Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

Adventure awaits underground at the Warsaw Caves! This unique natural landscape offers plenty of opportunities for visitors of all ages to explore the great outdoors.

The Warsaw Caves Conservation Area is located off County Road 4 out of Warsaw, about 30 minutes outside Peterborough. 

For up-to-date information and details on the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.

A large rock formation situated in the middle of a forested area

More about Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

The Warsaw Caves are a series of seven caverns in limestone rock that were formed when a glacier melted at the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 12,000 years ago. With a flashlight or headlamp and a sturdy pair of shoes, a curious caver can spend hours exploring the tunnels and caverns.

The unique geography is made up of cavities in limestone, and the round caves are known as “kettles.” These spiral depressions were created when pieces of stone were swirled around into the limestone by the river that used to cover the entire area. The perfectly circular caves certainly make for unique photos!

These caves are perfect for beginner cavers, including children. Each visitor is given a Spelunking Guide upon arrival that will lead you through each cave. Be sure to keep an ear out for the river while you’re underground. The Indian River actually disappears underground and flows along the limestone layers that surround the caves. As long as you don’t mind some tight spaces and getting a little dirty, exploring the caves could become a weekend-long adventure.

But that’s not all the area offers! Along with the opportunity to go caving, the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area consists of plenty of hiking trails — more than 15 km in total. The trails wind through lush forests and limestone plains, with plenty of potholes and kettles to explore along the way. There are scenic lookout points that overlook the Indian River Valley, and dogs are welcome on the trails.

Camping is permitted at the Conservation Area, with 52 sites available in a picturesque wooded setting. The campground is non-electrical, but there is a comfort station that features restrooms, showers, sinks, and a laundry room. Picnic areas with barbecues are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Visitors will be pleased to discover all the activities available on the Indian River.

Paddle along the Indian River by canoe or kayak. The river is ideal for beginners — the course is flat and the current gentle. There’s often wildlife to observe along the way and of course, gorgeous scenery. The paddle from the Conservation Area to the town of Warsaw is about 4 hours round-trip, and canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets, and safety kits are available to rent from the Conservation Area.

There are also plenty of places to swim in the Indian River, including Flat Rock Beach. The water is ideal because of the lack of current, and there is a dam for kids to play. Be aware before you suit up that the swimming area is unsupervised and dogs aren’t allowed on the beach.

Additionally, fishing on the Indian River is welcome between the canoe launch point and the dam in Warsaw. Anglers have been known to catch perch, sunfish, and smallmouth bass. A fishing licence is required for anyone between the ages of 18 and 65, with the only exception during Ontario’s Family Fishing Events when fishing is free.

The Conservation Area’s gatehouse is open from May to October. Visitors can purchase annual passes or single day passes, with all admission and parking fees directly supporting the operation of the park. Visit their website for current fees and prices.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

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