Scenic Caves

Collingwood Scenic Caves Nature Preserve

Useful Information

Location: 260 Scenic Caves Rd, Blue Mountains, Ontario, L9Y 0P2.
(44.490191654093170, -80.316294849099880)
Open: Mid-APR to mid-JUN Mon-Fri 9-17, Sat, Sun 9-18.
Mid-JUN to mid-SEP daily 9-19.
Mid-SEP to mid-NOV daily 9-17.
Fee: Park Admission: Adults CAD 32, Children (3-17) CAD 29, Children (0-2) free, Seniors (65+) CAD 15.
Groups (25+): Adults CAD 25.50.
Classification: SpeleologyFracture Cave SpeleologyTalus Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: D=2 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Scenic Caves at Blue Mountain, PO Box 215, Collingwood, Ontario, L9Y 3Z5, Tel: +1-705-446-0256. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


17th century used by the Huron Natives as a fortress.
1950 opened to the public.
1975-1978 excavations by archaeologist Charles Garrad.


The Scenic Caves are situated at the highest point on the famous Niagara Escarpment from which you can view the town of Collingwood, the spectacular shoreline of Georgian Bay and several thousand square miles of unsurpassed scenery. They were carved millions of years ago by the glacial ice. The caves are a wonder of nature that attracts and fascinates visitors of all ages from around the world. It is one of Canada's six UNESCO biosphere reserves.

Set against the backdrop of sheer limestone cliffs, these caves plunge hundreds of feet into the depths. They have been given fancy names: Fern Cave, Bear Cave, Ice Cave, Natural Refrigerator. They open out into passageways and reveal rock formations from another era. One cave is so deep that snow and ice remain here all year round defying summer's hottest days.

The earliest written records of this area were by the Jesuit missionaries, who, in the first half of the 17th century, lived with the Hurons. The Hurons were the largest First Nation in North America at one time. Over 30,000 Natives lived, farmed the land and hunted here. The area around the Scenic Caves was the home of the Petun tribe or "Tobacco Nation", who used to grow tobacco for trade.

The Huron Natives used these rock formations as a fortress for protection from their enemies around the year 1650. Later the Hurons made their way south-west where today a remnant of the tribe known as the Wyandottes is found near Sandwich.

Excavations from 1975 to 1978 by archaeologist Charles Garrad, confirm the historical writings, that this area was once visited by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain and is the historic site of the Hurons' village of Ekarenniondi, which is named after its famous rock, which they used to worship.

Visitors are invited to stay and enjoy themselves for the day. Picnic/Sitting areas, overlooking pond with fountains), nature trail, Minigolf, new gemstone mining, playground, snack bar, and gift shop all go to make this the best little day trip around.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

The caves are part of the park, there are no regular tours, the caves are visited on a self-guided round trip through the park. The visit includes many other attractions like rock formations, ponds, viewpoints and of course the newly built suspension bridge. This bridge is definitely impressive, allowing an extraordinary view across Georgian Bay.

The caves are actually not caves, they are located on teh Niagara Escarpment, a quite spectacular cliff face which runs across the U.S.A. and Canada. It is formed by a hard layer of limestone which is eroded from the north, so-called retrograde erosion. As the layers at the foot are less resistant they erode away and the hard limestone forms the cliff face and collapses now and then when the support below is gone. This causes blocks of limestone moving downslope on softer rock, cracks are widening forming narrow gorges. The caves are such gorges, which are actually called fracture caves. If the moving rock moves only at the bottom and the top stays at the wal, tehre is actually a cave, which is narrow, straight and triangular. If the block tilts downwards, the crack opens and forms a gorge. There are some fracture cave, but mostly there are open gorges, and collapsing boulders enclosing crevices created some rather small talus caves.

We are updating fees quite irregularly, and there was one site which did not change the fees in 20 years. That's not normal, normal is a slow increase, for reasons we do not understand it is generally higher than the inflation rate. However, this site actually beats them all. The entrance fee nearly doubled in three years (2002: $9.50, 2005: $17), and after 20 years it has more than tripled. We think nobody had his wages tripled in the last 20 years. While the first increase was explained by added attractions, we guess the later increase is intended to reduce the amount of visitors. The park is quite crowded, and they close the car park quite often when it is full.