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 closed
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
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.
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;
- 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
- Lusk Cave Underground Map (1.309 MB)
- The Lusk Cave Trail (178.877 KB)
- Gatineau Park Summer 2022 Trails Map (8.855 MB)