Ten for ’23
Ten Cool Events and Happenings This Summer and Fall on The Range
What are we looking forward to this year? A lot! Here are a few developments on the Mesabi Iron Range that have us excited to get out and about!
#10 Mine View Makeover, Leonidas Edition
Leonidas Overlook in Eveleth is getting a makeover! We’re super excited to see this popular high point in the landscape get some much-needed love. Accessible by car and ATV, this spot is great for picnicking and just soaking it all in. See United Taconite’s mining operations and the City of Eveleth below, and the Superior National Forest and more far beyond.
#9 ATV MN Ride and Rally
We’ll welcome hundreds of ATV enthusiasts to the ATV of Minnesota annual Ride and Rally in September. The Lodge at Giants Ridge will be their home base, and riders will be exploring trails around the region. ATV of MN is the ATV association of the state, with 70 member clubs around the state. Let’s roll out the red carpet and support the event hosts, Quad Cities ATV Club and Ranger ATV Snowmobile Club.
#8 New Businesses on the Horizon
Well, new and returning! Black Bear Bakery in Chisholm is scheduled to re-open this summer, and The Forge Social Haus is slated to open in Virginia this fall. Neighbor’s BBQ is moving into The Lodge at Giants Ridge – yum! We hoooooooope to see Green Bean Coffee Haus open in Biwabik this summer as well! Congrats to these hardworking entrepreneurs. You make the world go ’round!
#7 More Places to Ride
A few projects in the works include the newly-created Chisholm-Hibbing trail connection and another route connecting Hibbing to the Alborn Pengilly Trail, additional play areas in the Iron Range Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area Expansion in Gilbert, and more! Other projects in the works include the long-awaited Ranger trail connection between Gilbert and Biwabik, and Quad Cities club trail links heading north to the Britt area. Stay tuned!
#6 MDC Concert Series
#5 20 Years of Music: Northern Lights Music Festival
Twenty years ago, Aurora native and concert pianist Veda Zupancic brought classical music performances and a music school to the Iron Range. Today, the Northern Lights Music Festival continues to bring together award-winning students and internationally known performers and teachers for lessons, coaching and master classes as well as performances and a fully stage professional opera.
This year’s schedule includes the annual Festive Fourth concert and performances of La bohème, all set in the region’s grand, historic school auditoriums.
#4 The Mesabi Trail: Celebrating a New Section
This summer the long-awaited connection of the paved Mesabi Trail between McKinley and Biwabik will be complete! This 5.5-mile stretch locks down around 103 miles of continuous trail, stretching from Grand Rapids to about 9 miles north of Embarrass. Try out another new section in the Soudan area and sign up for the annual Mesabi Trail Tour August 5.
#3 FanCon: Bigger and Better
Last summer the Virginia Public Library hosted the first FanCon at Iron Trail Motors Event Center, a venue where fans of superheroes, Disney, anime, the supernatural, science fiction and more congregated in costume (or not) to mix, shop the many vendors, and celebrate fandom in all its forms. This year, a group has formed to make FanCon bigger and better than ever. This year it will be held on July 22. Stay tuned for details!
#2 Rentals make outdoor rec even easier!
We are super-excited to have Lossing’s Power Sports out of Babbitt offering snowmobile rentals in the winter and now, starting this year, side-by-side ATVs with guide service. This much-needed service for motorized sports is sure to be a big hit and we can’t wait to help get people out on the new trails on the Iron Range. Other rentals around the region make it easier to enjoy summer – Minnesota Discovery Center is adding kayaks to its rental fleet, 30West Bike Shop at Minnesota Discovery Center offers mountain bike rentals and has added ebikes to the mix. They also offer guided rides in Redhead Mountain Bike Park. Bikes appropriate for riding the paved Mesabi Trail can be rented at Bikes on Howard in Hibbing. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, thank you, locally-owned businesses, for making life better!
#1 Astrological Wonders
Did you know Skibo Vista near Hoyt Lakes in the Superior National Forest is a great place to study the stars? It falls slightly outside of the “dark sky” designation within the forest, but it’s still an excellent vantage point! With a number of astro-events happening this summer and fall, we hope travelers will take advantage of this beautiful overlook to do some gazing! The Perseid meteor shower July through September, a Super Blue Moon on August 31, and the Orionids, visible at the end of September through the end of November.