Summer is a happy time for everyone. For parents who have kids, a perfect day trip is a short drive from home (1-2 hrs) that involves mild hiking and a few kid friendly rides and some scenic photo spots. Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is a great match for such requirements.
What is Scenic Caves Nature Adventures?
Scenic Caves is an outdoor adventure park that offers family friendly outdoor adventure activities. The park is situated high atop the blue mountain in the Niagara escarpment, and has hiking trails running through a variety of landscape – caves, crevices, look out points and a suspension bridge. Thus offering a fun and relaxing day out for families.
Things to do there
The most popular activities are hiking, trekking through caves, zip lining, hiking across the suspension bridge and family friendly attractions. The attractions include mini golf, gem stone mining, feeding fish in the pond, a train ride and a tractor ride for kids.
Our trip on a long weekend
Me and my friends visited the park recently on a long weekend. The weather was perfect, and we had a good trip. However the park was really crowded. I have been to Scenic Caves before in 2014, and it was a totally different scene. This time the crowd was almost three times more (an indication of rising population in Southern Ontario).
The parking was full, so we had to drive further and park in the auxiliary parking. Its a bit of a walk back to the park (~5 mins) so if you have elders or kids in strollers, you could drop them in the main area first and then proceed to the auxiliary parking.
Upon entry, we went straight to the hike. Refer to the hiking map below. The hiking starts at point E, you climb up the Caves trail (I), and walk towards the zip line. The caves are located along I -> K -> M route. Hiking through the caves was an interesting experience, and is also popular route for most visitors. If you go, do try the less popular Nature Trail (J loop) as well. Its usually quiet and less crowded.
After hiking through the caves, we reached the twin zip line base. We enjoyed the views of Georgian Bay and Collingwood from the lookout spot, and headed to the zip line base. There was a huge wait time at the base (~1.5 hrs), perhaps because it was a long weekend, and also because prepping you up with gear and training takes time. At the end, it was worth it. It was fun. You can control the speed, you can slow down and enjoy the view as you slide down to the other end.
The other end of the zip line brings you to the start of the Paradise Trail (Y). We hiked through the Paradise trail and reached the suspension bridge. After a swinging hike walk through the suspension bridge, you could either take Creekside trail and walk back to the park main area, or take the Tractor ride.
Upon reaching back to the park main area, we took sometime to relax near the pond, feed the fish, grab some snacks and ended our trip.
If you go..
- Avoid long weekends
- Do try the twin zip line, it was fun
- If you didn’t buy zip line ticket at the park entrance, you can still buy them at the zip line base inside the park.
- Expect long wait times for the twin zip line
- There is also a shorter version of the zip line, but it is part of Eco Adventure Tours for which you need to pay extra.
- Pack some lunch if you want to picnic at the park. The park has a picnic area with tables.
- For those looking for a challenging hiking experience, this is not the place. The park is designed for those who enjoy mild hiking and picnic (well suited for families).