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. 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.

birding
1 year ago

Did mostly hiking. Also visited the cave.

hiking
1 year ago

The trail is good but to really see the park hike from old store area to big spring and also trails up over hill past old town site. It is a full day and several 200 foot climbs but really great when fall colors are out. You can also see the old cemetery area. You will cross wet areas and a spring so be ready for that.

snowshoeing
2 years ago

Snowshoeing through some of the southern segments of trail was amazing! It was very cold (high of -4 degrees F) so I saw no one all afternoon. Trails were groomed and maintained for cross country skiers and snowshoers. Very pleased.

Just completed the north-eastern loop of this trail this past Saturday night with my wife. We arrived around dusk and started the 2 mile loop. We saw several whitetail deer and were scared twice by several large turkeys that were perched in the large hardwood trees above us (we evidently startled them too, haha). We also came across a second ceramic gnome (see my previous review - Spring of 2013 - for more about the gnomes) that someone had placed along the trail side; we also found a ceramic brown bunny next to this one.

Very enjoyable terrain because it's a bit more elevation than we Minnesotans generally get in our hikes around here... Yes, I know, we're only talking about a few hundred feet. :)

I found this to be a very beautiful hike. I started from the parking lot on the south side of the river and went east up the side of opposite bluff (you can follow my path via the 7.5 mile track I left). From there I stuck to the outermost portion of the trail and went north, looping all the way around and back south again to where I started. On the northern most portion of my hike I found a ceramic gnome sitting atop a fallen log just off the trail; obviously placed there to amuse observant hikers... It worked. :) I posted a picture of it.

After getting back to my starting point I went north over the bridge toward Historic Forestville, and then took an immediate left and headed up the trail that winds up the bluff to the lookout point. There you'll find a nice view and wooden deck with a bench for resting. After snapping a picture I headed back around and back down to the river.

Great day! Great hike! Great trail!