Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park





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Minnesota DNR















3,583 acres statutory, 2,954 owned


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  Area and County
    County   Fillmore County
    Region   Southeast Minnesota


Forestville State Park
21071 County 118
Preston, MN 55965
N43 37.726, W92 13.315

Mystery Cave State Park
N43 37.057, W92 18.722



Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.



Daily park permit: $7

Annual park permit: $35



campground (PDF)

all season (PDF)

all season (GeoPDF)




Mountain biking

Horseback riding




Rock climbing and bouldering





Nature photography


Cross country skiing


Winter hiking






20 miles

Winter hiking

20 miles (ungroomed)


17 miles

Cross country skiing

No groomed ski trails


5 miles


Anywhere in park


Hunting and Fishing

Approximatyely 430 acres of the park is open to public hunting but closed to trapping.

See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.

In most cases, Minnesota residents do not need a permit to fish in Minnesota State Parks.


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification
Ecological Province Ecological Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Section Ecological Section  

Paleozoic Plateau

Ecological Subsection Ecological Subsection  

The Blufflands

Rochester Plateau

Land Type Association    

Alluvial Plain

Chester Ridge

Elba Slopes

Stewartville Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Algific Talus: Limestone Subtype

Black Ash - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Blue Beech) Seepage Swamp

Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie (Southern)

Elm - Ash - Basswood Terrace Forest

Elm - Basswood - Black Ash - (Blue Beech) Forest

Maderate Cliff: Limestone Subtype

Mesic Limestone - Dolomite Cliff (Southern)

Oak - Shagbark Hickory Woodland

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest

Seepage Meadow/Carr

Southern Dry Cliff

Southern Mesic Cliff

Southern Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forest

Sugar Maple - Basswood - Red Oak - (Blue Beech) Forest

White Pine - Oak - Sugar Maple Forest

White Pine - Sugar Maple - Basswood Forest (Cold Slope)

* Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources    

Natural Features







Visitor Photos

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Martha Decker

Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Steel Truss Bridge built in 1899

  Road near Meighen Store
Forestville State Park    
Meighen Store built in 1856 Photos
Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Park entrance

  Historic Forestville
Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Big Spring Trail

  Maple Ridge Trail
Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

River Bottoms Trail

  Sandbank Trail
Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Other trail

  Canfield Creek
Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Forestville Creek

  South Branch Root River
Forestville State Park    

Unnamed creek

Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Elm - Basswood - Black Ash - (Blue Beech) Forest – Spring

  Elm - Basswood - Black Ash - (Blue Beech) Forest – Summer
Forestville State Park   Forestville State Park

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest – Spring

Forestville State Park    






Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Brett Whaley

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Visited April 28-29, 2018. Sunny and nice during the day, was cold at night. Morning was 25 degrees.

Parts of the forested slopes had been prescribed burn last fall it appeared. Lots of things coming up but most had not started to bloom. Mid May this year would be very nice.

Mystery Cave State Park
Sharon Somero

Mystery Cave State Park

Forestville State Park
Sharon Somero

Forestville State Park

Forestville State Park
Richard Sanders

Forestville State Park

Forestville State Park

Forestville Mystery Cave State Park, Minnesota


Published on Oct 28, 2013

Favorite Sites: 2, 4, 10, 27, 29, 34, 53, 53, 59, 63



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

A Walk in the Park: Forestville/Mystery Cave
A Walk in the Park


Jun 12, 2017

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.

Shot & Edited by Michael Uss

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park virtual tour


Uploaded on Dec 28, 2009

Take a virtual tour of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park to see natural wonders above and below ground.

KSMQ Video Squad - "National Parks" - Forestville Mystery Cave


Uploaded on Oct 1, 2009

No description available.

Forestville State Park
Bradley Herreid


Published on May 11, 2012

Pictorial of Forestville State Park

Camping at Forestville Mystery Cave State Park MN


Published on Aug 23, 2013




Visitor Sightings

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George Petros



I took some nice pix this past May at good ol' Forestville (one of my favorite spots!). I have a good quality image of sweet cicely [osmorhiza claytonii] in bloom. I also found Robin Plantain [erigeron pulchellus] blooming. --New for me! Also, Star-of-Bethlehem [ornithogalum umbellatum] - a garden escapee?

Unfortunately, no Showy Orchis this trip.


Robin Plantain [erigeron pulchellus]

Star-of-Bethlehem [ornithogalum umbellatum]

sweet cicely [osmorhiza claytonii] Sightings





Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List

boreal chorus frog (Pseudacris maculata)   boreal chorus frog


Eleven bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:


Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Special Concern

Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)

Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii)

Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)

Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)

Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammospiza nelsoni)

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Birds List

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)


American Robin

Blue Jay

Dark-eyed Junco


Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

White-breasted Nuthatch


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fungi List

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

  Black Knot

Insects and Arachnids

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Insects List

cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

common green darner (Anax junius)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

Leconte’s haploa (Haploa lecontei)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

  common green darner


Three mammal species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus)

tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus)

western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Mammals List

American beaver (Castor canadensis)

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

coyote (Canis latrans)

eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius)d

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

woodchuck (Marmota monax)


American red squirrel

eastern gray squirrel


Twenty plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:


butternut (Juglans cinerea)


glade mallow (Napaea dioica)

great Indian plantain (Arnoglossum reniforme)

James’ sedge (Carex jamesii)

largebract ticktrefoil (Desmodium cuspidatum var. longifolium)

smooth-sheathed sedge (Carex laevivaginata)

snowy campion (Silene nivea)

Special Concern

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

Goldie’s woodfern (Dryopteris goldiana)

green dragon (Arisaema dracontium)

large-fruited black snakeroot (Sanicula trifoliata)

nodding wild onion (Allium cernuum var. cernuum)

northern oak fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum)

rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium var. yuccifolium)

silver false spleenwort (Deparia acrostichoides)

squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis)

twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla)

white wild indigo (Baptisia alba var. macrophylla)

Wood’s sedge (Carex woodii)

yellow pimpernel (Taenidia integerrima)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List

Plants frequently found in:

Algific Talus: Limestone Subtype CTs46a1

Black Ash - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Blue Beech) Seepage Swamp WFs57b

Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie (Southern) UPs13c

Elm - Ash - Basswood Terrace Forest FFs59c

Elm - Basswood - Black Ash - (Blue Beech) Forest MHs49b

Maderate Cliff: Limestone Subtype CTs43a1

Mesic Limestone - Dolomite Cliff (Southern) CTs33b

Oak - Shagbark Hickory Woodland FDs38a

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest MHs38c

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest MHs37b

Seepage Meadow/Carr WMs83a1

Southern Dry Cliff CTs12

Southern Mesic Cliff CTs33

Southern Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forest MHs49

Sugar Maple - Basswood - Red Oak - (Blue Beech) Forest MHs39b

White Pine - Oak - Sugar Maple Forest MHs38a

White Pine - Sugar Maple - Basswood Forest (Cold Slope) MHc38a



alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. americanum)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American plum (Prunus americana)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis)

Aunt Lucy (Ellisia nyctelea)

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black maple (Acer saccharum ssp. nigrum)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

blue beech (Carpinus caroliniana ssp. virginiana)

blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Blue Ridge carrionflower (Smilax lasioneura)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bristly buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorum)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemonastrum canadense)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common plantain (Plantago major)

cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

cut-leaved coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata)

cut-leaved toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)

dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis ssp. matronalis)

downy phlox (Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida)

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix)

eastern false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

field thistle (Cirsium discolor)

garden yellowrocket (Barbarea vulgaris)

garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

Illinois carrion flower (Smilax illinoensis)

interrupted fern (Claytosmunda claytoniana)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

lowland hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. comosa)

marsh blue violet (Viola cucullata)

marsh hedge nettle (Stachys palustris)

May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum)

northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra var. glabra)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Hylodesmum glutinosum)

poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus var. strigosus)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium var. yuccifolium)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba)

shining bedstraw (Galium concinnum)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

violets (Viola section Chamaemelanium subsection Nudicaules)

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia spring beauty (Claytonia virginica var. virginica)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

white avens (Geum canadense)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white prairie clover (Dalea candida)

white trout lily (Erythronium albidum)

white wild indigo (Baptisia alba var. macrophylla)

white-flowered leafcup (Polymnia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

Wood’s sedge (Carex woodii)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)

yellow trout lily (Erythronium americanum ssp. americanum)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)


Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer saccharum ssp. nigrum (black maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Aesculus glabra var. glabra (Ohio buckeye)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

Allium tricoccum (wild leek)

Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed)

Amphicarpaea bracteata var. comosa (lowland hog peanut)

Anemone acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica)

Anemonastrum canadense (Canada anemone)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum (northern lady fern)

Baptisia alba var. macrophylla (white wild indigo)

Barbarea vulgaris (garden yellowrocket)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)

Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Carex woodii (Wood’s sedge)

Carpinus caroliniana ssp. virginiana (blue beech)

Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Cirsium discolor (field thistle)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Claytonia virginica var. virginica (Virginia spring beauty)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Dalea candida (white prairie clover)

Dicentra canadensis (squirrel corn)

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s breeches)

Ellisia nyctelea (Aunt Lucy)

Elymus hystrix (eastern bottlebrush grass)

Enemion biternatum (eastern false rue anemone)

Erigeron strigosus var. strigosus (prairie fleabane)

Eryngium yuccifolium var. yuccifolium (rattlesnake master)

Erythronium albidum (white trout lily)

Erythronium americanum ssp. americanum (yellow trout lily)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium concinnum (shining bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Heracleum maximum (American cow parsnip)

Hesperis matronalis ssp. matronalis (dame’s rocket)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Hylodesmum glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca (common motherwort)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Claytosmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)

Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida (downy phlox)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Plantago major (common plantain)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Podophyllum peltatum (May-apple)

Polymnia canadensis (white-flowered leafcup)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorum (bristly buttercup)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Ribes missouriense (Missouri gooseberry)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata (cut-leaved coneflower)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Silphium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum (cup plant)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Smilax illinoensis (Illinois carrion flower)

Smilax lasioneura (Blue Ridge carrionflower)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Stachys palustris (marsh hedge nettle)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Trillium grandiflorum (large-flowered trillium)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis (American stinging nettle)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American highbush cranberry)

Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)

Viola section Chamaemelanium subsection Nudicaules (violets)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)


alsike clover

American cow parsnip

black cherry

black raspberry

black-eyed susan

bur oak (var. macrocarpa)

Canadian woodnettle

common blue violet

common mullein

cut-leaved toothwort

downy phlox

Dutchman’s breeches

early meadow-rue

field thistle

ground ivy

interrupted fern


northern prickly ash

poke milkweed

purple meadow-rue

rattlesnake master

red baneberry

red clover

spreading dogbane

violet (Viola section Chamaemelanium subsection Nudicaules)

upright carrionflower

Virginia Bluebell

white prairie clover

white wild indigo

wild geranium

wild parsnip

yellow marsh marigold


One reptile species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:


timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List







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