It might be claustrophobic and seemingly creepy at times but for the adventurer there are ample avenues to explore caves (spelunking as some would call it). Here then are a handful of caves around Ontario (including some near the GTA) which are worth checking out.
Bonnechere Caves (Eganville)
This longstanding series of caves has been a tourist destination for well over half a century. The caves are open from the “May 2-4” weekend through to mid-October (just after Thanksgiving) with daily tours available. The caves were at one time home to ancient quasi-squid dubbed Cephalopods.
Greig’s Caves (Niagara Escarpment)
Open slightly earlier than Bonnechere (April through to October), Greig’s Caves is the result of “powerful waves” during the last Ice Age leaving holes in rocks. The caves, the largest limestone caves in the province according to its official site, were also the setting for the ’80s film Quest For Fire. Flashlights required for some parts and binoculars encouraged for others.
Warsaw Caves (Douro-Dummer)
While it’s a bit of a trek being roughly a two-hour drive northeast of Toronto, the Warsaw Caves consist of seven different caves in the conservation area. Although there are caves where you have to enter feet first (Cave #3 and #4), the cool caves (both literally and figuratively) are sure to keep enthusiasts happy.
Tyendinaga Cavern And Caves (Belleville)
Tyendinaga is Ontario’s “oldest natural cavern.” While open roughly along same time frame as Bonnechere and Greig’s Caves, the temperature in these caves is quite cold to cool. According to a blog site detailing the cave, Tyendinaga contains some fossils well into their retirement age at 300,000,000 years old!
Eramosa Karst (Hamilton)
Eramosa Karst is found in Hamilton’s Stoney Creek region and contains a myriad of caves formed by water as well as “dissolving rock.” There are many karsts (geological formations) in the location. The site Ontariocaves.com states it has the tenth-longest stretching over 300 meters. If there’s a downside the caves are primarily for educational purposes and aren’t for personal discovery.
Hell Holes Caves (Centreville)
It doesn’t have the most inviting name does it? Despite that moniker, Hell Holes has some nifty and wide caves for spelunking. The biggest attraction might be the Devil’s Horsestable Cave (another alluring title?) where you can go roughly eight meters deep. Flashlights are obviously a must, especially when descending into Hell-ish territory.
Scenic Caves (Blue Mountain/Collingwood)
The Scenic Caves are between 10,000 to 20,000 years old and a vital part of the Niagara Escarpment. The site’s website states there are a horde of fissure caves in the locale. The “Ice Cave” would be an ideal spot on a muggy day as it often stays at just above freezing (4 Degrees Celsius)! And the Fern Cavern to many seems to resemble some massive but ideal jigsaw puzzle.
(Main photo by Ray Ordinario via Flickr)