Bonnechere Caves

Bonnechere Caves
Main entrance to the park.

The presence of caves in this area was known when surveyers first visited this area in the 19th century. But it wasn't until the 20th century that the caves were explored. What made exploration difficult was the fact that water flowed through the caves. Tourists visiting the caves is made possible by the damming and pumping of the water.

Bonnechere Caves
Inside the caves.

Throughout the tourist season, guided tours leave often. The hour-long tour starts at a display of Ordovician fossils. Then, the guide leads the group underground. The guide explains that if she doesn't return at least three-quarters of the group back out safely, she might lose her job. But, she further explains, she hasn't lost anyone yet! Due to the flowing water, there are not a lot of stalactites and stalagmites as you might expect.

Bonnechere Caves
Inside the caves.

After the tourist season ends in the fall, water is allowed to flow back into the caves to help maintain the natural environment inside the caves, and to ensure that trespassers stay out.

Bonnechere Caves
Stalactites.

The rock is limestone formed in the Ordovician Period, about 400 million years ago. This was a time when invertebrates ruled the animal kingdom, as shown by the fossils that can be found in the area.

Bonnechere Caves
Bonnechere River.

Bonnechere Caves
Bonnechere River.