Horne Lake Caves

July 25, 2011 10:00 ET

Caving For All-Above and Below the Ground

New Interpretive Centre at Horne Lake Caves will Feature Canada's First Fully Wheelchair Accessible Cave Theatre

HORNE LAKE CAVES, QUALICUM BEACH, BC--(Marketwire - July 25, 2011) -

Editors note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.

The notion that you have to go into a cave to learn about it is getting turned inside out now that Horne Lake Caves is opening a new interpretive centre on site and Canada's first fully wheelchair accessible cave theatre.

"This is a much needed and much welcomed step forward for Horne Lake Caves and for the Parksville-Qualicum Beach region," says Richard Varela, Director of Island Pacific Adventures, the company that manages operations at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park.

"We will be able to share the cave environment with so many people that would never have had the ability to go into a cave, or who have been slightly uncomfortable doing so, and they can now learn about our caves, see how magnificent they are and learn why they're so important to protect."

The interpretive centre will feature an educational centre, a cave museum and a cave theatre where visitors can watch a video of Horne Lake Caves, that remain for the most part undeveloped and in their natural state. These particular BC caves have no permanent lighting or man-made walkways and were voted the Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC by Attractions Canada.

Varela estimates that of the 30,000 visitors that come to Horne Lake Provincial Park each year, a full two-thirds, or 20,000 people, never get to see the caves. He adds that the educational aspect of the interpretive centre will grow into a necessary part of the long term sustainability of the caves and the responsibility that each caver will need to take on.

"To minimize our impact on caves we need to treat them delicately to ensure their long term use and protection, and that means educating people how to use them," says Varela.

Funding for the interpretive centre came by way of BC Parks Community Legacy Fund, aimed at supporting improvements to 27 parks across the province. The funds were applied for by the Canadian Cave Conservancy (CCC), sponsors of the cave theatre. Also involved were the Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group and the BC Speleological Federation.

"We're really pleased to be partnering with the CCC who really started it all - they really were a leader in this project," says Varela. "They are the only national organization to protect and preserve cave resources and their sponsorship of the cave theatre is magnificent."

In addition to the interpretive centre, there will also be upgrades to the park, including new signage and an improved trail system.

The public is welcome to attend an opening of the interpretive centre scheduled for August 9, 2011. A Grand Opening celebration is planned for the spring of 2012.

Additional Facts

  • Horne Lake Caves have been named the Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC by Attractions Canada.
  • There are 7 caves within Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park.
  • Ice Age water forces created one of the largest and most spectacular karst systems in North America here on Vancouver Island.
  • There are over 1,400 caves on Vancouver Island.
  • Horne Lake Cave's Riverbend is 384 metres (1270 feet) long and features a seven-story waterfall.
  • Riverbend is one of Canada's best decorated caves in terms of its crystal formations.
  • Some unique formations have been affectionately named after characters which they resemble, such as Jabba the Hut, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, Howling Wolf and Smiling Buddha.

For More Information:

Richard Varela – adventure@hornelake.com
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
Phone: 250-339-0555 / 250-248-7829 (reservations)
Public Email: info@hornelake.com
Website: http://www.hornelake.com/
The Canadian Cave Conservancy
http://canadiancaveconservancy.ca/
Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group
http://www.cancaver.ca/bc/viceg
BC Speleological Federation
http://www.cancaver.ca/bcsf
Oceanside Tourism Association
Phone: 1-888-799-3222 / 250-248-6300
Website: www.visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com
Get our App: http://m.myPQB.ca

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110721-seas725ful.jpg

To view the video associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcheviJP3v4&feature=related

Contact Information