Quarry Park & Nature Reserve
Parking Permit Required $5.00 daily, $20.00 annually
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- Bluff Lands
- Granite Quarries
- Oak Forest
- Oak Woodland
- Rock Outcroppings
- Swimming Quarry
- Wet Meadow
- Wet Prairie
This 643-acre regional, county owned park is located along County Road 137 and Seventh Street South. The park features oak woodland, oak forest, wet meadow, wet prairie, bluff lands, rock outcroppings and granite quarries. A Scientific Nature Program acquired a conservation easement from Stearns County to permanently protect this site. Red Shouldered Hawk, which are listed as a special concern in Minnesota, nest within Quarry Park. Plant life includes everything from oaks and aspens to yellow lady slippers, Indian paintbrush, prickly pear cactus and the tubercled rein orchid.
According to the Stearns County website, "Quarry Park and Nature Preserve", formerly known as "Hundred Acres Quarry", is a recent addition to the Stearns County Parks System. 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 the site from Cold Spring Granite Company and added the land to its County Park System. The park opened on January 1, 1998."
Man Made Features
Man-made features include sizable hills composed of quarried rock remnants (grout piles) and 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 the park.
Hours & Permit Requirements
The park is open between 8 a.m. and one-half hour before sunset.
A county parking permit is required to park within Quarry Park.
Daily Permit $5.00
Annual Permit $20.00
No alcohol, tobacco or e-cigarettes are allowed in the park.