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Mystery Cave Tour

Chris and I decided that we needed more adventure, and hiking is something that we love to use as a form of self care and exercise, since being in Southeast Minnesota and living in a city, the "hiking" nearby has been more flat, short, walks than the hikes we are used to back on the west coast, so we searched for something more adventurous and found the Mystery Cave Tours.

Mystery Cave was first discovered in 1937, and is the longest cave, at 13 miles of underground passages. Each tour takes you underground through different areas of the cave and highlights the caves natural features and structures like stalactites, stalagmites, fossils, and beautiful underground pools as your tour guide explains how the caves were formed, how they were found, and when the tours started.

We reserved our tickets online the day of the tour, though they recommend booking in advance.

We checked in starting at the Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park Building where the tour guide led a caravan of us down to the true location of Mystery Cave. We parked in a clearing and the tour guide explained how the tour would go, and led us down a path to a locked building filled with lanterns for us to use.

After our safety brief and obtaining our lanterns we made our way down a thin staircase down into the cave where the temperature changed and we were told the cave maintains a temperature of 48F degrees year round.

In the photo above you can see the cave structure from the beginning of our tour. These caves were formed by underground rivers carving the caverns over hundreds of thousand of years.

Inside the cave we found multiple fossils, areas where water still manages to seep through the ceilings of the cave, as well as incredible rock formations beneath the surface that we would have never know existed if we hadn't done this underground tour.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was seeing the underground pools, as you can see in the photos the stalagmites protruding from the ground were made from deposits in the water dripping from the ceiling into the pool and creating a mound overtime. These same deposits include calcium that cause the pool to portray a blue color.

We also saw a man made pool that was created to catch a natural water drip from the ceiling, and keep it contained for a closer viewing. A continuous drip from this tall ceiling in the cave makes a beautiful sound as it hit the water in this small pool. This particular pool reminds me of The Fountain of Youth from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

We had a blast exploring the underground caves, and look forward to more hidden adventures like this one. Be sure to listen to your tour guide to keep, you, and your tour partners safe, as well as the integrity of the cave structures and the animals in the area.

Our tour guide made sure that everyone who attended the tour exited using the special foot mats that clean the bottoms of shoes as to not carry the fungal disease White-nose syndrome that can kill the local bat population.


Do you know of any hidden caves that you can tour in your area?

Share with us by leaving a comment below!


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I absolutely love traveling. From seeing new places, experiencing each place's unique culture, the food, the fun. This blog allows me to share that with you through my writing and my photography.

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