Monday, September 14, 2015

Year-round Activities for Your Family at @ScenicCaves Nature Adventures! #BlueMountain

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue MountainBack in 1966 when Nanna and Poppa were looking for a weekend property, they really wanted to buy a place at the top of Blue Mountain. The views were breathtaking and it was only a short drive to the nearest town, Collingwood. However, properties cost $5,000 more and so they bought the Farm instead*.

Over the years, Blue Mountain and the Town of Collingwood (more like a city if you ask me), nestled at the bottom of the mountain and against the shores of Georgian Bay has really taken on a life of its own. Local residents, weekenders, vacationers and tourists enjoy all the attractions and amenities in both winter and summer. One facility that takes advantage of the elements all year long is Scenic Caves Nature Adventures.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

We’d heard great things about the Scenic Caves and in August finally had the chance to see it for ourselves. Open year-round (except for November), you can take advantage of all the joys of the seasons. The facility offers a variety of packages (contact them about seasons passes) and we got the value package. This included unlimited access to the Caves, Bridge and Mini Golf. For a Family of Four, it cost around $90 plus we added on the Gem Mining Package which was well worth the price. The suggested duration for our activities was 2-3 hours but after 5 hours of fun, The Kids were still going strong and we could have stayed until 8pm (Summer hours).

The day started out overcast and a bit damp which was a good thing because we dressed accordingly with hiking boots and light long sleeves. Turns out that fully closed running/hiking shoes are mandatory and must be worn at all times**. Wearing light long sleeved clothing helped protect us from the sun (although there are lots of trees and shady areas) and kept us warmer in the cool parts of the cave like the “Natural Refrigerator”.

Scenic Caves

We started out hiking up the mountain and the first cave we came to was the “Natural Refrigerator”, Climbing down into the earth, you can feel the drafts of cool air. Even on a warm day, it was really cool in the cave.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

As we continued on our journey, there were lots of different animals to look out for and The Kids enjoyed the short hike to the other caves. After hundreds of years, paths had been made through the rocks and with the addition of rails, even The Kids were able to safely maneuver around.

This turned out to be my favourite event. It was so interesting reading all the historical markers along the way telling of love stories lost and won as well as the history and uses of the area. To me, what looked like any old rock meant so much more to the people that lived there.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

Ontario’s Longest Suspension Footbridge

Next up was the suspension footbridge which turned out to Ed’s favourite. You can’t beat the breathtaking views! Built in 2003, the goal was to bring something unique to Ontario and take advantage of the natural scenery. Measuring 126 metres long and 25 metres above the valley floor, you are towering above the treetops. As with the caves, there are informational signs along the way explaining the engineering feats that were required in order to construct the bridge.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

The bridge sways ever so slightly (but more so because people try and make it do so) but rest assured it’s safe. In fact, It’s so strong that it can hold the weight of 4 people standing tummy to butt, shoulder to shoulder, stacked 4 high the entire length of the bridge!

EcoAdventure Tour

Opened in 2004, this tour features 600 meters of gently swaying suspension bridges linking 18 trees and with heights of up to 60m above the forest floor. But that’s not all. In order to get from one location to another, you have to zipline there!? The longest zip trip is more than 1/3 of a kilometre and it’s Canada’s longest twin-zip line that allows you to control your own speed which is unique to this installation. While we didn’t do the Tree Top Walking and Zip Lines, there were plenty of other things to do as we watched people whizzing by above us.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Owned Photo

Other Activities

At only five years of age, The Kids were able to to fully experience the Caves and Bridge, however, there were many other things for them to do like; Mini Golf, Gemstone Mining, Trout pond, Rocky the Train and Tractor Wagon Rides, Huge Jungle Gym, Picnic area and snack bar. The facility has something for people of all ages.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

To say that the Mini Putt was Max’s favourite part of the day would be an understatement. He could have played there all day. Even after two hours (yes, TWO HOURS straight), he wasn’t bored in the least. Hole #14 was his favourite by far. Needless to say, he’s added a golf set to his birthday wish list.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

Artemis enjoyed spending her time panning for gems and admiring her finds. In the beginning, as far as we could tell, she’d just been given a bag of sand so it would have been funny to watch our faces when all the local gems, rocks and even an arrowhead appeared from within the sand. The bonus was that we got to take our finds and a guide home with us for additional hours of educational fun.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

There are lots of sunny and shady places to relax and eat throughout the facility. Bring your own food or take advantage of the BBQ options or cool summer treats in the Gift Shop. Speaking of which, they sell everything from maple treats to clothing to toys and even some cool mining hats in a variety of colours including pink!

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Blue Mountain

Just because the kids are back at school doesn’t mean that the fun is over so take a weekend and head to the Blue Mountain area. Don’t forget to pick up a Visitor Guide, Local Map and Pamphlets highlighting the local activities and amenities and make sure to include Scenic Caves Nature Adventures in your holiday fun.

Have You Ever Been to Scenic Caves or Blue Mountain?

*Nanna and Poppa didn’t literally “buy the Farm” as in pass away.
** Knowing me, I would have just worn my flats. If that happens to you, The Gift Shop sells hiking shoes (similar to the ones that I currently own).

Connect with Scenic Caves Nature Adventures Website | Facebook | Twitter

Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo received free admission to this attraction for the purposes of sharing our experiences with you.

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22 thoughts on “Year-round Activities for Your Family at @ScenicCaves Nature Adventures! #BlueMountain

  1. Mandy

    I’ve never been to Scenic Caves or Blue Mountain. Its actually the first time I’ve heard of Blue Mountain. The scenery looks lovely there though and its good to know another place that has a lot of year round activity for the family. The caves and the mini golf would be especially fun for kids to explore and play!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I’ve never been to Blue Mountain but it certainly would be well worth a visit. I’d skip the tree top walking and zip lines, the suspension footbridge and prefer to join Max for a game of mini putt, not sure I could last 2 hrs though 🙂

    Reply
  3. Wanda Tracey

    I haven’t heard of Blue Mountain until now and I am definitely intrigued by the awesome pictures and review you did on your adventure.My youngest son loves the zip-lining activity.I would really like to visit this beautiful place someday soon.Thanks for showing us how beautiful it is with your pictures.My favorite would be the swinging bridge.That would be thrilling!

    Reply
  4. Helena

    Wow, the scenery is quite breathtaking. I love crystals, so I’d want to learn more about them as well. Looks like a great place to take the family.

    Reply
  5. Elaine Buonsante

    How I wish we lived closer to the Blue Mountains so that we could enjoy the scenes you have described. But we are blessed to lived near the Rocky Mountains on the west coast.

    Reply
  6. Laurie P

    I haven’t been here in years……I absolutely love caves, we’ll have to get here soon while the weather is still pleasant!

    Reply
  7. Heart of a Philanthropist Blogger Kim

    Wow, the photos are beautiful. We just went to Fantastic Caverns outside of Springfield MO. It is the only drive through cave and it is privately owned!

    Reply
  8. Lauryn R

    Wow, the Scenic Caves look absolutely beautiful! Canada is a gorgeous country, I really want to visit! I love nature and would definitely love to take my kids here!

    Reply

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