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Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park


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.


Visitor Alert!

Driving Directions

Do not rely on your GPS unit or online driving directions when visiting the Main Park area or the 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.

Mystery Cave Tours

Scenic Mystery Cave tours will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays only beginning April 12, 2014 from 10:00 - 4:00 p.m. Starting Memorial Day weekend, the daily tour schedule begins and additional tours are also available.

Tour reservations can be made beginning mid-April for the current calendar year.

Due to group reservations there will be limited walk-in tour availability on the following days and times:

  • April 12th : 1-3:30 p.m.
  • April 26th: Opening until 11 a.m.

    Due to the high volume of school tours reserved in late May, the availability of first-come-first-served tours and tour reservations will be limited on some days. This may result in longer waiting times for tours on the following dates and times:

  • May 26th: 11-2 p.m.
  • May 27th: 10 a.m. -2 p.m. (there may be availability on the 11 a.m. tour)
  • May 28th: Opening until 2 p.m.
  • May 29th: Opening until 1 p.m.
  • May 30th: 11-1:30

      Last updated April 14, 2014

  • Park Notes

    Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.

    Tours:

    Mystery Cave tour reservations can be made online or by calling 866-857-2757.

    Reservations must be made 24 hours or more in advance; same day reservations are not available.

    Scenic Tour

    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 about this tour.

    Flashlight Tour

    A rugged experience. See a portion of the cave by flashlight.Learn more about this tour.

    Geology Tour

    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 four and under. Learn more about this tour.

    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 about this tour.

    Photography Tour

    A tour for those who wish to set up tripods or monopods for cave photography. This tour takes approximately two hours.Learn more about this tour.

    School Tour

    Educational field tours for students, customized to their level of study.Learn more about this tour.

    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 about this tour.

    Get additional online information about Mystery Cave Tours, or check out the tour brochure This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.. See the sights from underground lakes to historic towns and find nature all-around!

    Virtual Tour:

    Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park!
    Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour | Video | HD This link leads to an external site. | Captioned Video

    The Zumbro Hill Cemetery:

    A town once flourished within the park's boundaries, and where there is a town, there is a town cemetery. Take a video tour of the Zumbro Hill Cemetery, with headstones dating from the 1850s.

    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.

    Park Activities:

    Trout Fishing

    The regular trout season runs from mid-April through mid-September. The catch and release season runs from January 1 until mid-April, and again from mid-September through September 30. A fishing license and trout stamp is required in the park.

    Camping

    Overnight camping is available seasonally. Learn more.

    Horseback Riding

    The Minnesota Horse Pass is required for equestrians at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. These may be purchased from any ELS license agent prior to your visit.
    Horse campground map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
    • Trails are surfaced with crushed rock.
    Shod horses are strongly recommended.

    Gift Cards:

    Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

    Don't move firewood!

    Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

    Birders:

    Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

    Park Highlights

    tree Tours of Mystery Cave

    tree Historic Forestville Tours

    tree Trout Streams

    tree Camping

    tree Great Hiking/Horseback Trails

    tree Spring Flowers


    Hours

    Best time to contact the park:

    Mystery Cave Office Hours: Variable by season, call 507-937-3251

    Main Park Office Hours:

    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.

    Contact

    21071 County 118
    Preston, MN 55965

    tel: Main Park: 507-352-5111
    Mystery Cave: 507-937-3251

    fax: 507-352-5113

    email: forestville.statepark@state.mn.us

    Getting There

    Approximately 6 miles south of Wykoff. Entrance to the park is 4 miles south of State Highway 16 on Fillmore County Highway 5, then 2 miles east on Fillmore County 118.