I remember when I was younger I was addicted to the show Reading Rainbow. Anybody remember that?
A lot of episodes stuck out. One of them was when the students and the magic school bus go deep into the earth’s crust. They explore, talk about the different layers, formations and in the next segment the guy from Star Trek comes on and actually goes cave exploring.
I was a shy little kid. Always staying in, reading and watching educational tv(obviously).
As shy as I was though, I always wanted to break out of my shell, explore and go on adventures.
Here I am many years later doing just that : )
So a while back when I found out I was going on a press trip after TBEX, and that part of it involved spelunking, I was stoked!
I went to the Cave of the Winds when I was younger, but I can barely remember it. Now I would be able to have an adventure with a vivid recollection and take my camera with me. : )
The adventures of Pablo the spelunker!
First off, what is spelunking and what does a spelunker do? (For my UK readers, you guys may know it as potholing)
Spelunking is the word used to describe cave exploring. Spelunkers will squeeze, crawl, slide, climb and work their way through various cave systems.
It can get pretty intense with serious explorers using ropes, slings and other things to help maneuver around and go deeper into certain systems.
About the Warsaw Caves and Campground
The Warsaw caves and campground have been thousands and thousands of years in the making. Over time, this region once covered in glaciers, was exposed and shaped by the melt waters of retreating glaciers.
The area, being mostly composed of limestone bedrock provided a perfect base for the melt waters to flow over, around and through. The rushing waters shaped and changed the landscape immensely creating underwater passageways, kettle formations, streams, rivers and lakes.
The caves that I had the chance to explore are actually from collapsed river channels that were previously flowing through the limestone.
For any geeks (I’m one too) out there or if you’re just curious, this type of landscape is known as karst topography. It’s defined as a region made of porous limestone and characterized by underground caves and streams.
Exploring the Warsaw Caves and Campground
Much more than just caves the Warsaw Caves and Campground is a beautiful place to visit! I was only there for part of a day myself, but I would love to go back and camp there for a weekend. That way I can really dig into the caves and scenery.
There are a couple of different trails to take once you get into the campground.
The first one takes you to the caves. As of now there are 7 marked caves that visitors can see and explore. Make sure to grab a brochure and take a look at a map. The caves are marked off by numbered red markers, making them simple to see and easy to find.
It’s funny, sometimes you’ll see an entrance and not even put two and two together that it’s actually the mouth to a cave system.
Opposite of this trail is another that takes you to the kettle formations as well as to the Indian river and lookout point.
The kettle formations are another interesting site to see. These kettles, or potholes, are circular indentations in the ground. These were formed by granite stones getting caught in river currents and being spun around and around. The granite rocks would slowly carve out the softer limestone leaving a depression in the stone.
The entire area is like a giant natural playground! There is a lot to explore and the scenery is lush and beautiful. If you’re an outdoor junky and find yourself near Toronto, make sure to add a couple of days to your trip and head north to explore these caves!
Things to consider
- You will get dirty, so wear things that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty.
- Make sure to wear sturdy comfortable shoes. Definitely do not wear flip-flops while checking out the caves.
- Take a headlamp and/or flashlight. Some deeper portions of the caves do not receive any light.
- Make sure to have somebody to go with.
- Also, be courteous, clean and considerate of the campground rules and all those visiting.
More information and how to get there
Their address is: Warsaw Caves, 289 Caves Rd.,Douro-Dummer, Ontario
They also offer canoeing, swimming and fishing in the area. Make sure to check out their website Warsaw Caves for all of the information on the history of the area, things to do, local park fees and other stuff to consider!
Have you ever been spelunking? If so, where did you go and how did you like it?
Exploring the Warsaw Caves was part of my press trip put on by the tourist board for Peterborough and the Kawarthas. For more information about Peterborough and The Kawarthas stop by their website, The Kawarthas