Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

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From Explore MN Tourism

Fall Colors

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By the visitor center is a good spot to see the color...
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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.

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


Visitor Alert

OCTOBER 22nd update

Today is the last day of the 2017 season for public tours. Thank you to all the visitors we have had this season. It was a wonderful year. Join us again beginning on Memorial Day weekend as we open for the 2018 tour season.

Vermilion Ridge Campground is open for camping. The last night for 2017 will be October 21st. The sites will be open for fishing opener May 12th, 2018.

Water spigots for drinking water will remain open in the campground loops.

Just in time for fall color, campers can use campground facilities pdf including campsites with electricity, screened picnic shelters, modern shower buildings and campground wi-fi access. Most campsites will available to reserve but other sites must wait until next spring after landscaping and other park areas are completed.

Hiking trails and additional camping capacity are added in the next phase of development. Please obey any signs during the ongoing construction.

Reservations can be made online or by calling toll free: 866-857-2757 (TTY 952-936-4008). The reservation line is experiencing high volumes, and we appreciate your patience.

Vermilion Park Drive is open daily to the Armstrong Bay day-use area (follow the signs along the gravel portion of the road). When the trail is fully open, park visitors can bike the Mesabi Trail.

Mine tours

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.
  • Learn more about underground mine tours.

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.

(Updated Sept. 6, 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 or through the self service kiosk at Vermilion Ridge campground.

Future Development and Plans

Curious about what the future holds for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park? The park's 2011-2020 master plan has an overview of 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

Mine tour video external link - Iron Range Tourism Bureau, 2017, 5:33 min.

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.

Geocaching:

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.

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.

Birders:

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


Hours

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.

Contact

Summer Mine Entrance: 1302 McKinley Park Road

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

Lake Vermilion Unit 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

email: lakevermilion-soudan.statepark@state.mn.us

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.