duncan escarpment

Duncan Escarpment in Ontario is packed with hidden caves and scenic lookouts

Duncan Escarpment Provincial Park features a series of crevice caves and a stunning cliffside lookout about two and a half hours from Toronto.

Anyone walking the 10-kilometre loop trail through the area can explore the rocky tunnels with several nooks, crannies, and narrow corridors that feel almost carefully crafted along the cliffs. 

The cave system in the park has been formed from extreme temperatures causing large boulders to break off from the main face of the Niagara Escarpment. They then shifted downwards over time to form the secret caveways. 

The Bruce Trail through the area (which closes for the winter season), and the many offshoot trails that branch off it, include lots more terrain to see. Besides the hidden caves, other sections pass through an old-growth forest full of white cedars. 

The rest of the place has even more charm with a wooden boardwalk leading over Mill Creek which trickles through the heavily wooded area. 

There is even a small, unexpected waterfall along the river. Find it in the valley below Pinnacle Rock and the caves that sit directly across from Metcalfe Rock. The falls trickle over the jagged edges of the escarpment for a nice view. 

You can also take a trail up the side of Metcalfe Rock, which can even be scaled or explored at the bottom depths, a 10-minute drive outside of the park in the Kolapore Uplands. The trail will get you to a lookout that offers views to the west over Kolapore Creek Valley. 

If you plan on visiting the Duncan Escarpment, the park is open year-round and parking is free of charge. There is limited parking with only six spots available and more parking at the nearby Kolapore Uplands. 

Keep in mind there are no facilities at the park, and make sure to practice safe physical distancing and pick up after yourself to leave the area as beautiful as you found it.

Lead photo by

Jock Rutherford

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