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Purgatory Chasm State Reservation
Purgatory chasm view 2.jpg
Looking south into the chasm
Looking up at Lovers Leap
Looking into His Majesty's Cave
Location Sutton, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Area 100 acres (40 ha)
Elevation 472 ft (144 m)
Established 1919
Operator Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Website Purgatory Chasm State Reservation

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is a state-owned geologic preserve and public recreation area located off Route 146 in the town of Sutton, Massachusetts. The state park is notable for its .25-mile-long (400 m), 70-foot-deep (21 m) chasm of granite bedrock with abrupt precipices and boulder caves where ice lingers into the early summer. It is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

History

Various theories have been proposed to account for the chasm's creation. According to one, the chasm was created when glacial meltwater from a burst ice dam ripped out blocks of bedrock at the end of the last Ice Age (14,000 years ago). Purgatory Chasm was declared a state park in 1919.

Activities and amenities

The park is open year round, although the chasm is closed to hikers and climbers during the winter months because of ice hazards. There are 2 miles (3.2 km) of hiking trails around the chasm; rock climbing is allowed by permit. The reservation also includes picnic areas, a visitors center, and playground.

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