Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Bonnechere Caves

The rapid currents of Bonnechere River at Fourth Chute Falls scoured out the Bonnechere Caves and some crazy explorer named Tom risked his life to explore and then open the caves to curious tourists. The town of Eganville's attraction is a must visit for cave fans, or spelunkers, and adventurous people visiting the Ottawa Valley.

Take photos and remember the temperature in the caves is 10 degrees Celcius

Guides take groups of people deep underground into the tunnels carved into limestone, with tours starting every 20-30 minutes from 10am to 4:30pm in July and August. Adult tickets cost $19 with some deals can occasionally be found on Wagjag or Groupon if you search around.
Entrance to the caves

The walls and caves have not been modified

At first the guides take you to the fossil area where they show several examples of specimens found in the area encased in limestone. After the stories have been told and the fossils held, you proceed down to the opening into the caves. Six dams have been built to keep the water out of the tourist attraction and pumps keep the lower reaches of the system accessible. After the tourist season has ended with winter approaching, they turn off the pumps and let ground water flood the caves again to keep the tunnels from freezing and cracking and to help the bats who make the place home starting in late September.

Walls are damp and the stalactites drip their mixture of water and minerals slowly onto the floors of the caves, leaving behind calcite, growing slowly as years go by.
On the left side you can see some of the cave entrances made by the river
Panorama of the lower part of Fourth Chute Falls

The waterfalls are located right beside the Cave property and you can explore the falls from Fourth Chute Road. You can see the natural cave entrances along the river side which alerted Tom to the caves so long ago. A man made entrance has been added to make it safer to get into the underground system to eventually exit from the old discharge location.

See more photos after the jump.

The fossil display area to the right
Guides show fossils and educate visitors
This is the lower part of the caves that is pumped out in summer and allowed to fill again in winter
The doorway blocks up the previous exit of water from the caves
Several sets of stairs brings you back to the top when you leave the caves

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