The snow is finally melting and you are eager to get out and see the countryside. It’s time to plan for an Iron Range family weekend getaway. This is a great opportunity to explore the byways of northeast Minnesota by car and even by bike.
You can visit a mine and learn about the industry that built this part of the state. Ride your bike along the Mesabi Bike Trail, visit the Minnesota Discovery Center, and the Hockey Hall of Fame Museum.
The Iron Range has many campgrounds, lakes, forests and rivers worth exploring over several weekend family vacations.
Hill Annex State Park offers mine tours from May through September in Calumet. This is a former iron ore mine that became a park in 1988. You can also dig for fossils and view wildlife in this park. Picnic tables make this a great place for an outing.
If you want to see an underground mine, visit the Soudan Underground State Park at Soudan on Lake Vermillion. This park offers tours on mining rail cars, elevators, and trains. The University of Minnesota maintains an underground physics lab at this mine.
The Minnesota Museum of Mining is open in Chisholm from Memorial Day through Labor Day offering a history of the industry. The museum showcases equipment used to extract ore and taconite over 100 years ago.
Mesabi Bike Trail
The Mesabi Bike Trail is one of the longest paved bike paths in the United States. It roughly parallels Highway 169 between Grand Rapids and Biwabik. The trail in total is 115 miles long and expanding.
Take your bikes and ride sections of the trail on your family weekend getaway. The 75-mile paved section goes from Grand Rapids to McKinley. The trail was created from old railroad beds and mining road and is also great for walking. The trail can be accessed from areas with campgrounds and other facilities.
Eight golf courses dot the Iron Range, challenging the best golfers. This includes municipal courses in Eveleth and Hibbing.
The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum is located in Eveleth and dedicated to the history of the sport in the U.S. The museum is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and on weekends during the remainder of the year.
These are just a few of the many activities to be enjoyed on Minnesota’s Iron Range.
Visit the Iron Range Tourism Bureau at www.ironrange.org to see all that can be found on the Iron Range and begin planning your weekend getaway today.