On the May long weekend, we headed out on a mini road trip to the Scenic Caves near Collingwood. Much more touristy than the Warsaw Caves (read: more expensive), these caves were also more popular. There were lots of people there, but we had a blast anyway.
We started out with a picnic at the playground — salami on home-baked rolls (notice how I didn’t say “home-made”), cheese strings, Minigos, and bananas. Then the kids had a chance to run off some steam at the playground before heading to the little train that runs around the grounds every 20 minutes or so.
Next we headed to the Suspension Bridge, along a long and winding trail downhill. The bridge gave us an AMAZING view of Georgian Bay. It also gave us a glimpse into which of our children is ever-so-slightly afraid of heights.
On the opposite side of the bridge is a beautiful little resting spot for picture-taking, rock-jumping, and information-gathering. Noah memorized a few of the posted signs that contained details about the bridge, and filled us in on the details on the way back over.
We headed back up the hill the easy way — courtesy of a bumpy tractor-drawn wagon. From there we headed to the caves. The caves are connected by rocky paths, steep metal staircases, and narrow, moss-covered walk-ways that make things that much more adventurous.
The scenery was amazing, and the rocks were absolutely beautiful, but the kids kept running ahead, looking for the crawlspace-type caves like they enjoyed at Warsaw. As a result, the caves only took up about an hour of our time.
After the caves, we headed to do some Gemstone Mining. The kids were each given a bag of sand and rocks, along with a screen. They dumped their bags into their screens and started sifting in the long sluice-way set up near the gift shop. Immediately, several “gems” were visible, and we were really impressed with how many were in kid’s screen. They each ended up with at least 10 different gemstones, from calcite to dolomite to geodes, and they each got a tiny projectile point as well.
After cataloging their treasures, we headed to the Trout Pond to feed the fish and enjoy the sun. Andy managed to pet a few fish while I reminded the kids NOT to do what Daddy was doing!
We wrapped up the day with some more craziness at the playground, and after a minor tantrum, headed home.
We had a great time, and I’m sure that the Scenic Caves will become one of our new summer haunts!