When visiting the Mesabi with kids young or teen-ish, there are a few places you really can’t miss. Here’s the rundown of sites to see, from west to east across the Mesabi.
Hull Rust Mine View: It’s free, and it’s the best place to view active iron mining, period. Volunteers, gift shop and mining equipment onsite. Tip: there’s a dog park nearby if you’re traveling with pets. UPDATE: PLEASE NOTE THIS SITE IS CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER OF 2018 DUE TO A RELOCATION PROJECT. PLEASE CALL 218-749-8161 FOR UPDATES.
Hibbing High School: Anything that was once called “the castle in the wilderness” is worth a stop. Free, self-guided tours weekdays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 218-749-8161 for guided tour. Tip: History, art and architecture buffs will love it. Kids will have long stairways and halls to tackle if they get bored.
The trolley at Minnesota Discovery Center: This vintage unit represents the most popular form of travel on the Mesabi in the early part of the last century, and was a precursor to intra-city bus travel, which originated in Hibbing of all places! Ride it, and explore the museum while you’re there. Tip: MDC is accessible by the paved Mesabi Trail, so you can combine a bike ride with a visit if you like. Stop at the nearby Minnesota Museum of Mining, too.
Giants Ridge: Trails to hike and ride, places to canoe and kayak, several dining choices and oh, some of the best golf in the Midwest. All that and a disc golf course are bundled into a package of giant fun. Tip: as you drive through Biwabik, stop for a selfie with Honk the Moose.
What you have here is a sampling of activities and destinations. The best of the best, you might say. But there’s plenty more bests where these came from. Click here for a list of attractions, tours and roadside stops, or here for more info on motorized and non-motorized trails, lakes, golf and other great stuff. Need a place to stay? Find a campground (we have six), hotel, resort, cottage or B&B here.