Forestville/Mystery Cave

Map and Guide

brochure Forestville/Mystery Cave - Map and Guide

Visitor Map and Guide of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (SP) in Minnesota. Published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR).

© 2020, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources MAP AND GUIDE: FORESTVILLE/MYSTERY CAVE STATE PARK 21071 COUNTY 118 PRESTON, MN 55965 FILLMORE COUNTY MAIN PARK: 507-352-5111 MYSTERY CAVE: 507-937-3251 VISITOR TIPS • Stay on trails to help avoid ticks, poison ivy and wild parsnip. Forestville/ Mystery Cave State Park is one of the most diverse state parks in Minnesota. The park protects striking limestone bluffs and numerous karst features such as caves, sinkholes and springs. Take trails through closed canopy forests, oak woodlands and meadows. View remnant stands of native white pine dotting the slopes and rare pockets of balsam fir and Canada yew persevering on cool, north-facing bluffs. Anglers will enjoy the three sparkling trout streams that converge in the park. Tour an 1850s frontier village or Minnesota’s longest known cave, both unique features for which the park was named. Stop in for the day or stay awhile by reserving a campsite, horse camp, group camp or camper cabin. Return in winter to snowshoe, fish or ski on rustic backcountry trails. • Do not cross streams in high water. • To prevent serious horse accidents, do not bicycle on trails. • Cell service is limited. Try high ground or use courtesy phone at park office. • Keep raccoons out of your food by storing it in your locked vehicle. • Special trout fishing regulations apply within the park. Check current regulations. • In an emergency call 911. • Non-emergency sheriff’s number: 507-765-3874. ONLY HAVE AN HOUR? • Park at the Palisade Trail lot and walk a scenic one-mile loop below majestic cliffs and along the South Branch Root River. • Park at the Historic Site lot. From there, take a history tour with the Minnesota Historical Society, or hike up the Sandbank Trail for a scenic view of the blufflands landscape. • Take the Mystery Cave Scenic Tour. • Picnic near the South Branch Root River, famed for its feisty stream trout. LOOKING FOR MORE TO EXPLORE DURING YOUR STAY? VISIT: MNDNR.GOV/FORESTVILLE SO EVERYONE CAN ENJOY THE PARK... ABOUT THE PARK A FULL SET OF STATE PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS IS AVAILABLE AT THE PARK OFFICE OR MNDNR.GOV. PARK OPEN 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. Only registered campers allowed after 10 p.m. VEHICLE PERMITS Permits required; purchase at park office or entrance kiosk. PETS WELCOME Keep on 6-foot leash; pick up after; attend at all times; not allowed in buildings. Anglers and visitors delight in the park’s cool, clear streams. FIREWOOD Purchase only from park office or approved vendor; no gathering firewood in the park. TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS Palisade Trail 1-mile loop Some hills • Packed dirt • Grass Walk down to valley elevation along the South Branch Root River as it flows past sheer limestone cliffs. Pass small oxbow ponds with outstanding bird and amphibian habitat. Enjoy excellent access for trout angling. Sandbank Trail to Scenic Overlook 1 mile one-way Some hills • Crushed rock • Packed dirt − CAMPGROUND QUIET HOURS 10 p.m.– 8 a.m. HORSEBACK RIDERS Help ensure the future of riding at Forestville: Hike from Historic Forestville up a long gradual slope to a ridge with sweeping views of blufflands landscape. Return the way you came or continue to the Oak Ridge Trail for a 3-mile loop. • Ride only on designated horse trails. Big Spring Trail • Cross streams only at designated fords. 2 miles one-way Steep terrain • Crushed rock • Wooden bridges • Stream crossing From the angler’s lot, this trail drops into the valley and crosses the South Branch Root River. From there, follow Canfield Creek upstream to its source: the Big Spring. The limestone escarpment above the spring is habitat for boreal plants like balsam fir and other cold-loving species. Maple Ridge Trail (Hiking Club Trail) 2-mile loop Some hills • Crushed rock • Packed dirt Hike from the amphitheater or angler’s lot to encounter a variety of woodland habitats, including a beautiful and shaded maple forest. TOURS AND PROGRAMS MORE TO EXPLORE • Discover Mystery Cave on a guided tour. Available daily from early May to mid-October. Visit for more details and updated schedules. • Travel back to the 1800s when you tour the restored village of Forestville with the Minnesota Historical Society (May through October). • Join a variety of free nature programs and hands-on activities during summer weekends. • Bring your fishing gear for some of Minnesota’s finest trout angling. • Bring your GPS to search for the park geocache. • Fishing rods, GPS units, birding kits, and camping activity kits can be checked out at the park office when open. • Enjoy the comfort of a camper cabin year-round. • Drive to nearby communities to bike the scenic Root River State Trail or paddle the Root River. • Use switchbacks, don’t shortcut. • Leave beverage containers at camp or pack out. • Avoid riding along park roads. • Save shade trees, use designated hitching areas. CURIOUS ABOUT THE ROOT RIVER STATE WATER TRAIL? GO TO: MNDNR.GOV/WATERTRAILS MORE INFORMATION Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Information Center 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155-4040 888-646-6367 or The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This information may be available in alternative format upon request.

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