Quarry Park and Nature Preserve

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, Waite Park: Hours, Address, Quarry Park and Nature Preserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Parks
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8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
71 reviews
Excellent
50
Very good
15
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Audry K
Dallas, TX262 contributions
Family
I'd read in a travel article about the top 10 hidden swimming holes in the US. Being a swimmer and adventure lover, I was thrilled to find that "Quarry Pool" was on our route. It was a bit difficult to find due to road construction nearby, but I am so glad that we found it. It is a half-mile walk down a dirt trail through the woods and across a bridge to get to the swimming hole. Once you are there, you may enter the water from a nicely constructed floating dock right at the end of the trail, OR you can be adventurous (and a rule-breaker) like me and go cliff-jumping! Yes, I admit that the sign said "No Jumping Except Off Dock" but seeing the cliff hooked me. It was a short walk around to the opposite side of the pool to get to the cliff line. There are varying heights (7, 15, 20, and the highest 32-foot) of jumping points, so I went for the tallest one. There were quite a few high school and college students at the pool hanging out and jumping, but it was not a problem because the pool has plenty of room. It is an abandoned quarry, so the cliffs drop right off, making for a safe jump into the 120-foot deep water. What a refreshing adventure!
Written August 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RileyRants
Minneapolis, MN1,072 contributions
Couples
Once I saw that Quarry Park is the most unique county park in the United States I knew the dogs and the husband had to go there with me.

The park features:

*Granite reflecting pools
*A swimming hole 112 feet deep
*Scientific and Natural Areas
*Mountain bike paths over billion-year-old bedrock
*Trout fishing
*Quarry park currently contains 684 acres, it has much to offer for those who love the outdoors.

The trails were really easy to walk and only the overlook was too narrow and steep for my taste. My husband trekked up and talked with the field trip group up there and then we continued our walk and the kids got to take photos of the dogs and talk to us from their perch high about on the granite.

There are lots of different sites to see while wandering through. Natural features include:
*Scenic woodlands
*Open prairie
*Wetlands
*Un-quarried bedrock areas

The park is a walking and biking adventure, no motorized vehicles are allowed. A parking lot at the entrance charges $4 per day or $14 for an annual pass. This is definitely a It is kind of a risk adventure recreation site and you should consider yourself on your own. There are spots for Scuba diving and rock climbing is allowed at designated quarries with permits and liability waivers.

We were there on a weekday in Autumn and it was fairly empty. I would imagine summer is crazy busy so plan accordingly.

We will definitely go back for another visit.
Written November 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maia D
7 contributions
I live in St. Cloud so I go here all the time with friends or just by myself with a book. The thing to keep in mind is that there are two quarries to swim in. Quarry 11 has a beach and is more for families while Quarry 2 just has rocks to lay on along the side and high cliffs to jump off of. Parking is $5 but you can get an annual pass for $20.
Written June 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chelsey J
2 contributions
Couples
My boyfriend and I traveled all the way from Sioux Falls. Upon arriving, driving 4 hours, I had called to see if we could bring dogs. During an amazing informational conversation, not once was it mentioned that you cant bring dogs into areas where the swimming queeries were present. So we drove all the way, super excited about this place to find out that its not really all that dog friendly. So we drove all the way back after walking around for two hours. It really was a bummer.
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nancy F
Minneapolis, MN1,782 contributions
Couples
We went to this park last summer. There are no life guards. It just didn't seem real kid friendly. Last we heard that two weeks after we were there someone had died jumping from one of the high rocks. Yes, this has been there for many years but it just wasn't our thing to do. No, we won't go back
Written March 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Theresa
Pueblo, CO74 contributions
Friends
First, I would be really weary of bringing anyone who isn't a very strong swimmer as the swimming holes are a hundred feet deep. However, floats are welcome, some college kids bring air mattresses even to lay on. Also, there are not any life guards, jumping off the granite walls is at your own risk. The walk around the holes is uneven and can get muddy and slippery.

Super fun place to hangout on a sunny day, but beware of the risks!
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

amorace
Minneapolis, MN842 contributions
Family
Jumping off the granite walls is outstanding. What a great day trip to swim at this place. Based on what I see, there are probably different crowds at different times of the day. We were there on a Sunday evening and it was loaded with young people and sometimes the language that comes with it. (not a big deal, just not a family crowd) My son has been there on a weekday afternoon, and he said there were many families there with young kids having picnics and swimming. Absolutely worth checking out.

There is a 1/2 to 3/4 mile walk to the swimming area. I would go down the path that is behind the small picnic shelter. it is the closest way... just stay strait until you see it on your right.

nice walk, granite benches along the way. besides the swimming it is some cool history and piles of granite from mining.

The granite pit very deep.. like sheer wall deep right at the edge, but there are many ways to enter the water.. you don't have to jump from a cliff face. you can use the ladder at the dock, or many granite areas where it is right at water level. many people hanging out and floating in tubes.
Written July 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Travis R
Minnesota21 contributions
Great for nature walkers and those that are new to the St. Cloud Area to see why St. Cloud is considered Granite City. Besides nature views you also get some historic views.
Written July 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

squatchmeb
Saint Cloud, MN38 contributions
Solo
Great place to spend an afternoon.

Trails wind around abandoned quarries, one that you can swim in.

Quarrying equipment to look at and posted explanations.

Geocaches and earthcaches for those so inclined.

Deer, and other critters....

Trails are on the easy walking variety.

Nearby Natural Scientific Area.

Lots and lots of granite.

Fun.
Written August 31, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gljohnson2
Minneapolis, MN23 contributions
Our family of five took a rather impromptu trip to Quarry Park. Having been to the St. Cloud area on multiple occasions, the park was previously unknown to me until a friend recommended checking it out.

As has been noted by others, a daylong parking permit is $5 -- well worth it in my opinion. The pictures showcased on this website do not do the scenery justice in my opinion. I'm still trying to figure out how all of the water got into the various quarries in the park, but it is nearly crystal clear and clean. You are able to swim in two of the quarries. My family ventured to Quarry 11 since it has a small beach.

The path that is designated for both walking and biking is not paved anywhere, so if you're expecting a full-on, asphalt path, you will be disappointed when all you experience is crushed rock, mowed grass, or not-too-mucky mud in some places. If you're looking for some solid exercise, the outer path is probably three miles around, although you can cut through the middle in several places to divert back towards the parking lot.

All in all, the park exceeded my expectations. Bring sun screen and bug spray if you go in the summer months as the mosquitos and horse flies can be a bit strong. Wear comfortable shoes or hiking boots that you can walk in. And be prepared to learn a thing or two while you're in the park too.
Written June 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Quarry Park and Nature Preserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM


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