Thursday Treks – Purgatory Chasm
Way long ago, in BC (before children) times, I used to commute from Sturbridge, MA to Cambridge, MA daily. It is a 60 mile drive one way. The 15 miles closest to Cambridge could contain some of the worst traffic I have ever seen. The drive was not very pleasant, and I was always looking for distractions.
Along the way I would pass a sign for Purgatory Chasm. The name itself would distract me for a bit (simple minds….). I vowed that someday I would go there and see what it was all about. In the 7 years we lived in Sturbridge we never went there.
Fast forward to 7 years and 5 children later. This summer I was looking for a place to bring the kids for a hike and my mother said she had just read about a place called Purgatory Chasm. Ding, ding, ding!
We brought the kids to the Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton, MA on Number 5’s birthday for a hike. Purgatory Chasm is known for its 0.25 mile long, 70 foot deep chasm. The park has 2 miles of hiking trails.
We set out in high spirits as we debated the proper pronunciation of the word chasm (with a ch sound or a hard c sound). And immediately said, Whoa! There were no handrails, hardly any trail markers, just people scrabbling on and over rocks down into and through the chasm. It looked dangerous – the kids loved it! Although Number 5 was only a few hours into being 3 years old, he is very adventurous and kept right up with his brothers and sister. In fact we had to pull him off a lot of the rocks because he was making us so nervous!
Unfortunately we didn’t take any pictures that captured the spirit of the chasm – but we got a lot of kid shots!