Saturday, July 25, 2015

Singhampton Caves

A week or so after that last Bruce Trail hike, we headed east to find the Singhampton Caves.  I've been meaning to get here for 3 or 4 years, and was glad to finally see them.  It was a short side trail of the Bruce Trail, but it was spectacular!

Standing Rock was just a big chunk of limestone that had seperated from the cliff face, but the caves were typical 'crevice caves', which we have in many places along the Niagara Escarpment, and made an intriguing place to explore.

It was a nice short walk through the forest to get there and return.

And this was our first look down into one of the crevices.  About a 6 foot drop here, and as my buddy had his 12 year old grandson with him, we didn't try this entrance.

 This was the rocky scramble downhill that formed the actual side trail entrance.

And this was one of the crevices we emerged into, about a 50 foot vertical crack between mossy, fern-covered limestone walls.  Photography down here is a little tricky, because of the almost impossibility of escaping a little bit of bright sky at the top.  This creates a big contrast with the darkness at the bottom, and makes getting the right exposure a challenge.

Just for scale, here's my hiking partner.   You can see a faint blue blaze on the rock marking the side trail; several times we had to check around for blazes so we didn't get lost in other crevices.

It's the vertical walls of moss, liverworts and ferns that always intrigue me.

I expect that these ferns are mostly Bulblet Fern, which grows right out of the limestone.  

But this one, which you might not even recognize as a fern, is the rare Walking Fern.  The tips of the long narrow roots can take root, so the fern can 'walk'.  This species is the symbol of the Bruce Trail.

Once we got out into the woods again, I was stumped briefly by the deeply ridged bark on this very tall old tree, in the middle of a Sugar Maple forest.  Turns out it was a huge old Poplar!  We saw about half a dozen of them, towering above the canopy.

And we caught a glimpse of the old grain elevators down in Collingwood on the shore of Georgian Bay.  Our 12 year old guest explorer thought the hike was 'awesome', and I'm sure it would be great for lots of other children in the 7-15 year range, to say nothing of anyone older!


  1. Once again you have found a place I could get lost in...the beauty is magnificent.

  2. Not exactly sure but I think Kelly & I were there a bunch of years ago & I also just remembered we did an overnight back packing hike up behind the big ski hills near Kimberly as well. There are also some great caves along the Georgian Bay shoreline just north of Wiarton as well. Always loved that whole area up there where you are. Do you recall seeing any sign along your hike saying 'Fat Man's Misery'? And I do recall those difficult exposures but easy now with Picasa to simply darken the top part of the photo. Gotta love all those ferns & moss but those rocks can be oh so slippery..........

  3. What wonderful crevasses, and that walking fern is a new one to me. Gorgeous! :-)

  4. now THAT looks like my type of place to check out and enjoy - what a cool spot :-)

  5. Looks like a fun place to explore!

  6. Amazing shots - love the greens growing out of the rocks. I'm not sure I'd venture down into the crevasses.

  7. "Awesome" is for once the right word. I only know of one similar formation in the UK, "Lud's Church" in the Peak District, which is also rich with ferns and creates the same photographic problems. I'm jealous to hear that you have several of these formations.

  8. Nice gem hidden away in the woods. It seems to me not to long ago someone got stuck in one of the crevices and had to be rescued.

    1. That's right. Someone went exploring off the trail and down into some of the narrower crevices, slipped and got stuck. Spent the night stuck and was rescued in the morning. It's a fine balance between safety and adventure. I go for safe, with a little adventure!

  9. Nature at her best. Amazing environment and lovely photos. Greetings!

  10. Looks like an awesome hike. The crevices are neat, I love the pretty ferns. Great post and images, enjoy your day!

  11. It looks like a great place to see. The at your own risk business made me wonder what I was going to see.

  12. I've been in some of the crevices further south on the Escarpment.

  13. Ok, FG. My husband and I will be in your part of the world on Aug, 2 n 3. Of all your adventures what would you recommend for us to do. We can do some hiking. You are welcome to respond here or to my email,