flopped if I had worn those.

  51. It looks like you and your family had a great day! Spontaneous trips can make the best memories

  52. This looks like a very cool place to visit, and climb! WTG on doing it in your flip flops LOL!

  53. I would love to go hiking in a place like that! You are braver than me- I would have headed home…in my flip flops!

  54. What a name for a rock formation! Glad your six-year-old did well and that you came out unscathed though you had flip-flops on 🙂

  55. This looks like a fun adventure! And, that would so be me sportin’ flip flops to essentially go rock climbing. LOL

  56. that looks fun!! luckily you didn’t slip in your slippers!

  57. You rocked climbed in flip flops? Bless your heart but I am happy you discovered this treasure and enjoyed yourself!

  58. We love the chasm! We go every year and then to Keone farms to get some apples!!!! Let’s plan a blogger meet up!

  59. Nope. I think we’ve been to all the places we’ve heard about around here. Time to go to Boston.


  60. Sounds like me that time I decided to walk the local sink hole 7 months pregnant. Like you I might have had to thought it out more. Happy to see you all had fun.

  61. Looks like a great place to go with kids. You are lucky that it is so close to your house.

  62. Wow, that place looks so much like some of the mountains around where i grew up! Such a cool place to visit!

  63. We love to hike and if you could conquer it in flip flops, I am there. thank you for letting me know about this wonderful place.s

  64. My boys would be ALL for climbing over those rocks! what an awesome spot!

  65. I love finding neat local places for my family to explore. If we were in the area we would definitely be checking this out!

  66. That looks like a neat place. I have worn the wrong footwear before to places like that!

  67. That looks totally cool and my boys would love it! If I ever make it up to Mass., we will have to be sure to put this on our to-do list.

  68. Pretty impressive in flip flops! It looks like a place in my novel!

  69. Wow what an amazing place! Can’t believe you managed it in flipflops as well lol x

  70. Thank you for sharing this. IT does sound totally cool and I would love to visit. Wow. Great pics, as always and another wonderful experience shared. Your family trips rock!

  71. Looks like a fun adventure for all! I bet everyone slept well after all that climbing!

  72. This hike looks so familiar to me I am calling to ask my parents if we did this. If not I want to.

  73. Whoa! Flip flops? Brave lady! This is exactly the type of place my boys love.

  74. Ha – you’re a rock star for doing that in flip flops. I go everywhere in flip flops in the summer — but that would have been a challenge. What a cool spot.

  75. From the name I would have thought it was somewhere I wouldn’t want to go to. Seems like the kids and you had a lot of fun.

  76. What a beautiful place to visit and I like the history. Looks to be a great family day full of hiking and nature.

  77. Sounds really cool and the name would definitely intrigue me. Looks like a pretty place!!

  78. awesome place lol I always miss all the fun since am wearing flip flops or flats boo

  79. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you did it in flip flops! It does look like fun though!

  80. This place looks really cool. If we are ever there, I’ll have to check it out.

  81. I would totally wear flip flops there too! Jason gets so mad at me when we go hiking and I put flip flops on. I swear, I walk better in those than sneakers lol.

  82. I made the mistake of not wearing sneakers at a place like this and regretted it. It looks so beautiful though! Perfect for a nature walk.

  83. I might pass on the clean-ish bathrooms, but it’s awesome that it’s free. There isn’t much in the world that you can do anymore that is both fun and free. 🙂

  84. I never heard of Purgatory Chasm — scary name! — but it looks fascinating. I can’t believe you were there in flip flops!

  85. This looks like so much fun! My kids would love climbing all over those rocks!

  86. This is type of activity my daughter would love but I will skip the flip flops. I am too clumsy and need sneakers to climb rocks.

  87. That looks like a really cool place to explore!

  88. That DOES look totally worth it. It’s certainly perfect for pictures!!

  89. I used to love places like this as a kid. Will have to find some around this area when my kids are a little older and less awkward.

  90. My kids and I would love that. We love to climb like that

  91. Looks like a lot of fun! And wearing flip flops is something I would end up doing. ha ha

  92. I would love to go there, we go hiking all the time and that would be perfect. I have to say – I have never seen anyone hike and climb in flip flops!

  93. That is pretty cool-looking! My boys especially would like this place!

  94. We love hiking! It’s a great way to do something together and stay active!

  95. Flip flops? That is impressive. Hey, at least your feet looked good 🙂

  96. You did that all in flip flops! You’re a Power Woman!!!

  97. Wow, way to go! Flip flops? You are brave. It’s gorgeous there too!

  98. Good thing it wasn’t slippery! Glad you enjoyed pergator 🙂

  99. With a name like Purgatory Chasm, I was expecting something more out of a horror movie. Lol! You are tough to do that in flip flops, haha.

  100. This place looks like lots of fun, I love being outdoors and taking in amazing views!

  101. Looks like something we’d love if it were closer. I get in tough spots because I’m always in flip flops too!

  102. what a spooky & cool place all in one. Looks like the perfect name for it. I would of been hesitant for little ones (or big!) climbing around on the big sharp rocks!
    thanks for stopping & linking up at GrammyMouseTails this week 🙂

  103. My wife would have went in flip flops also, and then complained to me her feet hurt the entire time.. Looks like a fun place to conquer!

  104. Very interesting name haha. Sounds like the type of place I would explore! And congrats on doing it in flip flops!

  105. You’re brave for doing that in flip flops! Cool photos – spontaneous trips are the best though!

  106. This is the kind of place that both my husband and son would love to explore. They really like being in the woods, climbing over rocks, and getting dirty. Perfect.

  107. what an odd name but it’s beautiful. I went to Great Wolf Lodge for a weekend early December and only brought flipflops because it was mild weather, the ride home we got stuck in a blizzard. the 2 hour drive took us 4.

  108. Looks like fun, I’m amazed you did it in your flip flops.

  109. Stunning scenery! You must be a master flip flopper to have explored it in those.

  110. That looks like a great find! I think it is important to encourage kids to spend time outdoors. Looks like you all had fun!

  111. I am going to ask my husband if we can visit! Looks like it would be fun for the kids.

  112. I am a scaredy cat and the name alone would turn me off this particular activity. I am not much of an explorer to begin with though. I know you and your boys are! I love that they know how to have fun and enjoy even simple things. Well rounded boys you have there. They will remember these memories well into their adult years

  113. Looks like an amazing trip. Your little guys seem to be nice climbers.

  114. We have a place in the Niagara area that looks like this too- so much fun!!

  115. Purgatory Chasm sounds like a scary place from the name alone, but the pictures and seeing you have a good time there makes it look like fun.

  116. That looks neat! You and those dang flip flops LOL

  117. You sound like me, always in flip flops! This sounds like a great way to spend a day as a family(and get unplugged).

  118. This is definitely a place my kids would love!

  119. I love rocky places and going exploring. I would love to go someone similar to a fossil park one of these days, and go where you can dig for diamonds. I can’t believe you went out there in flip flops. Usually, I get scolded for doing things like this in heels, but I wouldn’t go to a rock park in them. I need sneakers so I can get down and dirty.

  120. You are so brave. I don’t know whether I’d take a hike in my flip flops. Oh the awesome resources we find on Google!

  121. Looks like fun! I love that you toughed it out, flip-flops and all!

  122. Lol yes, you should wear sneakers. A fun place to visit!

  123. Kudos to conquering the chasm in flip flops! I did something similar with a steep inclined hike for 2 miles up, haha!

  124. That looks awesome! Love that you did it in flip-flops!

  125. How fun 🙂 Kiddo love it to get out and about, exploring! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  126. wow. that’s a lovely place to to visit. in fact it’s my son’s kind of heaven. he’ll have fun climbing up those bedrocks

  127. You are brave for doing it in flip flops!! I second Chelley – we need to do a blogger meet up 🙂

  128. How cool are you for rock climbing in flip flops. LOL. You need to go back with the right footwear and enjoy again. Seems like a cool place.

  129. What a fun adventure. It’s funny how are kids are more capable of physical things than we are. It’s all that energy and determination!

  130. It’s amazing how good climbers young kids can be, I believe it’s that fearlessness that we have at that age. It looks like a fun time!

  131. That looks like so much fun, my kids enjoyed this sort of adventure when they were growing up. I could not do that climb in flip flops.

  132. Yay for the guts on wearing flipflops on the rocks! Looks like a fun walk and adventure in the woods/rocks with kids.

  133. I love that the kids got a good workout with all the climbing. What a neat place this would be to take my 8 year old and 4 year old.

  134. This is really a great place to go hiking. It looks so mysterious and dangerous that I’m sure your boys loved it.

  135. What a name! Don’t feel bad, I live ten minutes from the beach and we never go there.

  136. I would definitely not be able to go there in flip flops LOL. What a beautiful place to hike though.

  137. Looks like yall had a great time!! Better wear more stable footwear next time for sure!!

  138. certainly a lovely place to visit :)…good to know y’all are having fun…

  139. Cool place! I don’t like the name LOL and you should get an award for traversing it in flip flops.

  140. You DID NOT do ALL that climbing in flipflops??!!!!

    Looks like a fun spot!

  141. When you leave do not get back on 146. Go down the road about 1/2 mile. West End Creamery is on your right. Best ice cream, awesome mini golf and bounce pillows. Check out their website. Great prices.