Thursday, June 22, 2017

Minnesota Driftless

Mystery Cave
We've been exploring a few of Minnesota's State Parks. Recently we camped at Forestville Mystery Cave State Park. A unique park with an abandoned town missed by the railroad and Minnesota's largest cave.

Mystery Cave is located about 5 miles from the campground. We took a break from the summer heat and went cave exploring on the Scenic Tour. Lots of different tours for those that like spelunking to photos.

Entrance to Cave

The cave floods periodically so the big heavy doors are necessary to keep debris from filling it back up. The top slit is for the bats to come and go.

Art work

They had appropriated dollars for artwork on their visitor center. Bats were the theme.

Art installation

White Nose Syndrome has reached Mystery Cave.  It disturbs the bats hibernation so they are weakened and die before their food sources are available. We were disinfected before and after the tour so as not to spread it. Maybe 25% of the population will survive.

Forgotten Forestville

We didn't tour the forgotten town but it look like fun things for kids and lots of history.

Deep Sinkhole

The naturalist programs at the park included a Sink Hole hike at Cherry Grove SNA.

The Karst topography is one of the things that makes the driftless area unique. Sinkholes and caves are common because the glaciers did not cover the landscape filling in the with drift and rubble.

Periodically sinkholes just appear as the water seeps through the limestone below dissolving the foundation. This creates caves, springs and just plain big holes in the ground that seam to go nowhere.

We also learned about Squirrels, from Grey Squirrels, Flying Squirrels and my favorite Chipmunks or ground squirrels.

A little know fact the Minnesota Gophers team mascot if actually a squirrel.

Go Squirrels!

1 comment:

  1. Oh a cave sounds really good right now as it's 95 degrees at 8:30 in the morning! Caves are fascinating and I've never been to this one. It's a shame about the white nose syndrome and the damage it causes. Every time I hear the term I envision a bunch of little bats cutting lines of cocaine and snorting...maybe that's what's really happening, eh?