caves toronto

5 epic caves to visit near Toronto

There's no shortage of caves to explore within a few hours drive of Toronto. The Canadian Shield north of the city has many dark gems to explore where you'll see fossils, hidden bodies of water, and rock formations that dazzle you as much as they might inspire the occasional bit of trepidation.

Here are my picks for some epic caves to visit near Toronto.

Bonnechere Caves

Probably the most dramatic cave system in Southern Ontario, here you can can take in thousands of years of geological history, complete with ample fossils and water-hewn rock formations. You'll need to take a guided tour here, but remember to bring a camera with a solid flash, because the visuals are stunning.

Eramosa Karst

One of the closest cave systems to Toronto, it'll take around an hour to get to this geological wonderland near Hamilton. There aren't really the deep caverns that you'll find elsewhere in the province here, but there are so many nooks and crannies that it's a great way to spend a day exploring the time-worn terrain that also features streams and waterfalls.

Scenic Caves Adventures

It's not just about the caves here at the top of Blue Mountain. You can also zip line and check out the gorgeous suspension bridge. But, on the hottest of days, it's the underground attraction that draws visitors here. The deepest cavern clocks in at 70 feet (about 21 metres), but the general accessibility of the underground spaces is what makes this site so popular.

Hell Holes

Almost anyone who pulls off the 401 at Napanee grins at the sign for Hell Holes, which lie just north of the small town just to the west of Kingston. These aren't the deepest caves — the lowest comes in at under 30 feet (9 metres) — but they're nice and wide, which is ideal for anyone worried about the claustrophobia that comes with being surrounded by bedrock.

Warsaw Caves

Roughly two hours from Toronto, this cave system near Peterborough has seven distinct areas to spelunk, which are all the more alluring for the fact that you can explore them without a designated tour guide. These are what you might call family-friendly caves, with no terrain that will pose a major challenge for modestly fit individuals.

Lead photo by

@christopherliando. With files from Derek Flack


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