Frequently asked questions
Last updated February 2, 2011
Over this winter, Lake Vermilion and Soudan Underground Mine State Parks will have a few temporary snowmobile trails open for use. (See the map ) The parks do not currently have groomed ski trails or snowshoe opportunities; however, a trails system plan will include both of these opportunities in the future.
Soudan Underground Mine State Park tours for the general public will begin again Memorial Weekend 2011. The park, however, is open for group tours throughout the year. If you are interested in a group tour, contact the park office at 218-753-2245.
Development of day use areas will continue in the summer of 2011, including hiking trails and the Armstrong Bay day use area. Watch the day use areas page for new information. The development of overnight opportunities will likely have to wait until improvements to the main park road are complete. In the meantime, camping is available at nearby Bear Head Lake State Park and through other municipal, federal and private campgrounds.
The Master Plan provides direction for the parks' management and development. DNR working teams will now begin to explore design, development and operations alternatives to implement recommendations in the plan. In addition, the DNR is working with Breitung Township to establish a main park road along the Old Highway 169 corridor. The DNR will phase development of the park over the next decade, with a goal of providing some quality day use and remote boat-/paddle-up camping opportunities as soon as possible. The DNR is beginning pre-design work (site assessment and concept sketches) for these areas during the winter/spring of 2011.
Master Plan recommendations:
- Protect areas of natural, cultural and historical significance; minimize impacts to wetlands and water quality; minimize fragmentation of native vegetation; protect species of greatest concern
- Provide opportunities for a rich, lake-based experience for visitors, a variety of overnight-stay experiences, and next-generation facilities and activities
- Interpret natural, cultural and historic resources with a focus on less-experienced outdoor recreational users and these key demographics: school kids, families, young adults and baby boomers
- Provide quality amenities, such as wireless technology, visitor center, multiple-use trails, lake access, equipment rentals, adventure areas and group camping
- Download the Master Plan (4.35 MB)
The availability of development funds will determine the speed by which Master Plan recommendations are implemented. The DNR has $1.4 million remaining from the 2008 bonding used to purchase Lake Vermilion State Park. Other sources of funding that likely will be used for development include funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, future bonding requests, and the Clean Water Land and Legacy amendment funds.
The DNR's vision for a "next generation" park is one that provides activities and experiences to inspire participation in outdoor recreation amongst the "next generation" of Minnesotans, who are becoming more diverse and less-connected with the natural world.
- The parks will be models of sustainable development and energy efficiency.
- They will be connected to the broader landscape and to the recreational and socio-economic environments in which they are situated.
- They will become the hub of outdoor recreation, connecting users to many of the area's outdoor recreation opportunities.
- The parks will help local communities create sustainable local economies.
Combined, Lake Vermilion and Soudan Underground Mine State Parks are home to a vast cultural and natural resources heritage, including:
- Nearly ten miles of undeveloped Lake Vermilion shoreline with quality fish habitat
- Wetlands, wet forests and beaver-wetland complexes
- Acres of Northern mesic mixed forests
- Nine known rare species: four plants, five animals
- An important bat hibernaculum
- A National Historic Landmark and historic district
- Evidence of human use dating back 5,000-7,000 years