Take Your Education Outside with Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
I am a visual and hands on learner. I have to touch, see and do things myself to really grasp what I am being taught. This is why I love museums and traveling so much, nothing brings a textbook or story to life more than seeing it in front of your eyes.
My children are very much like me in this way. They like to touch, hear and see what they are learning up close and since they have so much energy, if I can get them outside it’s even better!
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, located in Collingwood, Ontario, provides individuals of all ages a rich history and educational experience in a unique, natural environment that encourages learning and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Explore the geography of the Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment stretches some 725km from the Niagara Falls area to Tobermory, which began its formation 450 million years ago. This area was once under water. I know when we looked out from the top of the mountain, it was hard to imagine that the area was once covered in water but fossils in the rocks prove that this is true! (Scenic Caves Nature Adventures).
The caves are great examples of fissures, where pieces of the escarpment would ease away from the Escarpment. Scenic Caves was an incredible experience to hike through; we went up, then down a little bit, peeked over an edge, crossed a bridge and then finally descended into the caverns. It may sound odd but we hiked up the mountain, only to hike down at the top into the caves!
It was an incredible experience to stand in the middle of the Escarpment and just look up. It really brings home how powerful our planet truly is.
Learn about the historical roots of this area.
The Scenic Caves Nature Adventures sits on lands that has a rich and deep history, from Native Americans to settlers from the 1800s. There are several signs along the path pointing out historical points (Suicide Point, where a young woman threw herself off the side of the mountain) to the caves that sheltered the people during attacks.
It is so important for children (and even adults!) to understand and appreciate this history. You can even follow-up this experience with learning about the area and the Native Americans from this area online or in books.
Experience engineering marvels!
Scenic Cave Nature Adventures is home to two incredible structures: Suspension Bridge and the Thunderbird Twin Zip Line.
The Suspension Bridge is the longest in Southwestern Ontario, a fact our boys were quite proud of once they crossed the whole bridge not just twice but four times! They were determined to race across all 126m, shaking it for their poor Mother who felt almost sick with the slight sway they caused! The swaying was well worth the views that literally stole my breath away. You can view right out to the Georgian Bay and up the mountain, with beautiful forestry surrounding you.
Want an interesting fact? No one knows quite how much weigh the bridge can hold but they do know that their can never be too many people on the bridge! The bridge can hold people standing front to back, shoulder to shoulder and stacked four high the entire length of the bridge!
The Thunderbird Twin Zip Line is the longest zip line in Southern Ontario and the longest twin zip line in Canada. It stretches half a mile long! Located at the very top of the mountain, this was the best way for my boys (husband and eldest) to make their way back down the mountain. They literally soared over top of the trees, feeling like they would touch the tree tops at any time but could control the speed at any time. There is an age and weight requirement for this ride (which is for your safety) so make sure you meet these requirements before making promises to your children.
With plenty of space to move around, walk, jump and explore, Scenic Caves allows your children the freedom to learn while burning some of their energy. We hiked through the forest for roughly thirty minutes which looped back onto the hills to hike up to the caves.
Just remember to wear proper running or hiking shoes as well as bring a re-useable water bottle. Even with the fall weather, we all worked up quite a sweat hiking through the hills!
Every child likes to play right? Once we finished up with our exploring we headed back to the main area and had a quick picnic lunch by the playground before the kids went on a train ride through the grounds.
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures also boasts a Gem Mining activity near the entrance, that allows your child to mine for gems just like they did in the old days! Both boys enjoyed this immensely and couldn’t wait to wrap up their goodies. We then headed off to play mini golf. Which was the best way to end our day, especially since I won! Just joking, all three of my boys beat my score.
Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is an action packed, educational experience for the whole family. Make sure you plan to spend at least three hours, we were there for just under five hours and the children would have stayed longer if we had brought along more food with us!
How do you take education outside?
Disclosure: I received passes to Scenic Caves Nature Adventures to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.