Purgatory Chasm and Fat Man's Misery

We'll join South Shore Walkabouts for this one.

This 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.
Check out Eric's scout out photos. Pretty cool:
http://www.bigtent.com/group/photo/80928391

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

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 free 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**.

Location Top 
198 Purgatory Road, Sutton, MA, 01590 map

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 ¼ 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 ¼ 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 ¼ mile on your right.

There is a large number of people coming to this event so it's possible that we may split up to those you want to go thru the chasm and those you don't.

Optional Eating Options:

Picnic: There are plenty of picnic tables inside the park along Purgatory Road.

Ice Cream: West End Creamery, 481 Purgatory Rd., Whitinsville
http://westendcreamery.com/

Sit Down Lunch: Brian's Restaurant 91 Providence Road, Northbridge
http://www.briansrestaurant.com/
(Suggested by Eric who moved to Uxbridge in July). There is also ice cream across the street from Brian's if your lunch didn't fill you. Meet back at Visitor's Center at 12:30.

Note from Eric:
I spent nearly an hour at Purgatory this past Monday. I went thru the Chasm, did part of Charley's Loop and then checked out the other part of the Chasm Loop Trail which if you want to get close enough, overlooks the chasm. By myself, the chasm took me 15 minutes to get thru. Slipped slightly a couple times and hung onto something whenever I could. I spent 25 minutes on Charley's Loop. It was level ground for the first part and then got hilly the second half. I enjoyed this trail more than chasm. I also spent nearly 20 min on the second half of the Chasm Loop Trail. It was more challenging than Charley's Loop but not as challenging as the chasm itself. We should probably meet in the Visitor's Center parking lot on the right. Not much parking at the chasm itself. If no one is interested in a picnic, there is ice cream nearly. I also know a place 3 exits down on 146 that has good food, Brian's in Northbridge. There's a seafood/ice cream place across the street from it too.

Join or login to comment.

  • Suzanne S

    These are great pictures. There might have been some confusion about who was walking together but we all had fun. That's what counts.

    October 13, 2013

  • Jerry R.

    I may not be home in time to join you for this. Since there is no attending limit I will stay on the list and home for the best.

    October 8, 2013

    • Jerry R.

      There was a death in the family this week and I do not think that I will make it at all now. I really could use the walk in the fresh air too. I will try to make it but do NOT wait for me.

      October 12, 2013

    • Jeanine N.

      Sorry to hear. My condolences to you and yours.

      October 12, 2013

  • Carolyn D.

    I went last week, can't skip church this week. Have fun!

    October 12, 2013

  • Jeanine N.

    So, is this still on for the 13th as well? Because I would love to go again!

    October 7, 2013

    • Eric S.

      Yes. I can't be there but the other half will be.

      October 7, 2013

  • Jerry R.

    It was a great hike today. It was nice to meet Erik, Meg and Jeanine and as always great to see Carolyn again. I'll upload the photos when the option comes up on the 13th. I look forward to seeing you all then.

    2 · October 6, 2013

    • Eric S.

      Great to meet some new folks and glad to see some familiar faces. I'd love to get a decent size snowshoeing group together this winter!

      1 · October 6, 2013

    • Jeanine N.

      It was great to meet you all too!

      October 6, 2013

  • Jeanine N.

    Even tho the rain, it was a wonderful hike. I feel very much invigorated! The scenic beauty was well worth the hike.

    October 6, 2013

  • Eric S.

    If anyone still wants to meet me today 10/6 please let me know.
    I'll be there with an umbrella ay 11:00am.
    call or text[masked]

    October 6, 2013

  • Suzanne S

    Postponed until 10/13 Sunday due to rain.

    October 6, 2013

  • Suzanne S changed the date and time from Sunday, October 06, 2013 at 11:00 AM to Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    October 6, 2013

  • Scott

    Rain or shine?

    October 5, 2013

    • Jeanine N.

      If the chance of precipitation is 40%, then the chance of no precipitation is 60%. *smiling*

      2 · October 5, 2013

    • Jerry R.

      I'll be there; rain or shine. :)

      October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone, I may have a conflict with my Dad visiting.... I am changing my RSVP to a no but will attend if possible... I really hope to come - it is such a cool place.

    October 5, 2013

  • Angel

    I will not be going with the group this time. I am actually meeting a friend there at 830 am. We will most likely be finishing up when you all arrive. This is my favorite place to hike. I spent every morning here in the summer. Enjoy it!
    Angel

    October 5, 2013

  • Jeanine N.

    I went there with my folks when I was a child. I'm sure everything looked bigger back then, but I am still very excited to be able to revisit it as an adult!

    October 5, 2013

  • Eric S.

    Hey all. The best place to meet will be the picnic tables near the entrance to the actual chasm.
    If anyone gets misplaced feel free to call/text me at[masked]

    1 · October 5, 2013

  • Carolyn D.

    Welcome Nancy,
    I wasn't sure I could make it, but turns out I can!

    1 · September 27, 2013

    • Nancy C.

      Hi Caroline! How long have you been hiking with this group? :)

      1 · September 27, 2013

    • Carolyn D.

      Hi Nancy, I have only participated one other time and it was Purgatory!

      September 28, 2013

  • Nancy C.

    I usually have a drum class on Sundays but happen to have that Sunday free.

    1 · September 27, 2013

  • Melissa S.

    This is my favorite place to hike! I work Sundays though!

    September 18, 2013

  • Eric S.

    Thanks for the suggestion! I've made sure to announce it. I love purgatory but still need to check my calendar.

    September 18, 2013

  • Suzanne S

    Can't wait to see this rock.

    September 18, 2013

  • September 18, 2013

  • September 18, 2013

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