A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Purgatory Falls from the north

August 7, 2016
Emilie Phillips

We took my parents to Purgatory Falls and explored a bunch of blazed paths.

Janet's Trail - an interesting side trail.
Janet’s Trail – an interesting side trail.

This was Tyson’s and my first time hiking in from the north. There was maybe a tenth of a mile of trail that we had not hiked. On that small stretch, we found a sign and some blazes for a different side trail, Janet’s trail. We took it and started logging tracks on the GPS. It was ill defined like many of the other trails in that area. We paralleled the main trail on the other side of Purgatory Brook. The brook was sad and bony from the drought. At the falls, we visited the Devil’s Bean Pot. But there was too little water for the falls. It’s too bad my parents did not get to see the falls with enough water to make them pretty.

The Devil's Bean Pot.
The Devil’s Bean Pot.

Then, our trail, headed up atop the cliffs on the west side of the brook. At Cliff Loop, Tyson ran ahead and logged a GPS on the main trail while the rest of us peered over the cliffs. Eventually the bright yellow plastic blazes gave way to climbing webbing tied around trees. The foot bed actually improved. Parts of it looked built up. Then we came to a junction where the webbing path tumbled down the hill to the left and the solid tread way continued forward, rising gradually.


We decided to split the group. Tyson and Isaac went down the hill with one GPS. My parents and I went up the hill with another. We shortly came to evidence of logging, and then after that intersected a dirt bike path. This time we didn’t have more GPS’s to split, so my Dad hiked a quick out and back away from the stream. Then the threw of us headed downhill to meet Tyson and Isaac. The dirt bike path was broad and easy to follow, but it seemed to parallel the stream rather than head toward it. A few minutes before our turn around time, Mom thought she heard Tyson and Isaac just a little ways down hill. We hollered back and forth and agreed to keep going. Our trail eventually intersected a broad snowmobile trail. That trail turned left and crossed Purgatory Brook on a large wooden bridge. Tyson and Isaac popped out from an unmarked section of woods. They had followed blazes or flagging all the way on their path.

These both seemed like interesting trails to put into Open Street Maps until I turned around on the bridge and found a large No Trespassing sign baring access back the way we had come. Now I am uncertain whether those trails are open or not. From the direction we came, they were signed and blazed and looked perfectly legit. From the direction, they were private property, no access.

View of North Pack
View of North Pack

At that point, we were back on the main Purgatory Chasm trail. We headed north, upstream back to the car. Along the way, we detoured to the top of the hill for lunch with a view of the Wapack range.

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