After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, spelunking — cave exploring — is returning to the Warsaw Caves this season, and boat rentals will be available at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area and Beavermead Campground.
Warsaw Caves opens on May 13 for day use, including spelunking, camping and boat rentals.
“The gatehouse opens that day and people are able to rent canoes and pay their day use or camping fee,” said Otonabee Conservation chief administrative officer Dan Marinigh.
“All of our other conservation areas are free entry and people can access them now. The exception is Beavermead campground which opens on May 13 as well.”
Warsaw Caves, located east of the city in Douro-Dummer Township off Caves Road, is named after a system of seven caves located in the park.
Thousands of years ago, the caves were formed as the last ice age ended and a deep glacier-fed river shaped the current landscape.
“We are excited to invite visitors back to Warsaw Caves; it is a popular spot for visitors to the are who are looking for a unique outdoor experience in nature,” stated Otonabee Conservation’s manager of conservation lands Jessie James.
“Warsaw Caves offers an exciting opportunity to explore caves, kettles, limestone cliffs and ledges, underground channels, and other interesting natural features on the landscape,” continued James.
COVID-19 restrictions prevented explorers from spelunking over the last two seasons.
Although restrictions brought on by the pandemic are easing throughout the province, visitors to the caves this season are still urged by Otonabee Conservation to wear a mask when exploring enclosed spaces, and are encouraged to safely distance from other guests while in close quarters or when hiking along the trail.
Canoe and kayak rentals will again be available for visitors at Warsaw Caves and Beavermead Campground.
Paddlers at Warsaw Caves will be able to enjoy a trip along the Indian River, where there’s “flat water, a gentle current, beautiful scenery and wildlife,” according to a news release issued by Otonabee Conservation.
At Beavermead Campground, paddlers can access Meade Creek and paddle out into Little Lake and along the Otonabee River into downtown Peterborough.
Canoe and kayak rentals include the use of personal flotation devices, paddles and mandatory safety gear. Before and after each use, the equipment will be disinfected at sanitation stations.
Campers can access otonabeeconservation.com to plan their trip and learn about the wide arrange of all-ages outdoor activities offered at conservation areas within the Otonabee Region watershed.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at email@example.com.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner