News release: New surface tours offered this summer at historic Soudan Mine

March 21, 2022

Visitors to Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park can learn about the rich history of Minnesota’s first iron ore mine in a new surface tour that will be offered this summer.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day, historical interpreters will be available to lead visitors on a 1.5-hour tour around the mine complex, highlighting the variety of buildings and equipment used and the role the surface facilities played in mining operations. Underground mine tours normally held at the park will not be offered this season, as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources evaluates options and costs for completing mine shaft repairs.

“The Soudan Underground Mine tours attract an average of 35,000 visitors a year,” park manager Jim Essig said. “While we’ll miss being able to offer the underground tours this year, we’re also thrilled to interpret another perspective with the new surface tours.”

Surface tours will begin every half hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours cost $5 per person for ages 5 and older; ages 4 and younger are free. Tour groups are limited to 10 people. Reservations are encouraged via the online reservation system, which opens for tour booking on April 1.

For more information, including surface tour changes or cancelations due to weather, check the visitor alert on the park page of the DNR website, email [email protected], or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.