Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, MA

Location:Purgatory Rd.
Sutton, MA

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is made up of several trails that go around a chasm. This area was made by glacial melts. It offers many small areas to see and trails to go on. The reservation is a nice area to day trip.

Hiking Information

General Information

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is made up of several trails that go around the area. This chasm was made by glacial melts and lots of time. This area offer an adventure many different things to try and do. A boulder field of things to more around and explore, small tight spaces to crawl around in. It is a wonder of new things to find and explore each time. There is a sign on the way into the area, be sure and read it very well!

Within the Chasm itself there are several landmarks: The Coffin, Fat Man's Misery, Devil's Corncrib, Devil's Pulpit, His Majesty's Cave, and Lover's Leap. Each of these landmarks have plaques so you can see it when you get there. It is fun to walk by and seem the names of them on the walls or in the areas.

Outside of the Chasm there are various things that make the area nice. Some fo which included: picnic tables, a pavilion and charcoal grills.

Maps of the area

These are some really nice maps of the area. They show the trails clearly and where you want to go. It also shows all the main locations of things to see.


According to legend, Hobomoko (the Native American devil) carried a woman to Purgatory Chasm after she had murdered a "white man". When the woman began to fight, Hobomoko hit her head against a boulder and attacked her with a tomahawk. The bowl-like depressions show where her head hit the boulder, the ax-marks where the tomahawk struck, and the footprints in the vein of stone where he carried his victim’s body to the edge of the fissure.

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation was established under an act written by Mr. Herbert L. Ray in 1919. This act created the Purgatory commission which consisted of three members, all of whom were residents of Worcester County. Mr. Ray was a member of this commission, and also served as the Superintendent of the reservation until he past away in 1941.