Hiking in Purgatory

Yesterday, I went for a hike at Purgatory Chasm. I’ve meant to go for years but never went so this was my first visit.

A unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet – Massachusetts DCR

Massive granite rocks forming one of the walls of the chasm

After all the stories I’ve heard about how difficult it can be to climb through, I was a bit nervous. As it turns out, it is challenging but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. The one thing I’ll do differently on a return trip – hiking boots. My sneakers weren’t the ideal choice for this.

I went straight through the middle of the Chasm and then followed Charley’s Loop trail on the way back. There are several other trails that I want to explore on return visits.

The trail through the chasm is a pile of rocksThis is part of the trail. Yes. You have to climb through all that. Wear good hiking shoes or boots and watch where you step, or in some cases, sit to climb down.

three large trees growing on top of and around the rocks.This place is a show of nature’s violence and resilience.  Trees and plants somehow find a way to thrive here.

the Chasm is believed to have its origin in the sudden release of dammed-up glacial meltwater near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago – Massachusetts DCR

Trees growing on the rocks at the base of the chasm wall

I’m not sure how these trees were even growing here. Their roots seemed to grasp at the surface of the rocks near the base of one of the walls.

A dead tree near the top of the wall

This tree isn’t alive any more but the roots are still there, providing places for smaller plants to grow.

Charley’s Loop trail on the way back to the visitor center. This trail was a nice walk through the woods.

Photo set on Flickr: Purgatory Chasm, Sept. 26, 2015