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Exploring some Ottawa Valley caves

Last weekend we headed west to explore The Bonnechere Caves which are located about 1 hour north west of Ottawa. They have been a popular attraction for years and we have been there a few times. The caves are the result of a series of sink holes and erosion created by the nearby Bonnechere river.

Guided Tour

The caves are not open for open admission, so you must join up with a group for a look inside. Our guide this time was Patrick and he provided a detailed and animated history of the caves. Every guide we have had have gone out of their way to bring some excitement to the tour. The tour lasts for about 40 mins and includes a number of stops where some geologic facts are shared as well as how the caves were first discovered.

Bats

We were hopeful to see some brown bats but they tend to appear later in the season. We were also told the bats over winter in the caves after they let the waters rise and partially flood the caves again.

Some tips

  • Poison ivy can be found everywhere. Stay on the trail
  • Bring your camera and a flash. Photography is encouraged.
  • Visit later in the season if you want to see bats.
  • Pack a lunch.
  • Great for kids.
  • There is an opportunity to go down a small tunnel by yourself. Take it!

Cost is $58 for a family of four but more detailed pricing can be found on their web site.

If you live in the Ottawa area or just visiting, it is worth the drive which in itself is quite scenic. For more information check out the web site for The Bonnechere Caves.

Beautiful view of the Bonnechere river

 

Descending into the caves

 

This is flooded in the winter.

 

At one point we are under 9 stories of rock and dirt

 

One of the tunnels we can crawl through