When it comes to RV camping, Minnesota’s Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is in a league of its own. Its mystical Mystery Caves enthrall onlookers with their shale, limestone, and sandstone formations, plus it features an underground Turquoise Lake sparkling with green-blue waters. The park also comprises a historically significant location. In the center of the park, you'll find the remnants of the historic town of Forestville, which are carefully maintained by the Minnesota Historical Society. History-loving campers will have the time of their lives discovering this rural trading hotspot of 1850s southern Minnesota.
The wildlife is diverse and mind-blowing. Notable wildlife creatures include deer, beaver, raccoon, turkeys, opossum, woodchucks, opossum, and foxes. Three streams feeding on freshwater springs raise high-quality trout, some of the best in entire Minnesota.
It will be hard to keep yourself focused while driving your rig through various incredibly pleasant locations. You will not help but marvel at the prairie, the cultural landscape beauty of Minnesota. You will be amazed to discover the varicolored and contrasting landscapes comprising savanna and deciduous, oak, white pine, fir, maple, and basswood trees. Imagine hiking or riding your horse on these spectacularly scenic pathways! The Ravine Trail brings equestrians an unforgettable experience of riding across luxuriously scenic trails. In the winter, this trail becomes a winter wonderland with skiers and snowmobile riders showcasing their sheer spontaneity on the trail.
More than 100 electric and non-electric campsites, a few of which are also equine, are waiting for you at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Bring your campervan or horses to enjoy a splendid vacation any time between April to November.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is located in Fillmore County, nearly 10 miles away from the city of Preston. The park is situated on a very suitable location just a few miles away from major highways like MN Highway 16 and Fillmore County 118. The use of GPS and road signs for routing is not recommended as RVs may be directed to a closed road or bridge.
Inside the park, keep your camper strictly on the roadways, designated campsites, and parking lots. Driving cars, bikes, and RVs on hiking trails is strictly prohibited. If you want to enjoy mountain bike rides, ride your vehicle on the park roads where biking is permitted. The roads are quite spacious and well-suited for biking.
There are five parking lots available for RVs at several locations in the park. There is parking outside the main campground, park office, and lots near the stream for anglers to name a few. Parking your camper, trailer, or motorhome in any campsite designated to another camping party is prohibited. Towed parking is available.
The main campground facilitates both RV and tent camping April to November. Picnic tables and fire rings are offered complimentarily. The main campground is divided into three loops. Loop A contains 26 non-electric sites and is located quite close to the park office. Toilets and water are available at different locations in loop A. Loop B contains 24 non-electric sites with water spigots and toilets. Loop C includes 23 campsites with 30-amp electric hookups and water spigots.
A parking spot can be found to the left of Loop C. A restroom with hot showers and flush toilets is situated between Loop B and C. A dump station operating mid-April to mid-October can also be located in the campground just outside Loop A.
Vault toilets are available year-round. Flush toilets and showers in the campground can only be used during the peak season. During the off-season, campers are directed to use the showers and flush toilets at the park office. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.
The longest cave in Minnesota stretching across 13 miles under the ground is the most impressive feature of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Mystery Cave can be explored in several ways by visitors and campers. You can opt for a Wild Caving Tour where you will crawl on your knees for more than two hours to explore rare, undeveloped portions of the cave.
The one-hour scenic tour will introduce you to the cave’s mineral deposits, pools, and corridors. The one-hour Lantern Tour, will amaze you with in-depth interpretations on the cave’s geology. There are many other tours available including the Photography Tour, Geology Tour, School Tour, and Advanced Educational Tour. The tours are only available on specific days from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day.
The town of Forestville was Southern Minnesota’s trading hub during the 1850s. The historic site has been a subject of significant attention and fascination to history enthusiasts. During the summer, interpretive displays featuring the residents’ lifestyle and merchandise are offered. Minnesota Historical Society also provides a well-guided tour of the 1857 Meighen General Store where you will get a chance to lay your eyes on exceptionally unique artifacts from the 1850s.
The park has 20 miles of multi-use trails enthusiastically used by RV campers to hike or enjoy on horseback. Biking is also offered but not on the trails. You can ride your bike on roadways most of which also feature beautiful scenery in the backdrop.
The Ravine Trail is the most favorite destination in the entire park for equestrians, although it is equally famous among hikers and sightseers. The Big Spring and Overall Trails are other excellent options thanks to their panoramic views.
If you love the ice and the cold, check out Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park’s classic snowmobiling trails. Five miles of trails offer riders the pleasures of snowmobiling in the winter. There are no groomed trails for skiing. But, both cross-country and skate-skiing is remarkably enjoyed by masses. Skate-skiing is available on the Root River Trail System. If you want to explore on snowshoes, you can do it anywhere in the park.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park boasts three spring-fed streams that are home to some of the best quality trout in Minnesota. If you visit Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park anytime between January to March, winter angling is a must. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod and come prepared for some of the best quality trout you have ever caught in your entire life.
If you visit in the winter, you can spend some quality time picnicking with friends or family in the park’s enclosed picnic shelters. The indoor picnic shelter is quite spacious and well-suited for group events. The shelter features some picnic tables and restrooms. Plus, the building is kept warm during the winter.