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“Nature lovers of all ages”

Quarry Hill Nature Center
Ranked #3 of 54 things to do in Rochester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy the beauty and habitat of southeastern Minnesota by hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing the meadows, flood plain and upland forests on the 5 miles of trails covering 320 acres. Park land features a former working quarry, the Rochester State Hospital Cemetary, and a 3 acre pond. The Nature Center offers interactive displays and exhibits of the area's wildlife and natural beauty including a 1,700 gallon native-fish aquarium. Public programs on Sunday's at 1:30 pm include cave tours, live animal programs and bird banding. Cross-country ski, snow shoe, and geocache rentals available.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed January 4, 2017

I love this place. I have visited it at least yearly for the last 28 years. It never fails me. The last time was days ago with my grandchildren, daughter and son in law. Opened during Christmas break. Free. Warm. Educational. Delightful. Hands on. Fun. Four rooms. Quiet. Peaceful. You can go there and do outside things too. Last year we (ages 59-14) rented cross country skis and skied on the trails. Heavenly. Well thought out. Years ago, I took classes there with my preschool daughter. Very nice teachers and reasonably priced. Sent all five of my kids to summer day camp there. Excellent systems in place for teaching a slew of kids about nature. Sign up early as spots fill quickly.

Thank Robin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (205)
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All reviews
"all ages"
in 16 reviews
"state hospital"
in 6 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 7 reviews
"great place to hike"
in 5 reviews
"cross country skiing"
in 5 reviews
"cave tour"
in 5 reviews
"live animals"
in 5 reviews
"visitor center"
in 4 reviews
"summer camp"
in 4 reviews
"snow shoes"
in 4 reviews
"great trails"
in 5 reviews
"great for kids"
in 3 reviews
"small pond"
in 3 reviews
"local wildlife"
in 3 reviews
"butterfly garden"
in 3 reviews
"year round"
in 4 reviews
"great park"
in 3 reviews
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85 - 89 of 205 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2016

This is a great area if your looking for something free to do outside. Lots of hiking trails and buildings to have a picnic. Play area for children. It is a park in the middle of town and very easy to get to. it is kept clean and mowed.

Thank DonnagirlMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2016

Staff was friendly and helpful. Loved the exhibits and looking at the turtles and snakes. My favorite was the replica of the T-Rex skull.

Thank Lindsay F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2016

If your recovery program from Mayo incudes walking, Quarry Hill is an ideal place to do it. Most trails are level with some elevation if desired and the scenery is enjoyable in this nearby getaway from Rochester.

Thank Charles B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 14, 2016

I took my kids here when they were small, and now my granddaughter. We have seen numerous displays such Dinosaur Rex. There are opportunities galore here, for all seasons. There is snow-showing, bird watching, a room filled with various animals, most of the taxidermy variety. But there is a huge fish tank, and the young ones can feed the Minnesota fish minnows. There are snakes and spiders, for real! The ground are lovely and there are many trails to travel. You could look for fossils. Staff is beyond helpful and inviting. They have day, evening, and weekend activities. Don't forget to catch the Cave tour!

Thank ruth4090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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