Purgatory Chasm

I wanted to go on an adventure this weekend. Rebecca did some research and came up with Purgatory Chasm State Reservation. It’s just over an hour away from Danvers in Sutton, MA. There is an incredible geological formation, a chasm with walls up to 70 feet high. Its floor is filled with a mish-mash of rocks and boulders. The trail through it is only a half mile long, but you must scramble up and down and around rocks the entire way through.

Chasm

Chasm

Before we hit the Chasm, however, we met our friends Becky and Derek and their kids Sarah and Nathan at the playground which is also a part of the park. We had lunch and the older girls played in the playground. One of the craziest features of this playground was a sort of overgrown merry-go-round, which Catherine dubbed “the roundabout.” It had a huge pole in the middle, and a rope net surrounding it in a cone shape, so that riders could climb up the inside or outside. So basically a few dozen kids would pile inside, a few crazy adults would get the thing going, and the kids would scream their lungs out while enjoying the ride. Catherine loved it, even after a couple of rough falls. Here’s a photo of the contraption:

The "Roundabout"

The "Roundabout"

So we ended up spending a bit more time at the playground than I’d originally expected… but eventually we made it over to the Chasm itself. Esme had the best seat in the house as the other three of us scrambled up and down the rocks.

Mama and Esme

Mama and Esme

Catherine was a wee bit tired and insisted on being carried through various parts of the Chasm. We didn’t end up hiking through the whole length of it, but we did get to see quite a few of the rock formations, and saw several rock climbers rappelling down some of the cliff walls.

Rock Climber

Rock Climber

The park itself was pretty well laid out, with a good visitor center, picnic areas, parking, and trails. I’d recommend it as a good day trip for folks in Massachusetts… roughly an hour drive from the Boston area. Come well rested and ready for the hiking and scrambling, and for the playing in the playground if you have young ones.

You can see all of our photos from Purgatory Chasm in our gallery.

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