Family hiking
ATVing / Offroading

Visitor Tips for the Very Best Trip

  • Start Planning Now We may be rural, but don’t roll into town on a Friday expecting to find a hotel room or campground slot, because you might be out of luck! Make your reservations now, or use some of those vacation days to book a midweek stay.
Lodge exterior
The Lodge at Giants Ridge is filling up on weekends, and so are many of our campgrounds and hotels. Make is a mid-week stay and you’ll save money and be sure of a place to rest your head!
  • Know Your Trails You can download or request maps right here, and they’re important! For example, the Mesabi Trail is 135 miles long, with a couple of nearly-paved (unpaved) sections. You’ll need a map to make the best decisions, especially with young kids. Also, we have a number of ATV trail systems that are connected by county roads (this is legal in St Louis County, where we are). Know the riding rules and the connections for the best ride! We also have a number of great hiking trails, like Redhead, that aren’t crowded but may be shared with mountain bike or ATV traffic. Find hiking trail systems that suit your abilities and know whose on the trail with you. Finally, we are home to two outstanding mountain bike systems, Redhead and Giants Ridge, but did you know that Tioga and Cuyuna are just a hop, skip and jump away? Lengthen your stay so you can check out this world-class system.
A new section of the Mesabi Trail, near Embarrass and accessible from Giant Ridge, includes a 3/4-mile floating bridge through a Wildlife Management Area. The trail does not yet connect all the way to Embarrass, but it’s a great out-and-back!
  • Take Advantage of FREE There are a number of ways to learn about the area for free. Don’t miss Hull Rust Mine View in Hibbing with big mining trucks and even bigger views, Locomotive Park in Mountain Iron with a locomotive to climb on and nicely done interpretive panels that where you’ll learn about the taconite mining process, Hockey Plaza in Eveleth with its rich hockey history and giant stick and puck, or Bridge View Park in Virginia where you’ll learn about the building of the state’s tallest bridge and the mine pit 200 feet below!
Benches overlooking iron mine filled with water
Bridge View Park is a short walk from east end of Chestnut Street in Virginia, along the paved Mesabi Trail. Go another 1/2 mile and you’re on the bridge itself!
  • Eat, Drink and Be Merry! Why not? You’re on vacation! Here are a few of our favorite places to eat: The Hive in Aurora, Kunnari’s Kitchen in Virginia and Black Bear Bakery in Chisholm have wonderful baked items plus soups and sammies for the perfect lunch. For dinner fare you can’t go wrong with Sammy’s Pizza in Hibbing, Valentini’s Italian Supper Club in Chisholm, The Whistling Bird in Gilbert or LaCocina in Virginia. Want a local brew? BoomTown restaurants in Hibbing and Eveleth have you covered. Stop by the Sugar Shack or Canelakes Candies, both in Virginia, for sweet deliciousness, including ice cream. You’ll find evening entertainment outdoors at Brews, Blues and BBQs Thursday nights at Minnesota Discovery Center, Music in the Park on Tuesdays in Virginia’s Olcott Park or at Chisholm’s Pocket Park. Find out what’s happening, and where, on our event calendar.
Canelakes Candies in Virginia is a true-blue old-fashioned candy store. They even have a soda fountain. A must-stop!
  • Look for the Pin! The Iron Range Tourism Ambassador program has trained more than 200 residents about all the things there are to see and do in the region. These folks are in the know, so if you have a question, find the pin, and if you don’t find a pin, ask if there’s a CTA around who can help you. ๐Ÿ™‚
Pamela and Dennis Mattson, owners of Canelakes Candies, are two of our very favorite CTAs!

Want more trip-planning advice? Call 218-749-8161 or email

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