Round-trip: 6 km
Location: Desbarats, Ontario
The only thing disappointing about this outing was that my camera batteries died before I got the chance to take many pictures –and I didn’t even get one of the caves! But this is definitely a place I will visit again, and I will add some better pictures then!
We didn’t go onto the bat cave on our trip here. Everyone visiting the cave should be aware that going into any bat cave when the bats are hibernating –which is basically all the months that there are no bugs out, so potentially from September to June in our area–is prohibited. This is because merely entering the cave changes the micro-climate in the cave enough to put the bats survival at risk.
From Sault Ste Marie, Ontario drive east on highway 17 for 43 km. Turn left onto Smith Road and drive for 3 km. Turn right onto Mcluskie Road drive for 1.6 km and stay left when Mcluskie road ends and turns onto Puddingstone Road. Stay on Puddingstone Road for 3km, at which point it will turn into Cave Drive. Drive along Cave Drive as far as your vehicle allows. Vehicles with higher clearance usually make it about 1.5 km and park in the little gravel pit area on the left side of the road. From the parking area you basically you stay on the trail mostly taking the left fork at any intersections until you reach the high cliffs of the Bat Caves area.
From the parking area hike continuing north-east along Cave Drive, don’t take the first left with the no trespassing sign, and stay right on the harder packed trail at the next intersection that goes into a boggy area. You should be on hard packed quad trail the whole time. After 2.25 km the trail will turn to the north-west for the last 320 metres and become quite a bit steeper. Here you will see some high cliffs. To find the cave follow the base of the cliffs toward the west investigating any openings until you find it. If you get to the semi-circle rock climbing area with rusty looking chains bolted to the tops of the cliffs, you have gone too far! Head back along the cliffs about 200m to the cave . Check Google map of route for GPS co-ordinates of the cave. The route to the top is through a narrow gully that is located between the cave opening and the rock climbing area.