Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

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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 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.

Fall Mystery Cave Tours

Additional tours will be offered at Mystery Cave during the Fall, 2014 visitor season. For specific tour dates and times, check this link. Reservations are available on weekends only. Public tours are NOT available at 1:00 on Sept. 24 and Sept. 26 due to school groups visiting the cave.

Camper Cabins

Five Camper Cabins are now available for use near the main campground. Reservations will be accepted through the State Park reservation system beginning 8:00 a.m. on July 2.

The cabins feature walk-in style camping with pull-behind wagons for hauling camping and cooking gear. Two cabins are ADA accessible. ADA cabins sleep five and the regular cabins sleep six. Cabins range from 150’ to 530’ from the parking site. Rates are $60/night on Fridays and Saturdays, and $55/night Sundays through Thursdays. See camper cabin map.

(Last updated July 16, 2014)

Park Notes

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

Tours:

Mystery Cave tour reservations are made online or by calling 866-857-2757. Reservations can be made 24 hours or more in advance, and there are no same day reservations. Tickets not sold by reservation will be available for purchase at the cave on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the tour.

Learn more about all Mystery Cave tours, or download the tour brochure. This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

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.

Flashlight Tour

A rugged experience. See a portion of the cave by flashlight. Not available to children under 8. Learn more.

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 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.

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.

School Tour

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.

Virtual Tour:

Can't get to the park? Take the virtual tour. (It's also a great tool to help you plan your next trip!) Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour | HD video This link leads to an external site. | Video tour of the Zumbro Hill Cemetery

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. Trails are surfaced with crushed rock; shod horses are strongly recommended. Horse campground map. This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

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: 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.

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.