Lake Vermilion State Park Snapshot Tour

Welcome to the Lake Vermilion State Park virtual tour! One of the newest state parks, Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine is located just south of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This virtual tour explores the trails near wetlands, stunning overlooks, and beautiful shoreline. Check the park website for updates on the continued development of recreational opportunities at this new park. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.

Photo of Armstrong Bay, on Lake Vermilion.
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Armstrong Bay

Armstrong Bay is on the east end of the park. Across the bay (to the west) is Lake Vermilion State Park’s new day use area, complete with three picnic shelters, water, a vault toilet, a boat dock, and a fishing pier. As of the summer of 2013, this area is best accessed from the water by boat, but road access may be available by fall. This tour showcases what Lake Vermilion State Park looks like as of 2013, but you can expect continued additions and changes as the park is developed.

Photo of one of the islands within Lake Vermilion State Park.
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Small Island in Cable Bay

While this island is part of Lake Vermilion State Park, most of the islands in Lake Vermilion are not. Some of the islands are state owned, some are private, and some are owned by the Bureau of Land Management. Maps are available showing which islands are acceptable for mooring a boat.

Photo of a hiking trail view of a beaver dam.
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Beaver Dam – Core Trail

Hike this established core trail at Lake Vermilion State Park and you will encounter this lovely wetland. Beavers have been very active damming this area. The result is a wetland that yields excellent waterfowl throughout the year. Bring a pair of binoculars and see how many you can spot! As of 2013, the best place to start a hike into Lake Vermilion State Park is from the office at Soudan Underground Mine State Park.

Photo of shoreline along Cable Bay.
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View of Cable Bay – Shore

Lake Vermilion State Park encompasses approximately 3,000 acres of stunning, rugged landscape. The park has ample shoreline and numerous rocky islands coated with lichens and studded with trees.

Photo of an wooded island within Cable Bay.
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View of Cable Bay – Water

A wide swath of water dotted with rocky islands meets the horizon at Cable Bay. The bay received its name from cables once used to assist lumbermen and miners with their work. If you look in the water you can still see the metal rings that secured these cables years ago.

Photo of a wetland complex created by beaver activity.
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Beaver Dam

An incredible wetland complex was created here by a dam that sits level with the trail. If you walk along a nearby wooden bridge, you will get a better perspective of how immense the dam is. River otters have been spotted playing here in the winter.

Photo of a rocky overlook offering a stunning blue and green vista of Lake Vermilion.
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Mattson – Vermilion View

This side of this rocky overlook offers a stunning blue and green vista of Lake Vermilion and its many islands. The vegetation here is fragile, so please tread carefully.

Photo of a skyline where on clear day you can see the headframe at Soudan Mine along the ridge line to the west.
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Mattson – Soudan View

This rocky overlook offers a vast green vista dotted by water. The overlook is a unique natural area, so please tread carefully. On a clear day you can see the headframe at Soudan Mine along the ridge line to the west.

Photo of a large beaver wetland complex located below, viewed from a high, rocky outcrop.
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Beaver Wetland Complex

A two mile hike from Soudan Underground Mine State Park brings visitors to this sensational view of a large beaver wetland complex.  The wetlands were created by beavers building dams in key spots. Birds are also active here, including swans, which have been spotted on the waters each summer.

Photo of Mattson Bay on Lake Vermilion.
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View of Mattson Bay

Combined, Lake Vermilion and Soudan Underground Mine State Parks offer approximately 10 miles of stunning shoreline. The goal of the park management plan is to keep much of the shoreline looking as it does in this scene of Mattson Bay… lush and wild.

Photo of a view around the Lily Lake picnic area.
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Lily Lake Picnic Area

This beautiful lake, rimmed with evergreen trees, is easily accessed through the trail system at Lake Vermilion State Park. A nearby picnic table provides the perfect spot to eat a meal or rest.

Photo of the trail system between Soudan Underground Mine and Lake Vermilion state parks.
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Hiking Trail between Soudan and Vermilion

This is the start of the trail system between Soudan Underground Mine and Lake Vermilion state parks. Notice a difference in the forests of the two parks. During the years of U.S. Steel ownership, the Lake Vermilion State Park property was logged several times. This has resulted in younger, smaller trees. In contrast, Soudan Underground Mine State Park contains many old pines. From this trail you can access several other trails in the park.

Virtual Tours

Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park home page

Legacy Amendment logo

This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.