Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

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From Explore MN Tourism

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Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Adventure abounds at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park! Tour the historic underground mine, take a boat out or cast a line on Lake Vermilion, or hike through acres of old growth pine forest. The addition of nearly 3,000 acres and five miles of Lake Vermilion shoreline in 2010 adds even more opportunities to experience the wonders of northern Minnesota. Watch for the park’s new campground, group camps and public water access to open mid-summer of 2017.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Visitor Alert

Mine tours

The 2017 tour season has arrived. We will be open daily through September (tours 10 am - 4 pm) and weekends into October through the Minnesota Education Conference. Tours run at least hourly until Labor Day. After Labor Day the tour times will be every two hours on weekdays and hourly on weekends. The physics lab tours are no longer being offered, as the experiments have ended. Allow yourself extra time for travel as there is road construction on I-35 between Hinckley and Duluth, in Virginia, and between Ely and Soudan.

Campground Construction

Vermilion Park Drive is open daily to the Armstrong Bay Day Use Area (follow the signs along the gravel portion of the road). The new 33-site campground and three group camps are expected to open fall of 2017 - watch here for a date. Once an opening date is set, the online reservation system will be activated. Please obey the campground closed signs during the ongoing construction. Check back here for opening dates and campground reservation information.

(Updated July 10, 2017)

Park Notes

Underground Mine Tour:

Slip on a hard hat and travel a half mile underground on a tour of Minnesota's first iron ore mine. Experience the life of a miner from the last century.

Public tours run daily Memorial Day weekend through September and weekends into October. Group and educational tours are available year-round.

Learn more about underground mine tours.

Vehicle Permits:

Vehicle permits are required at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park except for the main parking lot of the visitor center at the mine. Vehicle permits are available for purchase at the gift shop in the visitor center.

Future Development and Plans

Curious about what the future holds for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park? Visit the park's planning and development website and learn about new recreation facility projects underway!

Virtual Tours:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park!

Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour | Video mine tour | Audio mine tours

White Nose Bat Syndrome:

White-nose syndrome (WNS)—a disease caused by a fungus dangerous to bats—has been confirmed at the park. WNS is harmful and mostly fatal to hibernating bats, and has decimated bat populations in the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. It is transmitted primarily from bat to bat and is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.

Public tours of the mine are continuing. To help keep the fungus from spreading, visitors are required to walk across special mats designed to remove spores from footwear. Visitors also are advised not to visit other caves or mines with any clothing, footwear or gear they have used in areas where WNS or the associated fungus is present, because washing alone cannot sufficiently disinfect clothing.

Learn more about white-nose syndrome and what you can do to help slow its spread.


Get the park's Call of the Wildflowers cache coordinates. There's also a multi-stage geocache for truly adventurous park visitors – you'll find the starting point at N47 49.243 W 092 14.192.

State Forest Campground:

The park manages one DNR state forest campground - Hinsdale Island - located in Kabetogama State Forest. Camping is first-come, first-served. Hinsdale Island is a remote and rustic campsite area accessible by water only. For more information, contact the park office.
Hinsdale Island campground topo map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.
Hinsdale Island campground map with driving directions This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Don't Move Firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for the park.

Gift Cards:

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.


Park Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Park Highlights

tree Mine Tours and Hiking

tree Campground and Day Use Areas

tree Historic Site

tree Lake Recreation and Public Water Access

tree Geologic Formations

tree Birding and Wildlife Watching


Best time to contact the park:
May - September: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October - April: Weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Summer Mine Entrance: 1302 McKinley Park Road

Winter Mine Entrance: 1379 Stuntz Bay Road, Soudan, 55782

Campground Entrance: U.S. Highway 169, Soudan, MN 55782

Mailing address: P.O. Box 335, 1379 Stuntz Bay Road, Soudan, MN 55782

tel: 218-300-7000

fax: 218-753-2246


Getting There

Take U.S. Highway 169 (or State Highway 1) to Soudan, MN and follow the signs. Soudan Underground Mine is located on the north side of the town.