Monday to Saturday:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: Noon to 5 pm

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Welcome to Quarry Hill Nature Center

Quarry Hill Nature Center is located in 320-acre Quarry Hill Park, often referred to as the "Jewel" of the Rochester Park system. Year round free admission, learn more about the Nature Center features here.

Coming Events

Creatures of the Night details here.

Upcoming Programs for Adults

Historical Hike of Quarry Hill Park
October 2, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
The lands of Quarry Hill Park were once part of Rochester’s historic State Hospital grounds. Join other adults on a guided walking tour of the park to visit some of the interesting historic features that remain from a century of State Hospital use. For example did you know that there are actually two quarries in the park, that the hospital farmed over 1,000 acres and ran a soap factory that provided soap to all of Minnesota’s state hospitals. From cave, to cemetery to quarry operations – the history is rich and intriguing! We will cover about a mile and a half of up and down terrain. Participants should wear good walking shoes and be able to hike approximately one and a half miles. Hike begins at the West Entrance (9th St. NE) to Quarry Hill Park.
Please park in the west lot.
Fee: $12 person / $7 member, pre-registrations required.

An Evening for Night Owls
Oct. 17   or   Oct. 31, 8:30 – 10:30 pm
Every autumn a small north woods owl called the Saw-whet migrates south in a silent and secretive wave.  The staff at Quarry Hill is among a small group of researchers trying to capture and band these birds in the eastern US in an effort to better understand their migration.  During this evening you’ll enjoy a snack and beverage while learning more about the secretive saw-whet owl and Quarry Hill’s research.  Then we’ll travel in the Quarry Hill Critter Coach a few minutes east of town to visit the owl banding site.  There, after a 10 minute hike to the study site, we will check the nets and band any captured owls.
Fee: $20 person / $ 15 member, pre-registrations required.

Wild Caving… a Spelunking Adventure
Nov. 7, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Tired of the same old Friday night routine?  Join other adventurous adults as we explore the underground world in a private system of caves near Spring Valley.  We’ll learn all about the fascinating world of karst geology that is unique to SE Minnesota.  Belly crawling and crevassing will be optional. Helmet & headlamp will be provided.  A packing list will be distributed to registered participants. A $5/cave entrance fee will be collected the evening of the program. Quarry Hill will provide transportation to/from cave.
Fee: $45 person / $35 member, pre-registrations required.