Visit Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park to see natural wonders above and below ground. In the summer, beat the heat with a visit below ground. Explore the world of Mystery Cave with its stalactites, stalagmites, and underground pools. Park naturalists provide tours of the cave throughout the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall. The temperature stays at a constant 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn more about Mystery Cave Tours.
Above ground, stop by Historic Forestville, a restored 1800s village operated by the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). Fish three blue-ribbon trout streams for brown trout. Take in the soft pastels of wildflowers in spring or listen to ruffed grouse drumming and wild turkeys gobbling. Hike or bring your horse to ride the ridge tops and stream valleys. Observe interesting geologic features along the way including sinkholes and dramatic Big Spring. In the fall, don't miss the bold colors of the forest. Winter invites visitors to ski or snowmobile the Bluff Country.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
January Deer Hunt Alert
In order to reduce the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, a special late season hunt will be conducted in a zone which includes much of central Fillmore County. The zone includes Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Two areas within the park will be posted as No Hunting areas, including Historic Forestville and the area surrounding the camper cabins and park shop. Minnesota Caverns property will be open to hunters; however, the main Mystery Cave property will not. Two hunts will be conducted from January 6-14, 2018. Special hunting permits are required and will be issued on a first come first serve basis at license agents or online. Special permit 801 is from January 6th- 9th and special permit 802 is from January 10th-14th.
No winter camping is allowed in the park, but camper cabins may be reserved by calling the park office at 507-352-5111. Vehicle permits are required for all motorized vehicles entering the park. Vehicles must park in designated parking lots. The park will remain open to non-hunters. Anyone visiting the park is urged to wear blaze orange during the hunt. For details about hunting guidelines, consult the DNR webpage regarding the special CWD hunt.
Forestville/Mystery Cave is the only state park affected by the special CWD hunt. Visitors wishing to avoid hunting activity may utilize other nearby parks including Lake Louise, Whitewater, Beaver Creek Valley, and Great River Bluffs.
Do not rely on your GPS unit or online driving directions when visiting the main park or Mystery Cave area, as you may be routed to a closed bridge! We recommend you follow the "Getting There" directions at the bottom of this page.
(Updated Dec. 19, 2017)
Mystery Cave Tours
This guided tour provides the best overall cave experience. You'll see excellent examples of cave formations along with pools and dramatic linear passageways. This tour involves 3/4 mile of walking on paved trails and bridges. Tour is ADA accessible. Learn more.
A rugged experience. See a portion of the cave by lantern. Not available to children under 8. Learn more.
Experience a rustic, flashlight tour with a focus on cave geology. This tour is more physically challenging than the one-hour tour and is not available to children under 8. Learn more.
Wild Caving Tour
This is the real thing - caving! You will be crawling and squeezing through undeveloped portions of Mystery Cave. Please plan about four hours, with two to three hours underground. Learn more.
A tour for those who wish to set up tripods or monopods for cave photography. This tour takes approximately two hours. Learn more.
Educational field tours for students, customized to their level of study. Learn more.
Advanced Educational Tour
Special prearranged tours with in-depth geology instruction offered to groups of ten or more that desire additional study of caves and karst topography, including college and advanced high school groups. Learn more.
White Nose Bat Syndrome
A fungus dangerous to bats has been confirmed at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. The fungus is known to cause white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that is harmful and mostly fatal to hibernating bats, and has decimated bat populations in the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. The syndrome is transmitted primarily from bat to bat and is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.
Public tours of the cave will continue. To help keep the fungus from spreading, visitors will be required to walk across special mats designed to remove spores from footwear. Visitors also are advised not to visit other caves or mines with any clothing, footwear or gear they have used in areas where WNS or the associated fungus is present, because washing alone cannot sufficiently disinfect clothing.
Learn more about white-nose syndrome and what you can do to help slow its spread.
Five camper cabins are available year round. Self-registration is not available, and the park office may be closed due to seasonal activities. Reserve a cabin in advance to be sure the key is available for you upon arrival! See camper cabin map.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Only use approved firewood!
Help prevent the spread of tree-killing insects by burning only approved firewood, available at all Minnesota State Parks.
Bird Checklist at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.
Best time to contact the park:
Mystery Cave Office Hours: Variable by season, call 507-937-3251
Main Park Office Hours: 507-352-5111
Summer: Sunday - Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Thursday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.Winter: Generally, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Hours limited due to staffing.
Office hours may vary. Please call ahead or leave a message.
21071 County 118
Preston, MN 55965
tel: Main Park: 507-352-5111
Mystery Cave: 507-937-3251
Park Entrance: Approximately 5 miles south of Wykoff. Entrance to the park is 4 miles south of State Highway 16 on Fillmore County Road 5, then 2 miles east on Fillmore County Road 118.
Mystery Cave Entrance is 6 miles south on County Road 5 from State Highway 16. Right-hand turn on 180th street west, 3/4 mile, turn right on Old Cave Road, travel 1/2 mile north. On your left is Mystery Cave Entrance Road.