You may have heard about or even stopped by New Ulm's most well-known natural spring alongside Highway 14. But a recently discovered one just outside of town along the Cottonwood River is a true hidden gem.  

Just last week, a member of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources tasked with mapping natural springs around the state found the largest springs in New Ulm. The dual springs located just south of the Cottonwood River Bridge on Highway 68 are ironically on DNR land.
 
"I'm very pleased with these, it's not only the amount of water flowing out but the fact that they've carved these twin sandstone canyons here that I find remarkable. This rock through which the springs have carved their canyons, this is laid down during the time of the dinosaurs," 
 
Thanks to funding from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources ,Brick and other DNR staffers are scouring the state for more locations which requires a little bit of detective work.
 
"A lot of these springs are mentioned in the literature but its old geologic surveys and someone from the 1800's but it's the locations are vague they don't actually give you a map location they'll say it's a mile north of town or it's up river a little bit or something so you know you're going to have to get in to the bushes to actually go and find these springs."

"A lot of my work I do in winter because it's much easier to find the springs because the springs year-round they're about 47, 48, 49 degrees Fahrenheit so in the middle of winter it's like 20° below zero in Minnesota and they melt a big area around them making them easy to find."
 
A trail leads directly to the free-flowing springs which produce about 20 gallons a minute. While the location is open to the public and the DNR recommends visiting the natural beauty, Brick reminds visitors to respect the need for the springs and not damage their habitat.

--KEYC News 12