Caving is back this season at the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area – Peterborough


Caving (i.e. cave exploration) and boat rentals are back at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area in Warsaw, Ontario, after being restricted for the past two years due to COVID-19.

“People come here every year, there are people who come here specifically to hike the trails from afar, there are people who rent cabins on Kawartha Lakes, and this is one of their day trips. a day,” said Dan Marinigh, chief executive of Otonabee Conservation, the organization that owns and operates the site.

“So there’s a range of uses, and we’re excited to have visitors back.”

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The conservation area is over 500 acres and includes 15 kilometers of hiking trails, where you can also spot the area’s kettles (deep circular indentations formed in the rock), canoe rentals to paddle the Indian River, campsites and what the site is named after – seven marked caves for visitors to explore.

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“When the last glaciers passed through here, there was a river system that poured down here and eroded the soft rock creating caves,” Marinigh said.

“It is really located on an outcrop of the limestone transition rock at the edge of the Canadian Shield.”

In all, there are about 450 meters of underground tunnels. You can find a full map and description on the Otonabee Conservation website.

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Jessie James, conservation lands program manager at Otonabee Conservation, said he enjoyed the conservation area long before he worked with the organization.

Some caves, James noted, are a bit tighter than others.

“As the caves progress, they get more and more difficult,” James said. “There are a few that join together, so you can spend a bit more time underground, but they all have their own exit.”

If you’re considering giving it a try, he said there are a few safety tips to keep in mind: don’t go caving alone, wear sturdy shoes, and bring a headlamp. A flashlight isn’t much help as you need your hands to maneuver in the caves.

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James said he can’t wait for visitors to come back and explore.

“I’ve always loved bringing my family here and it’s just a great experience,” he said. “The caves are just a great little adventure to take with the family.”

The conservation area opens for day use and camping on Friday, May 13. For more information and details on other conservation areas in Otonabee, you can visit the conservation authority website.

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