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Niagara Cave adds a maximum feature

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

Left to right: Jennifer, Mark, Aaron and Ryan Bishop stand in front of the new mini golf course at Niagara Cave. Photo by Barb Jeffers

Niagara Cave in Harmony, Minn. has added something new and fun to its list of available activities. Owners Mark and Jennifer Bishop, along with their sons, Aaron and Ryan, are proud to announce the opening of a miniature golf course at Niagara Cave.

The idea for a mini golf course was thought of for many years and last Winter the decision was made to go ahead and build it in the Spring of 2013. Mark and Jennifer checked with different mini-golf course builders to see what each had to offer for options and prices and the decision was made to have Miniature Golf Construction Co., LLC of Neenah, Wis. construct the miniature golf course at Niagara Cave.

Mark Bishop stated that Miniature Golf Construction Co. was close, which was a “deciding factor,” since it was convenient to have the company nearby. The Bishops had originally hoped to open the mini golf course the week of Memorial Day 2013 when they broke ground in early May 2013. However, with the wet spring there were weather delays. The course was completed at Niagara Cave on July 3, 2013 and opened on July 4.

Rick Steckbauer, who owns Miniature Golf Construction Co., said that weather was definitely a factor when constructing the mini golf course at Niagara Cave, but said he had a great deal of help from the owners as well as local contractors during the process. Rick also said he enjoyed the people in the area while working on the miniature golf course at Niagara Cave.

“The mini golf course at Niagara Cave is an 18 hole course with the first nine holes being handicap accessible,” Mark said. There are several special features to the course including a stream that meanders through the course, a waterfall, and a fountain among others. The miniature golf course has been placed in a peaceful setting with beautiful scenery all around which adds to the experience.

The cost of mini golf at Niagara Cave is nine holes for $5 or 18 holes for $8. There are many brightly colored clubs in different lengths so visitors are sure to find one that fits them perfectly. There is also a putting green available for a cost of $3 for 20 minutes for anyone wishing to practice putting.

Mark Bishop stated, “The mini golf course is not only for visitors to Harmony but for locals too,” noting that many residents have visited the cave several times but they may like to come and play mini golf or bring family from out of town to go down in the cave while they play mini golf. Either way the course is there to enjoy for anyone who wishes to use it.

A concession stand is conveniently placed right next to the mini golf course with several items including hot and cold sandwiches, frozen treats such as ice cream, muffins, chips, and beverages available for visitors.

There is, of course, Niagara Cave itself to view if one would like to take a tour. According to the Niagara Cave website, www.niagaracave.com, the cave has been rated one of the top ten caves in the United States by many outdoor activity rating sites which brings many visitors to the area.

While taking a one mile tour of the cave that lasts one hour, a visitor will see “an underground stream leading to a waterfall nearly 60 feet high, stalactites both delicate and massive, calcite flowstone, several fossils that have been dated to over 400 million years old, and a wedding chapel in which over 400 weddings have been performed, plus much, much more,” the website states. Remember to bring a jacket or sweater as the temperature is “a constant 48 degrees” in the cave.

Perhaps a family get-together or reunion are in your future, or you would like to pack a picnic lunch for your day at Niagara Cave. There are 10 acres of picnic grounds and a covered shelter available that will be sure to fit your needs.

After playing mini golf or touring the cave, be sure to look around the gift shop which has authentic fossils, nature identification books, science and nature kits, t-shirts, and much more.

Visitors to the cave can also pan for gemstones in the sluice and find treasures which can then be found on the identification board so treasure hunters know what gemstones they have panned. A bag of mining rough can be purchased in the gift shop which may contain many different gems.

Niagara Cave is located at 29842 County 30 outside of Harmony, Minn. Go to www.niagaracave.com for information or call (800) 837-6606.

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