The warm weather arrives and all of a sudden everyone wants to be outside, well for a little while until the heat just gets too much and we are all desiring cold air again. With summer also comes a desire to do something, anything just be with good people and have a good time, but what to do is always the problem. As a twenty two year old college student I am faced with the question of what to do and what to do that won’t cost me all the money I have in my wallet. Let’s face it everything is expensive and I know I do not have the money to go spend it all at bars and clubs every night as much as those are fun and easy places to go. My solution to this is and always has been to hit the trails; go for a hike or just wander around in some back woods. On this particular spring day my friends and I chose to explore Purgatory Chasm; a place we had all been many times and some of us knew the trails very well, but regardless it was a nice afternoon spent in the sun and exploring the world we live in, even if just a small part.
Purgatory Chasm is located in Sutton Massachusetts. The chasm runs for a quarter of a mile in between granite walls. The walls can be up to seventy feet high and quite often you will see rock climbers exploring these parts of the cliff, but there are safe paths up that will not require any equipment. The chasm is thought to have been formed when a sudden release of dammed up glacial melt waters occurred at the end of the last ice age. It is one of my favorite places to go hiking. Walking through the chasm and being able to climb around is very exciting and if you are a rock climber there are plenty of places in which to have an exciting climb.
There are a few different trails located within the area, but the most popular and probably the easiest to navigate is the Chasm Loop Trail. This is the trail my friends and I decided to head down this afternoon. I chose this trail because I feel it has the most interesting things to see and for people who are not as into hiking as I may be it allowed them to enjoy the natural world without being stuck deep in the woods or walking through some wet lands, which you encounter on one of the other trails. It is also the trail I know best as it is the one most people take when they come explore the chasm. The last thing is that this trail allows one to see the actual chasm, which I find exciting to explore the rock formations and caved seen within it.
As you enter the chasm will have to climb down and across some rocks, and try not to fall into any of the small openings. The whole bottom part of the trail consists of rocks to climb over, but I promise it really is not that difficult and as long as you pay attention to what you step on and try to plan out your next few steps as you walk you will do just fine; and children can also safely navigate through this without falling as long as they move slow and take their time.
The first rock formation you come to on the trail is called lover’s leap. There is ledge you can easily climb onto and sit or stand and watch the small area in front of you; also if you are an experienced climber with the proper equipment you can climb up the face of the wall, which is quite fun; I did it years ago with my brother. I find most people enjoy taking pictures while on the ledge, and even I have a few pictures of me and friends on that ledge. On the same side as lover’s leap a little further down you come across Devils pulpit, which is also a neat rock formation.
As you follow the trail it will eventually led you by a brook and some wet lands and then up on top of the chasm where you can look down. To get up you can follow the trail around, but there are also places where you can cut up the rocks and avoid the wetlands all together. Depending on how wet it is and what you are wearing on your feet usually dictates whether you walk through it or just climb up. When you are on top of the chasm it is a beautiful sight and there are many places to sit and take in the view. You can also have a picnic up there; there are many flat rocks to sit on and just enjoy the world. My favorite place to sit is on top of the chasm and just watch the people climbing and observe how amazing the view it.
Purgatory chasm is an amazing place to visit and hike through. It is one of my favorite places to be and if you have not been there then I suggest you take a trip. It is a nice day trip and amazing place to hang out and have a good time. There are more trails to explore than just the Chasm Loop and I am sure as I go to explore them all further I will write about my experiences with them. Make sure you take a trip out there this summer; you will not be disappointed.