Having been a couple of weeks since we had last been on a roadtrip, last weekend we were feeling particularly adventurous. So adventurous that we decided a 3.5 hour drive to explore some limestone caves, Greig’s Caves, up north was an excellent idea. Other than the fact that we were about to spend about 7 hours driving in one day, it was definitely worth the trip.
We started out our day early, picnic packed and in the car, on our way by 8:30am to hopefully make it to our final destination at Greig’s Caves just after noon. After what had seemed like hours (..oh wait, it was) we turned off the highway onto a gravel road, after having triple checked that this in fact was where our final destination was located. Driving a few more kilometres, we were so off the beaten track that our GPS even lost track of where we were! Determined to find any hint that we were still heading in the right direction, a spray-painted sign for Greig’s Caves appeared out of no where, directing us to make a sharp left into the forest… which we did. The path we were driving down was so narrow that we actually had to pull over inches from trees in order to let another car through. But hey, there was a sign of civilization! We must almost be to the infamous Greig’s Caves in Lion’s Head, Ontario!
Sure enough, a bit further, and we had arrived.
Once we had parked and made our way over to the gated entrance, we paid our way and grabbed a flashlight from the guy at the ticket booth – he insisted that we take one along, as the caves are pretty dark in some spots. We asked him a bit about what we should expect, and he give us a little rundown. In the sequence that we were seeing, we would be able to explore 10 limestone caves that had been formed by “the wave action postglacial Lake Algonquin over 7,000 years ago.” If you’re interested in more of the history of these formations, we encourage you to check out the Greig’s Caves official website.
Once we were finally beyond the entry, the fun stuff began. The trail at Greig’s Caves starts out by descending down the side of the smaller cave, which essentially looks like someone had stacked a number of very large bolders and then let them fall onto each other. But the further down the trail, the more impressive it gets. Following the red markings set out by the property owners, you get to explore as far into the caves as you want! (There’s a reason they make you sign a waiver – this is all at your own risk. If you die, it’s no ones fault but your own! #sorrynotsorry )
Once you loop around the first couple of caves, the trail takes a steep upward turn. So steep that we were actually a bit out of breath by the time we reached the next cave, (which is saying something because we’re pretty in shape!) Pro tip: if you’re not physically fit, are pregnant, or are limited in other ways, this definitely isn’t the place for you – it is not accessible in any way). The challenging hike was definitely worth it though. It was like we had stepped back in time. Greig’s Caves looked so natural and untouched (other than names carved into the walls). Descending into the caves, the air was instantly cooler, and much appreciated. There was a lot of condensation from the drop in temperature making the limestone boulders very slippery. If you go exploring, step cautiously!
The hike to the last cave was another good one. We were pretty exhausted by that point, but kept moving. We knew that there would be cooler air once we made it inside the final cave area! Once we arrived, we took a mini-break to take in all of our surroundings. It was definitely a sight to see! (We didn’t include all of the photos from inside the caves just in case you ever want to experience it first-hand. But let us tell you, it was awesome!)
On our hike back to our car, we came across one last trail. Knowing we likely wouldn’t be back in the area again for a while, we decided to follow it, as the guy at the ticket booth had mentioned there’s some nice views of Georgian Bay. It only took us about 15 minutes to see exactly what he was talking about…
We had a great time exploring Greig’s Caves in Lion’s Head, Ontario. It is a little-known hideaway in the area, which is a great place to hike and really get in touch with nature. If you’re ever looking for a neat place to explore that hasn’t quite been overrun with tourists (yet), we highly suggest that you give Greig’s Caves a chance. You won’t be disappointed!
And now, for the mini details to help you plan your adventure:
Greig’s Caves is located at 407 Scenic Caves Rd, Lion’s Head, ON
They do charge for admission: $10 per adult, $5 for children 3-12 years old, and free for children 2 and under (although we wouldn’t recommend bringing very young children unless you are baby-wearing, or they’re able to walk and climb on their own.)
Note: They only accept CASH so make sure you have enough to cover admission prices!
Also, make sure that you’re wearing proper footwear – flip flops are totally not safe for hiking here!
For any additional information, make sure that you check out the Grieg’s Caves website.
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