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Hitting The Trails: Mystery Cave State Park

The beauty of this state park can be seen by exploring above and below the ground!

This week we ventured south to historic Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park for our latest edition of "Hitting The Trails!"

"There are 13 miles of mapped caves. It's a constant 48 degrees which is a wonderful place to come on summer days," said DNR Parks and Trails Director Erika Rivers.

It's definitely cool to be underground where you can check out  the spectacular Turquoise Lake. Along the way you'll see plenty of stalagmites and stalactites and there's even a fossil room!

Credit: KARE

"We try to maintain the biological and geological integrity of the cave wherever we can but we also want to make sure that Minnesotans get exposed to that and connected to it. There's just no describing the sense of peace and solitude that you get when you've in a cave underground when you hear the trickling water hitting the cave floor below," said Rivers.  

Back outside -- the water from the caves flows into nearby streams where anglers definitely will want to wet a line!

Credit: KARE

"I'd be remiss to not mention the trout fishing here with Minnesota's three species of trout... the brown, rainbow and the brook trout," Rivers said.


Credit: KARE

"So just like in the caves we have all these microclimates that exist in the bluff lands because of the aspect where the sun is shining on certain parts of the bluff and not on others. You have amazing diversity in the bluff lands as well as floral and fauna," said Rivers.

There's even a throwback to yesteryear located in the center of the park to when Forestville was a boom town back in the mid-1800's.

Mystery Cave State Park won't be a mystery for long as outdoor enthusiasts discover a true hidden gem!

Mystery Cave is now open to the public from Thursday through Monday with limited availability for the scenic tour only. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis through July 12. Beginning July 13, reservations are recommended through the online reservation system. 

Cost of admission to Minnesota state parks is $7 daily or $35 for a year pass.

You can click on this DNR link for more information.

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