Quarry Park & Nature Preserve
Quarry Park is the most unique county park in the United States. It features:
¦Granite reflecting pools
¦A swimming hole 112 feet deep
¦Scientific and Natural Areas
¦Mountain bike paths over billion-year-old bedrock
Quarry park currently contains 684 acres, it has much to offer for those who love the outdoors.
View Trail length maps: Opens 3.5MB PDF File.
Natural features include:
¦Un-quarried bedrock areas.
Plant life in Quarry Park (PDF)
Birds of Quarry Park (PDF)
Man-made features include:
¦Sizable hills composed of quarried rock remnants (grout piles)
¦30 granite quarries, most of which are now filled with water and form picturesque rock-fringed ponds.
The State of Minnesota has been a major partner in the establishment and improvement of this park.
¦Quarry Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset.
¦The Park is open until 11:00PM during cross-country skiing season. (After a snow fall of 4
or more inches.)
¦The Park is open year-round.
¦A county vehicle parking permit is required at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve.
¦The revenues generated from the fees are used to maintain park facilities.
Daily permits: $4.00, Annual permits: $14.00
Buy an annual permit online!
¦Can be purchased at the gatehouse self-service box at any time.
¦From the Stearns County Parks Department.
¦From both the Stearns County License Center offices
In 2006 the Stearns County Board approved access to four quarries for public Scuba Diving.
¦All divers must be certified divers and dive with a buddy.
¦Each diver will have to sign a permit and sign a liability waiver.
¦Divers must show a current certification card and picture ID.
¦The permit is free and valid for the calendar year.
¦All vehicles in Quarry Park must have a valid parking permit.
¦There are various underwater hazards.
¦Diving is done at the divers own risk.
Scuba Diving Guidelines (627 kb PDF)
In 2005, the Stearns County Board authorized public rock climbing at Quarry Park.
Rock Climbing Facts
¦Climbers must have an appropriate Rock Climbing Permit.
¦The wall of Quarry 17 is the area designated for climbing.
¦About 17 mapped routes have been identified and graded by local climbers for difficulty.
¦A bouldering area is found just south of Quarry 20.
¦The Rock Climbing Permits allows the climber in to "restricted areas."
¦All people within the restricted areas must have a climbing permit.
¦The permit is free and valid for the calendar year.
¦All vehicles must have a vehicle parking permit.
Rock Climbing Guidelines (260 kb pdf)
Skiing: Ski Patrol season for 2011 is over. Please sign up in October, 2011 for the 2011-2012 ski season. Thank you to all our volunteers!
Great News! Now you can sign up for Ski Patrol ONLINE! It's super easy! Just click the link to the left and sign up for the 2010-2011 ski season. If you want additional help, here's a link to the helpful instructions. Have fun skiing this winter and thank you for volunteering.
Ski Trail Facts
¦Trails at Quarry Park are easy enough for beginners.
¦There is a 3.5KM skating trail on the perimeter of the park.
¦Two traditional ski trails in the interior which are 3.1KM.
¦The ski lights are turned on as soon as the first grooming occurs. (After 4-6" of snow.)
¦The Park is patrolled and parking permits are required, ($4 per car).
¦No ski permit is required
Buy a Quarry Park Permit Online
Quarry Park Eco-Walk Brochure
Abridged Park Rules
Granite Country USA
Maps, Photos, & Video
Map: Quarry Park and Nature Preserve Interactive Map
Map: Site maps of Quarry Park:Winter (103 Kb PDF file) or Summer (116 Kb PDF file).
Map: Interactive map of Stearns County with Parks and Amenities.
Map: For contour maps of the individual quarries, see list in directory (to the left).
Photo Gallery: Quarry Park in Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and the Liberty Derrick photo slideshow.
Video: A Park for All Seasons
Video: Liberty Derrick
Video: Winter sports in Granite Country
From Highway 23 in Waite Park, turn south onto 10th Avenue (you'll pass Menards and Bernick's Pepsi). Turn right at the stop sign, onto 7th Street South / County Road 137.
Quarry Park and Nature Preserve is 7/10 mile from that intersection.
Current & Future Development
The park today represents only the first phase of a multi-phase development plan for Quarry Park.
Current Uses Future Uses
Diagonal stride cross-country skiing Interpretive Center
4.3 miles of lighted ski trail Granite industry interpretive exhibits
Instructional scuba diving* Additional swimming quarry
Public scuba diving (permit required) Group camp
Swimming in Melrose Deep Seven Quarry Amphitheater
Skate cross-country skiing
Rock Climbing (permit required)
* You need to provide proof of insurance to provide scuba diving instruction in Quarry Park
Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, formerly known as "Hundred Acres Quarry," is a great addition to the Stearns County Parks System.
Granite - formed by intense heat within the earth - was the foundation of a major Minnesota industry. The first granite quarry in Central Minnesota was opened in 1863 by two Scotsmen. In the 130 years to follow, Central Minnesota granite became an international commodity gracing buildings as far away as Singapore.
About 100 years ago, a type of stone known as Saint Cloud Red Granite was quarried from land which is now part of the park. The Landmark Center and the James J. Hill House in St. Paul, Minnesota both contain Saint Cloud Red Granite in their structures.
Though private ownership of the land by local quarry companies continued until 1992, quarrying operations in the present park area ceased in the mid-1950's. Companies operating quarries on the site during this period were Holes Bros., Delano Granite, Melrose Granite Co., Empire Quarry Co., and C. L. Atwood.
Over the years, the land gradually reverted back to a more natural state. In 1992, Stearns County purchased this site from Cold Spring Granite Company and added the land to its County Park System. The park opened on January 1, 1998.