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Forestville Mystery Cave State Park, Preston
(4.3/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park is a state park in Minnesota. It contains the village of Forestville, which has been restored to a 19th-century appearance. The Minnesota Historical Society operates it as a historic site. Below ground the park contains Mystery Cave, the state's longest cave, which is open to the public. The park is between Spring Valley and Preston, Minnesota.Mystery CaveThe park is in the Driftless Area, noted for its karst topography, which includes sinkholes and caves. The park is about 5mi from Mystery Cave and occupies approximately 3170acre, with camping, interpretive programs, and hiking, horseback, cross-country skiing trails, cold water streams and excellent trout fishing. The cave includes stalactites, stalagmites, and underground pools, and is a constant 48°F. It has over 13mi of passages in two rock layers and is being resurveyed and remapped by volunteers.Geologic HistoryAbout 450 million years ago sedimentary rocks were deposited as the land was intermittently covered by shallow seas that transgressed and regressed. Over the eons the alternating deposits of mud and oceanic debris were compressed to form limestone, shale and sandstone layers. Today these layers are 1300ft above sea level. Within the last 500,000 to 1,000,000 years, flood waters dissolved along fractures in the limestone bedrock to create most of the cave. Acidic rainwater also sculpted the land above and around the cave, creating thousands of sinkholes and other karst features in the surrounding county.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The campsite okay, the staff, rude, to the point of being nasty and mean. Never going in that direction again 
  • There wasn't a whole lot to do in this park. We walked through the historic forestville area, which was not clearly marked, trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing. A tour guide rudely ...  more »
  • This is a great state park with some wonderful hiking trails. There isn't an official beach but there is a swimming hole you can cool off in. Lots of wooded areas to camp. Bathrooms & showers very cle...  more »
Google
  • The scenic tour is a very short tour. In comparison the Niagara cave just a half hour away from the mystery cave is more enjoyable. People should try other tours at the mystery cave. The turquoise lake is beautiful though.
  • My husband cannot walk well and my son and I love visiting caves, so we were very excited that we had found a cave my husband could visit with us (no stairs). Unfortunately tour guide went so fast my husband could not even keep up ON THE WAY TO THE CAVE!! He gave up trying and went back to the car. Guide offered to slow down, but by then my husband felt he would be a drag on the rest of the group so he declined. Yes, they offered our money back for him, but it wasn't the same as having him with us for the tour!! Scenic tour is handicapped accessable, but I recommend you use a wheel chair and have someone push you VERY fast. Cave tour itself is good, staff knowledgable. Staff stops and talks for a long while in a dozen different spots, but look fast in between those spots because the race is on to the next spot!!
  • I've camped and hunted there last year. I really enjoyed the park with every spots being spaced out a little for privacy. I just wish the park at least have wifi considering there's no cell phone service there.
  • Loved the beautiful location of Forestville. Costumed characters added great ambiance and reality. Enjoyed exploring the grounds and buildings.
  • The park offers great views and diverse landscape for hiking. The only issue is: since most of the trails are dual-use for hiking and horse-riding, there is a lot of manure on them