Scenic Caves Collingwood

 

sceneic cave coverScenic Caves Review

COLLINGWOOD, ONTARIO
Approx. 1 hour and 40 min drive from Canada’s Wonderland

Yes.  Six kids.  I have five of my own, and I brought a friend for my oldest.

I love the outdoors. I love adventures. Something about being in the fresh air gives me a sense of rejuvenation.

I had a couple friends recommend the Scenic Caves. I always wanted to go and thought it would be a great little day trip!

This Victoria Day long weekend our family of 8 stayed home. As most long weekends. Long weekends in Toronto are usually a traffic congested mess…. leading to a miserable car ride. Nothing like 5 kids fighting and screaming as you try to navigate through traffic.

It rained all day Sunday. Our kids were going batshit nutty in the house. We had to get out.

So to Collingwood we went! The night before, I trolled Instagram photos and any tags related to the Scenic Caves, so I knew what exactly I was getting myself into.

I tried to prepare as much as possible in advance because with a big family, you definitely want to try to save money and time.

I wanted to make sure we were physically and mentally prepared. I also wanted to know whether or not I could take a wagon along because I had a child that was four days post cast removal.

His leg was still a bit weak, I did not want to exclude him or make him miserable from walking and climbing. The answer was “NO” to wagons and no to strollers!

Morning of, I packed a tonne of snacks as usual.  Any touristy adventure that targets families always kills us with the cost of food and treats.  I knew the caves would be cold, so sweaters and running shoes.  I am a wimp when it comes to not being prepared.  If I am cold, I go out on a desperate whim and purchase sweaters, or whatever I need.  Hats are a big one that always get me.

I also printed the “save $4 per person coupon”. Every saved dollar counts! Since I had 8 people going.

COST: Adults were about $22 per person, youths from 3-12 were $18. So the $4 savings per person made me a bit more reasonable. $145 total cost for 2 adults, 1 youth, 5 children under 12.

HISTORY: The caves formed from sedimentary rock have been there for millions of years. It is part of the Niagara Escarpment. It has a lengthy, interesting story dating back to the Ordovician era. The caves are best described as;

“a series of chambers, with sculptured cliffs, overhanging rocks, boulders, tight passageways, and jig-saw puzzle fractures” (www.sceniccaves.com/caves-caverns-crevasses-2) www.sceniccaves.com/caves-caverns-crevasses-2)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Three separate attractions. The first being the Scenic Caves, the suspension bridge, and the park itself which has the fish pond surrounded by wonderful chairs, the children’s park, and mini golf.

We first headed to the caves. A lot of stairs. A lot of huffing and puffing, but so far no complaints from any of the children.

There are 18 points of interest all marked with signs describing each with a bit of history.

The refrigerator cave was the first. A square box that you poke your head in. It was indeed cold. Excuse the photo my son.   His leg may be weak, but his spirits are definately not!

The huge rocks were beautifully wrapped with lush, green moss.  They were huge and majestic in nature.

We continued our trek down stairs and through a maze of random rocks and more stairs. It was a tad muddy and slippery. We took it slow and steady.

Our favorite was the cave called “A Fat Man’s Misery”. Which, ironically a few plump men came running out saying they were scared… which made us all scared.20170522_121825.jpg

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We went in and I looked to the left and thought “oh HELL NO!”. I went back up and around to the exit. I saw a man emerged out of this tiny crack…. MAN… what did he lube himself with!!? My son saw him come out, and was then determined to do the same. FINE. I will try as well. It was not that bad… but if you do not like small spaces… I would advise against it…

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At the top of the caves, there was a zip-lining option. It looked awesome, but there was an age limit, and my kids were too young.  Thank goodness because that was an additional cost.  There were also group tours which sounded quite interesting to hear the history of the caves. I believe you have to book in advance for that.

 

After the caves, there was a small hike through the forest to get back to the beginning of the trail. This was breathtakingly fresh and serene. The lush greens were home to the beautiful Ontario trilliums.

As a child, someone told me it was illegal to pick Trilliums because it is Ontario’s provincial flower. This is somewhat true… the Trillium Protection Act protects the white trilliums as the provincial flower was set in 1937. https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.thestar.com/amp/news/ontario/2009/05/31/illegal_to_pick_a_trillium_n

They are only protected on properties owned by provincial parks and properties owned by conservation authorities. It is basically Bill 184 that states you could be fined up to $500 if you are found to be destroying these flowers. Who would want to do that?

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Along the trail, there were various little pit stops with wooden statues and benches.

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We survived! We saw the main attraction in about an hour and a half. Mind you we had small kids.

The kids were still amped and ready to go. The “suspension bridge” was next.

You could either take the train to the suspension bridge which came every fifteen minutes, or you could walk- which took about ten minutes. We took the train there, and walked back.

There, we found a long, somewhat narrow bridge. My boys thought it would be funny to make it sway while I was on it… that did not go over too well for me.

Suspension Bridge

The 420 feet long bridge over looked Collingwood mountains and Wasaga Beach. It was very beautiful, and I am sure more breathtaking in the fall.

The kids loved it. Short walk back to the main area where we had snacks by the pond. We saw the huge Koi fish, and played in the playground area

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All in all, it was a great visit! I would definitely recommend. Maybe hit the beach, if you go during the summer months.  The fall would be the most beautiful.

The also have mini golf, a gift shop, food and beverages. You could spend the whole day there. We spent a total of three hours, which was perfect for the little ones!

My Six Tips

1. Pack a lunch or snacks. You can leave it in the car, and go out and get it.

2. Dress appropriately. Sweaters, and close toe shoes. The rocks are slippery and some sharp.

3. No strollers or wagons. Bring a baby carrier if your little one cannot walk.

4. Take your time. If there is group behind you, let them go. You do not want to slip and fall trying to rush.

5. Go early to avoid crowds.

6. Go to the beach and little local restaurants afterwards.

Hope you enjoy your visit!

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