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Spelunking is back this season at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

Click to play video: 'Spelunking is back this season at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area' Spelunking is back this season at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area
For the past two years caving and boat rentals have been off limits at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area, due to Covid 19 restrictions. Now, as the province eases mandates, visitors can explore all the grounds has to offer. Caley Bedore give spelunking a try on this edition of Out & About. – May 12, 2022

Spelunking (a.k.a. cave exploration) and boat rentals are back at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area in Warsaw, Ont., after being restricted for the past two years due to COVID-19.

“People come here annually, there are people that come here specifically to do the trails from afar, there are people who rent cottages on the Kawartha lakes, and this is one of their day trips,” said Dan Marinigh, CAO for Otonabee Conservation, the organization that owns and operates the site.

“So, there are a range of usages, and we are excited to have the visitors back.”

Read more: 2021 camping was up 11% at Beavermead Campground, Warsaw Caves, Otonabee Conservation says

The conservation area is more than 500 acres and includes 15 kilometres of hiking trails, where you can also get a glimpse at the area’s kettles (deep circular indents formed in the rock), canoe rentals to paddle the Indian River, campsites and what the site is named for — seven marked caves that visitors can explore.

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

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

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

Read more: Online reservations launching for Beavermead Campground, Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

Jessie James, conservation lands program manager with Otonabee Conservation, said he has been enjoying the conservation area since long before he worked with the organization.

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

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

If you are thinking of 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 because you need your hands to maneuver through the caves.

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Read more: There’s an underground world of caves on Vancouver Island, and they’re yours to discover

James said he is looking forward to having visitors back exploring the grounds.

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

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

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