Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Warsaw Caves

Looking at all my latest posts, you'd think this blog was all about camping.  I guess we did so much of it this year we didn't have time to do smaller day trips like the one we did today with some friends to Warsaw Caves Conservation Area, just outside Peterborough.

Chris and I took the kids here last summer and they loved it, and they were eager to show it to their friends.

Now, first off, I should warn you, if you are expecting caves that are tall enough for you to walk through, with lights on the walls and a set pathway, you are going to be disappointed...or surprised.  Warsaw Caves are more like a series of crevices you can manoeuvre your way through, created by the glaciers retreating and leaving big slabs of limestone in a jumbled pile. The Indian River, which you can spend some time paddling around on, disappears for a while, flowing underground for several hundred meters, before reemerging near the seventh cave. It's really kind of cool.

There are seven caves in total offering a few hours of exploration.  No helmets, ropes or climbing gear are required, just a flashlight and a willingness to climb, crawl and get a little dirty.  If you aren't fond of tight spaces, even just walking around the area where the caves are is pretty cool.  In certain lights, and especially after a bit of rain, it reminds me of something out of a fantasy movie, like fairies and sprites could emerge from the caves at any moment.

There is also a nice beach, some interesting hiking trails where you can spot some large kettle formations, a good canoeing day trip, and a campground at Warsaw Caves, so there's lots to do to justify the small park admission fee.  Bring a picnic and spend the day exploring.

Oh! I should mention the poison ivy!  There is some scattered around the cave areas, mostly around the last few caves, but by the parking lot, near the outhouses, and along the path leading down to the river there is a fair bit.  Stick to the path and keep your eyes open.

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