Bonnechere Caves

Ontario's Bonnechere Caves were made by an ancient sea and are full of fossils to explore

The Bonnechere Caves might be one of the most unique natural gems in Ontario, featuring a geological site 100 feet underground that dates back nearly 500 million years — and yes, you can explore it.

Located halfway between Algonquin Provincial Park and Ottawa, you'll find the caves in Eganville, roughly a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto.

The Bonnechere Caves are actually a form of solution caves, which were carved out of solid rock by acidic waters from a vast sea during the Paleozioc era.

White water from a nearby waterfall still flows within the caves, and narrow dark passages lead past stalactites, stalagmites, and other unusual formations.

One of the most intriguing attractions of the caves are the ancient fossils embedded in the limestone floor, left behind by the ancient sea. You'll be able to spot fossilized coral, and sea creatures like gastropods, cephalopods, brachiopods, and even an octopus in the cave's walls.

Visitors are welcome to take a tour of the caves, thanks to a small family-run business who owns the property. Guides will help you navigate through the cave system, explaining their geology and providing insight into the history of the fossils you come across.

If you're visiting in late September, you might also come across hibernating bats within the caves. Be sure to bundle up and bring a flashlight, as the caves are dark, cold, and damp all year round.

There's also an array of events hosted at the Bonnechere Caves throughout the year, like fossil hunts, underground concerts, and even intimate dinners. You can check out their schedule of events on their website.

Reservations are not required. Tickets are $22 per adult, $15 for youth agse 14-17, and $14 for children ages 4-12.

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Bonnechere Caves

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