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Caving in the Cities

Date: 08/04/2014

Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center

Cost: $125


This one-day immersion is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.


The Twin Cities are home to numerous natural and man-made caves, and this immersion will begin with an introduction to how natural caves are formed and why artificial underground spaces were created. We'll then board a coach for a narrated tour of some Metro-area caves, as featured in the instructor's book, Subterranean Twin Cities. 

The first stop will be Mill Ruins Park on the west side of Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis. From there, we'll follow the Mississippi River gorge to focus on the stories those caves have to tell and also see the largest springs of water pouring from the earth into the city.

Traveling down river, we'll pass the largest sinkhole in the Metro area (located near the large natural sandstone cave) and continue into St. Paul, where a subterranean stream still runs under the Lowertown area. We'll disembark for a picnic lunch at Indian Mounds Regional Park and then trek a quarter-mile to Carver's Cave, which was once known as Waukon Teebee or "The Dwelling of the Great Spirit." We also will tour Mushroom Valley and its 50 cave entrances.

Our final stop will be Miles Cave in Hastings, where we will hear about the earliest inhabitants of the Twin Cities and a cave that was excavated by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Participants should be physically fit, agile, and able to walk along bluffs. To go beyond the caves' entrance rooms (optional), involves crawling on hands and knees and dampness may be encountered. Participants should bring: old clothes, hiking boots, gloves, kneepads (optional), helmet, and flashlight or headlamp (preferred).

Recommended: Greg Brick, Subterranean Twin Cities (University of Minnesota Press, 2009). Tuition includes transportation, meals, and refreshments.

Greg Brick, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, is a former consulting firm hydrogeologist who currently teaches geology at Twin Cities' colleges. He has published more than 100 articles about caves and was the recipient of the 2005 National Speleological Society Award in Cave History. He is the author of Iowa Underground: A Guide to the State's Subterranean Treasures (Trail Books, 2004) and Subterranean Twin Cities (University of Minnesota Press, 2009). Brick's work has been featured in National Geographic Adventure magazine as well as on the History Channel. 


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LearningLife is a program of the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education. Established in 1913, the College provides high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.


  • Name: College of Continuing Education Information Center
  • E-mail: cceinfo@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-4000
  • Sponsored by: College of Continuing Education

More information: http://z.umn.edu/ld1

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at cceinfo@umn.edu.

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