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Boston Inspiring Connections Outdoors

Bringing kids outdoors since 1994

Justice Resource Institute Trip Report

Purgatory Chasm - Sutton, MA

Boston ICO and JRI met at Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA for a lovely day of hiking and exploring. Trip Leaders Allison and Rachael, met the group of six students and three teachers at the park’s entrance on a beautiful spring morning.

The sun was shining as we crossed the parking lot in search of a grassy spot to hold an opening circle and have a group stretch. It was a bit challenging with some mud, but it still worked out alright. From there we headed to the trail to explore the huge rocks around the chasm. The students were eager to hit the trail and climb through the boulders. The chasm is actually a very short trail and we plowed through it without even looking around – until Alison pointed out how much we had missed and drew everyone back for a deeper view. She then engaged the group to look around as we played a grown up version of hide-n-seek with a carabiner. We slowed down and took some time to examine the rocks around us and poke into the small pools of micro-organisms enjoying the warmer weather.

The most thrilling part of the hike was walking a long plank to cross an area that had been flooded with the spring melt. One or two shoes got a little wet at this point in time. I tried to be cool and walk backwards, while inadvertently colliding with a student, who kindly caught me - instead of knocking me in the water! We continued to walk along the path until we reached a fuller river with a small waterfall. There were lots of people enjoying the park that day, including some furry friends. The dogs did not hesitate to jump in and swim around which brought lots of smiles to the group. One student wished he had a book so he could sit by the river and read for the rest of the afternoon.

Time went by quickly, and the group was hungry, so we headed back to the picnic area to grab the sandwiches and strawberries. There was a bit more climbing as we went around the other side of the chasm back to the picnic area. Someone even found a small toad basking in the sun that joined us for lunch!

There was a little bit of time for some frisbee before we headed back to the van for a closing circle. Everyone shared their high point and low point of the day, and I know we all wanted to stay and play in the sunshine a bit longer…but that will have to wait until the next trip. Hope to see you again soon, JRI. Thanks for a great day!