SUTTON, Mass. — Despite the chilly temperatures, 50 people, including Cub Scouts from Douglas, turned out Jan. 26 for an invigorating two-hour guided hike through the woods of Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton.
Susan Thomas, project assistant with the Blackstone River Watershed Association, explained the history of the reservation before leading the adventuresome hikers along Charlie’s Loop. Hikers learned about the plants and wildlife living there, including chestnut oaks, elephant-ear lichen, red foxes and pileated woodpeckers.
The crowd experienced the classic smell of the wintergreen plant and played detective with animal tracks in the snow.
A highlight of the outing were the frozen cascades at Little Purgatory, where Thomas discussed glacial potholes. She encouraged the hikers to return in the summer to experience the emerald beauty of this spot on a hot summer day.
On the return trip, the hikers paralleled the chasm and learned about past and current theories of its geologic formation. Examples of the chasm’s rocks and minerals were on display back at the visitor center along with hot drinks and cookies.
The public is encouraged to check the BRWA’s newly redesigned website for future events, including a hike at River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, 271 Oak St., Uxbridge, on March 23 led by National Park Service Ranger Chuck Arning.
Click here for more information about the BRWA.