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.
They had appropriated dollars for artwork on their visitor center. Bats were the theme.
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.
We didn't tour the forgotten town but it look like fun things for kids and lots of history.
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.