Mesabi Range FAQs

The Mesabi Iron Range offers fun attractions and experiences for kids and adults, and serves as a great lesson in American history! The communities of Hibbing, Chisholm, Mountain Iron, Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert, Biwabik, Aurora, and Hoyt Lakes all make up the region. There are plenty of hiking, camping, cycling, and ATV trails in the woodlands of the Superior National Forest, near numerous lakes, and through the industrial but reclaimed mine-lands of the region. You also find downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and watersports/boating. The Mesabi Iron Range is also home to numerous museums, some of them free, and amazing views of active iron ore mining, plus fun events, unique tours and more.

What’s free on the Mesabi? A lot! From free museums and views of old mines to plenty of beautiful scenery and hiking trails, there’s something for everyone.

The Mesabi Iron Range is in northern Minnesota. It is bordered by the Superior National Forest to the north, and is a 65-mile swath of land that is rich in iron ore. It’s comprised of three individual “ranges,” or ore-rich areas: the Cuyuna in the south, the Mesabi in the middle and the Vermilion in the north. There are currently six active mines, all of them are located on the Mesabi.

Hull Rust Mine View in Hibbing is the place to see one of the largest open pit mines in the world. This active mine operates 24/7. Iron ore has been mined here for more than 125 years.

It depends on what you’re looking for. We have five municipal campgrounds on the Mesabi Iron Range overlooking beautiful lakes and offer many amenities. Plus there are a variety of lodging options, from popular hotels and clean family-run motels, to an all-suites lodge, villas and one-of-a-kind handcrafted cottages.

There are many ATV Trails on the Iron Range, including the 22 mile Ranger Trail, the Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert with more than 36 miles of trails, the 16 mile Chisholm Trail, and the 39 mile Alborn-Pengilly trail.

Bob Dylan sang on the stage of the Hibbing High School and the Hibbing Memorial Building’s Little Theater. His childhood home is located on Dylan Drive (Seventh Avenue East in Hibbing), and you can see Dylan ephemera and collectible items at the Hibbing Public Library Dylan Room.

Sportsman riding quad bike at the summer forest
Two dogs, one in the lake, with kayaks at the shore

Traveling with pets on the Mesabi

Traveling is one thing. Traveling with a four-legged companion is an entirely different thing. There are plenty of activities and places to go with your pet!

Parks and Trails
If there is one thing the Iron Range has in abundance, it’s an almost endless supply of parks and trails, ripe for exploration.

The Mesabi Trail is an absolutely gorgeous, historic walking and cycling trail and is happy to accept dogs as long as they remain on leash and you do your responsibility to pick up after them. The trail is clearly marked, paved, and there are trash receptacles at each trailhead. It’s the best spot to go for a morning or evening walk, and the trail has spurs and trailheads in almost every Iron Range city, most of which have parking for easy access. Be aware of cyclists and even wildlife on the Mesabi Trail.

The Laurentian Divide is located just North of Virginia. It is a beautiful set of walking and running trails which give the feeling of secluded wilderness. The sunset seeps through the trees and the forest floor is overflowing with plants and trails to explore. The Laurentian Divide is an awesome place to take dogs if you are looking for something more woodsy or want to feel how big Minnesota’s nature is.

The land of 10,000 lakes, eh? There are plenty of lakes you can take your dog to so they can enjoy the water. There are not many regulations regarding dogs on lakes in boats. If you are planning on bringing your furry friend fishing, please be respectful and keep them on a leash at the boat landing. Also, be careful of hooks! The Iron Range has lakes, rivers, and streams you and your four-legged friend can explore!

If your adventure on the Iron Range is so amazing you’d like to spend another day, we’ve got campsites ready to lodge you and your dog. There is nothing more Minnesota than enjoying a campfire under the stars with your dog by your side.

If you can’t or don’t want to leave your dogs alone, there’s a doggie daycare option in Virginia. Grooming by Jane accepts walk-ins Monday-Friday, and is the perfect place to park your pooch while you take in a museum, event, or other activity.

There are many different ways to enjoy the Iron Range with your dog. Please be mindful of your dog’s bathroom business and bring a baggie to remove it from where pedestrians may walk.

For more information about traveling with pets on the Mesabi, call 218-749-8161 today!

Bluesided building with architectural details

Come Visit the Iron Range Visitor Center

If you find yourself planning a trip to the Iron Range, be sure to stop by our Visitor’s Center, located just outside of Eveleth, off of Highway 53.

Our Iron Range Visitor Center serves as a hub of information for those who are ready to experience the grand adventures of Northern Minnesota. We have a great variety of resources, flyers, and inside information on the latest events and amenities the Iron Range has to offer. Be sure to stop by – we’d love to help you connect with the locations and businesses you’re in search of.

Two Certified Tourism Ambassadors

What is a Certified Tourism Ambassador?

Certified Tourism Ambassadors are people who care about our area and want to provide the very best customer service to their guests, no matter where they are from or where they are going.

Look for the pin!
Certified Tourism Ambassadors wear a star-shaped pin to show that they have answers to visitors’ questions! Learn more about CTA, an industry-recognized international certification program.

Iron Range CTA on Facebook
Ask to join our closed group for Iron Range CTAs by finding Iron Range Spirit of Hospitality on Facebook, and asking to join the linked group.

Area Maps

If you are looking for a specific map or would to request information, please click on the link below.