We hiked Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park on June 25th, 2022.
After a morning of rain, the sun began to shine as we started our hike. We hiked the Maple Ridge Trail Loop and part of the Big Spring Trail.
Forestville Creek and South Bend Root River ran parallel with the trail at times.
The Hackberry Emperor butterflies were in season and they were everywhere! They are very social butterflies. Several hitched a ride on us for over a mile.
Hundreds of the Hackberry Emperor butterflies covered the ground near the creek.
A beautiful Tiger Swallowtail joined in the fun as well.
And let’s not forget our mushroom friends. Pretty sure they were enjoying the humid weather.
Our hiking adventure was 3.7 miles.
Our next stop…the Mystery Cave.
We opted for the hour-long scenic tour of the cave. The Minnesota DNR Officer who led the tour did an excellent job explaining the caves ecosystem. We enjoyed learning about the Minnesota DNR’s thoughts on the Mystery Cave which is conservation over exploration.
This is a brief explanation of the following photos. Stalactites form from water dripping from the ceiling. Stalagmites form from the ground upwards. When the stalactites and stalagmites meet, it is called a pillar or column. Flowstone is when water drips down the walls of the cave.
A fossil on the wall of the cave.
The tour ends at a breathtaking turquoise lake.
Check out the Mystery Cave if you are ever in Preston Minnesota.