Lusk Cave is in the Philippe Lake area. It was formed at the same time as Lusk Creek, about 11,000 years ago. It is still an active cave, as the narrow creek still flows through it and continues to erode the soluble marble that forms the cave’s walls.

When the cave is open, it is safe for people to visit, using the proper equipment.

Current status: The cave is open

Accessibility

The cave and the trail that leads to it are not accessible for persons with reduced mobility, and stroller access is also difficult. Exploration of the cave is not advised for children under seven years of age.

Exploring the cave

Seasonal opening

The cave is open from spring until fall, when the water level is safe.

How to get there

Walking is the only way to access the Lusk Cave. If you wish, you can do part of the route by bike, but you will eventually have to walk along the trail leading to the cave.

Route
The hike begins at Parent Beach, 5 km from the cave. From the parking lot, you can choose between two options:

  • take the Philippe Lake Parkway (Trail 50) to Smith Beach (1.8 km along a wide, paved, primarily flat, road);
  • take the trail that follows the shore of Philippe Lake to Smith Beach (1.5 km along a steep, narrow trail).

From Smith Beach, take Trail 50 until you reach the intersection with Trail 54 (1.8 km along a wide, mainly flat, dirt path). Then take Trail 54 to the cave (900 m along a steep, narrow path, which also has stairs, roots and rocks; bikes are not allowed on this path).

What to bring

Water levels in the cave can be as high as a metre or more. It is not possible to go through the cave without getting wet. Please note that the water in the cave is very cold in the early and late parts of the season.

Here’s what you need to bring to help you enjoy a pleasant and safe experience:

  • wetsuit (in early and late season);
  • bathing suit;
  • extra footwear or water shoes;
  • protective helmet, such as a bike helmet;
  • flashlight.

Facilities

  • Parking: The Parent Beach parking lot is open from spring to fall only. From mid-June until Labour Day, vehicle access fees apply.
  • Washrooms: There are washrooms and change rooms at the beaches.
  • Picnic area: There are picnic tables at the beaches.

History of the cave

During the Ice Age, Canada went through four major glaciations. The last, the Wisconsin Glaciation, saw ice forming over almost all of Canada and as far as the state of Wisconsin in the United States. When the Wisconsin Glacier melted about 12,500 years ago, water trapped under the melting glacier was forced into cracks in the rocks. The marble of Lusk Cave eroded more quickly than surrounding rocks, causing a series of tunnels to form. Since then, Lusk Creek has continued to shape the cave.