There’s a unique county in Minnesota that doesn’t have a single lake but makes up for it with some pretty amazing stuff.

The geography of the areas is what is called karst. The DNR highlighted the county today as part of Natural Rock Day. Karst geography is basically a porous landscape that can’t hold surface water. The area is mostly porous limestone, which causes water to form springs and caves and not lakes.

Fillmore County is located in Southeastern Minnesota and it’s home to the Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

fillmore county
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The park is operated and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. It features a cave that has over 13 miles of passageways.

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR
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The park offers tours that are on cement trails and walkways. Visitors are able to see some of the fantastic rock formations. The water that comes into the cave through the porous rock actually brings rock into the cave. It's called flowstone, and it's pretty remarkable.

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR
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The cave was discovered in 1937 and it's the longest cave in Minnesota. They offer a variety of tours.  A scenic tour is about an hour long and costs $15 for adults. Kids 5-12 are $10. This tour has state-of-the-art trails and handrails.

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR
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Other tour options include the lantern tour which is more advanced and rugged. The only light is by lantern, and kids under 8 are not allowed.

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR
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There is also a wild cave tour where you are required to wear pads and a helmet. It looks pretty intense!

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wild
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They even have longer tours that can go as long as 4-6 hours for educational groups. They recommend for any of the tours that people dress warm, as the temperature is 48 degrees year-round. Tours are available from late May-Late October. You are recommended to make a reservation ahead of time, but walk-up tours are allowed if not full.

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The Mystery Cave State Park also has a limited amount of overnight staying options. 5 camper cabins are available to rent. As you can imagine, they book fast.

The Forestville Village is an awesome restored 19th-century village. The village has actors and buildings from the time period that make you feel like you've stepped back in to the mid 1800s.

Minnesota DNR
Minnesota DNR
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This place is definitely on my bucket list to bring the family to as soon as possible. It looks like a fantastic and educational time. Here's a couple of videos to check out that can give you a taste of what you'll experience.

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