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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, MA

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Description 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MA > Central
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 495 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Backpack No
Post the 1st photoset!
Historical Weather
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Aug
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:58am - 5:07pm
Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Purgatory Chasm Trail
0.2 mi away
1.0 mi
140 ft
Douglas State Forest
5.2 mi away
4.5 mi
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage
5.2 mi away
8.0 mi
50 ft
Upton State Forest
8.9 mi away
3.3 mi
Walkabout Trail
13.7 mi away
8.0 mi
George Washington Management Area
14.3 mi away
8.0 mi
200 ft
Tower Hill Botanic Garden
16.0 mi away
1.8 mi
Wachusett Reservoir and Reservation Trail
16.2 mi away
Mount Pisgah Conservation Area Trail
16.5 mi away
2.0 mi
Diamond Hill Trail
17.1 mi away
1.0 mi
300 ft
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The Wrath of Hobomoko
by SunDevil3

Legend
This wonderful day-hike/picnic spot is represents a bit of interesting history/legend as well. Legend tells of an Algonquin Indian woman who murdered a white Colonial settler while passing through this area. The woman soon met another colonist who-- for seemingly varied reason depending upon the teller of the tale-- then revealed himself to be Hobomoko, the Algonquin version of the Devil.

Hobomoko was angry and took vengeance on the woman by throwing her to the ground and hacking at her with his hatchet. The bowl-shaped indentations and narrow crevices of the chasm were said to have been formed by the impacts of the woman's head and Hobomoko's hatchet strikes respectively. It is believed that the story was largely fabricated by Christian colonists as and aide in converting the local Algonquin population.


Hike
The chasm itself is a beautiful little expanse of wilderness that sees high traffic from all ages. It is a great spot for dogs or even young kids (my 4-year old handled it well) as both have ample opportunities to explore and climb at virtually any point in the hike.

The trail is marked by VERY frequent blazes of blue spray-paint throughout the trail. The markings seem greatly excessive but this is done intentionally as they really indicate the easiest path up/down the rocks more than the general path to follow.

There is really no getting lost here-- the "main" trail heads straight down into the gut of the chasm within the first 1/8 mile but there are numerous diversions (both marked and unmarked) off to either side. Some of these lead to the humorously-named rock crevices and depressions (e.g. "Fat Man's Misery" or "Devil's Corn Crib") while others just provide some fun opportunities to climb the boulders.

The main trail terminates at a crossroad where one can either continue straight to Lil Purgatory or divert on one of several side trails into the wooded areas above the chasm. There are trails (marked in other colored blazes) along either rim of the chasm which can be used to loop back to the trailhead. Most places along the route afford a moderately easy scramble up/down the walls of the chasm if one wishes to change their path.

SunDevil3
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Special
    Parking Fee as of 2018
    It is between $5-10 per car depending on MA residency, senior status, etc.
    No fee to hike without parking.


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take Route 146 and exit Westbound on Purgatory Road. Follow signs for Purgatory Chasm SP.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Jul 02 2018 12:53 pm
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