Geology

Blue Mounds State Park, near Luverne

Calumet

Region: Northwest
Hill Annex Mine
880 Gary Street
Calumet, MN 55716
Contact: Steve Railson
Phone: (218) 247-7215
E-mail: steve.railson@dnr.state.mn.us
Website: www.mnstateparks.info
Tour Focus: Three separate tours: 10am fossil tour hunting at the Cretaceous Ore Pile for ocean critters; 12:30pm mine tour learning about the open pit mine's operation area and the people who worked in the mine; 3pm boat tour floating above the Hill Annex Mine and hear about the ore and the pit.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: $9/adults, $6/children 5-12, group discounts are available
Availability: Tour season runs from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day Weekend; also available by appointment; Clubhouse Museum open Wed-Sun 9am-5pm.
Tour Guide: guided tours

Calumet

Region: Northeast
Hill Annex Mine State Park
PO Box 376
Calumet, MN 55716
Contact: Steve Railson
Phone: (218) 247-7215
Fax: (218) 247-7449
E-mail: Steve.railson@dnr.state.mn.us
Website: www.stateparks.info
Tour Focus: Visit the world's largest open pit, our natural iron ore mine.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: $10.00 adult, $6 children ages 5-12, free for children under age 5
Availability: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Tours offered Wednesday through Sunday. 10am Fossil Hunt, 12:30pm Historic Bus Tour, 3pm Pontoon Boat Tour, Museum/Gift shop open daily 9am-5:30pm. Call for group tour reservations.
Tour Guide: Costumed interpreters

Chisholm

Region: Northeast
Minnesota Museum of Mining
PO Box 271
Chisholm, MN 55719
Contact: Carol Borich
Phone: (218) 254-2179
E-mail: cjborich@yahoo.com
Tour Focus: Our outside tour is of old mining equipment and 3 buildings with mining artifacts. You may also tour a building of a model train exhibit.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 100 maximum
Cost: $5/adults, $4.50/seniors, $2/school children
Availability: by appointment from mid-May to mid-Sept
Tour Guide: Museum volunteers, directors of the museum

Comfrey

Region: Southern
Jeffers Petroglyphs
27160 County Rd 2
Comfrey, MN 56019
Contact: Tom Sanders
Phone: (507) 628-5591or (888) 727-8386
Fax: (507) 628-5593
E-mail: jefferspetroglyphs@mnhs.org
Website: www.mnhs.org/jefferspetroglyphs
Tour Focus: Carved records of ancient life were left on these islands of exposed rock nearly 5,000 years ago recording important events, sacred ceremonies, and emphasizing the importance of animals and hunting.
Adult 2 hour group tours include: Introduction and multi-media presentation, Atalatl Range, prairie walk, tour of the carvings. Additional programs can be added depending on time available.
Field trips include: Introduction and multi-media presentation, packing a travois, hunting a bison, winter count, prairie walk, and viewing the carvings. Additional or alternate programs are offered by request. Options include: Archaeology, artifact I.D., and cordage. If a visit exceeds 3 hours, an additional fee is required. The basic tour option is 2 hours in length. Extra time needed for the gift shop or lunch.
Appropriate for 3rd grade and up, chaperones needed for every 10 students, pre/post visit materials provided. Reservations required or fill out our online field trip request.
Teacher Materials: Available upon request.
Group size: 45 preferred, 90 max. Call ahead for group reservations and sign language interpreters. Handicapped accessible.
Cost: $6/adults, $5/seniors and college students with ID, $4/children 6-17, $4/group rate.
Tour guide: Site staff
Availability: Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day: Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 12pm-5pm; Oct- Apr  by appointment.

Harmony

Region: Southern
Niagara Cave
29842 Country Rd 30
P.O. Box 444
Harmony, MN 55939
Phone: (800) 837-6606
Fax: (507) 886-0606
E-mail: Niagara@harmonytel.net
Website: www.niagaracave.com
Tour Focus: Enjoy this one hour guided tour of one of the top ten rated caves in the United States. A one mile underground walk features a 60 foot waterfall, stalactites, stalagmites, fossils, a wedding chapel and much more!
Group Size: 15 minimum, 500 maximum
Cost: varies by age, $6-$8.50/person
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: trained guides

Hibbing

Region: Northeast
Hull Rust Mine View
3rd Avenue East, Old North Hibbing
Hibbing, MN 55746
Phone: (218) 262-4900
E-mail: t.citizens@mchsi.com
Tour Focus: Tour the world's largest iron ore open pit mine. Souvenirs and handcrafted items for are available for sale.
Group Size: no maximum, no minimum
Cost: free
Availability: May 15-Sept 30, 9am-5pm
Tour Guide: Self-guided tours with volunteers on hand for mining and area information.

Moose Lake

Region: Northeast
Moose Lake State Park Agate/Geological Interpretive Center
4252 County Rd 137
Moose Lake, MN 55767
Phone: (218) 485-5420
Website: www.superiortrails.com/duluth-agate.html
Tour Focus: In addition to the agate and geological display, there is a nature store/bookstore and the usual state park visitor center facilities. There are hundreds of agates, gemstones, and rocks on display plus interesting exhibits on the geological history of the region. The agate collectors "Wall of Fame" shows some amateur collectors and their finds. Although we enjoy combing Lake Superior beaches in hopes of finding an agate, many collectors find scrounging around old (or new) rock quarries more productive. In Minnesota, the geological formations that contain Lake Superior agates stretch far from the current shoreline of Big Gitche Gumee. There is a nice general exhibit of Minnesota and Lake Superior rock types as well as information of their origins.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: Free with state park pass, otherwise modest admission fee
Availability: year-round, though hours vary slightly so call in advance if visiting the Agate/Geological Interpretive Center
Tour Guide: self-guided

Pipestone

Region: Southern
Pipestone National Monument
36 Reservation Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164
Contact: Curt Frain
Phone: (507) 825-5464
Fax: (507) 825-5466
Website: www.nps.gov/pipe/planyourvisit/
Tour Focus: Introductory and interpretative film on quarry history and geology. Local American Indians demonstrate pipe making throughout the summer months in the Upper Midwest Indian Cultural Center located in the visitor center. From personal experience and traditions they'll share how they extract and carve the red stone used in ceremonial pipes.
Group Size: No minimum, no maximum. Call in advance to reserve.
Cost: Motorcoach and passengers: $100 flat rate.
Individual visits: $3/16 yrs+, free for 15 and under, American Indians, and those with the America The Beautiful National & Federal Recreation Lands Pass.
Availability: Visitor Center open daily 8am-5pm; Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Tour Guide: Self-guided. Interpretive trail guide booklet available. Can request a park guide in advance.

Preston

Region: Southern
Forestville State Park Mystery Cave
21071 County 12
Preston, MN 55965
Phone: (507) 937-3251
Website: www.dnr.state.mn.us
Tour Focus: 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. The temperature stays at a constant 48 degrees Fahrenheit.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: Adults 13 and over $10/person, $6/children 5-12, children under age 5 are free. Also, a state park vehicle permit is required. Cost is either $5 for a daily permit or $25 for an annual permit.
Availability: Memorial Day Weekend-end of October. Group tours are also available in spring and fall by special arrangement with the park.
Tour Guide: Park Naturalists

Soudan

Region: Northeast
Soudan Underground Mine State Park
P.O. Box 335
1379 Stuntz Bay Road
Soudan, MN 55732
Contact: James Pointer
Phone: (218) 753-2245
Fax: (218) 753-2246
E-mail: soudanmine@dnr.state.mn.us
Website: www.mndnr.gov/soudan
Tour Focus: The underground mine tour leads visitors through the world of underground mining. Visitors don hard hats and enter a "cage" for the descent into the mine. The 1.5 hour mine tour will take you half a mile down into the earth. Once underground you will be treated to a ¾ mile train ride to the last and deepest area mined. The mine is 50 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, so remember to bring a warm jacket or sweater and sturdy shoes.
Group Size: 10 minimum, no maximum
Cost: call for details
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: experienced staff and former miners, educators, and interpreters