Soudan Underground Mine State Park is a unique and fascinating destination located in northeastern Minnesota. Established in 1963, the park offers visitors the opportunity to explore the historic Soudan Iron Mine, which operated from 1882 to 1962. With its rich history, stunning underground tours, and beautiful natural surroundings, Soudan Underground Mine State Park is a must-visit for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.
Exploring the Underground Mine
The highlight of Soudan Underground Mine State Park is undoubtedly the underground mine tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, visitors descend into the depths of the mine via an elevator shaft that plunges nearly half a mile below the surface. As you explore the labyrinthine tunnels, you'll learn about the mining techniques used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and gain insight into the lives of miners who worked here.
Natural Beauty Above Ground
In addition to its underground attractions, Soudan Underground Mine State Park boasts stunning natural beauty above ground. The park encompasses over 1,200 acres of pristine wilderness, including forests, lakes, and wetlands. Visitors can enjoy hiking along scenic trails that wind through this picturesque landscape or take a leisurely stroll around Lake Vermilion.
Visitor Center and Exhibits
The park's visitor center serves as an excellent starting point for your visit. Here you'll find informative exhibits that delve into the history of mining in Minnesota and provide insights into geology and natural resources. The center also houses a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs related to mining and local history.
Camping and Recreation
Soudan Underground Mine State Park offers camping facilities for those who wish to extend their stay. The campground features both tent sites and RV hookups, as well as amenities such as showers and a picnic area. Additionally, the park provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming in nearby Lake Vermilion.
Accessibility and Safety
It's important to note that the underground mine tour involves walking on uneven surfaces and navigating narrow passageways. While efforts have been made to make the tour accessible to all visitors, individuals with mobility issues may find certain areas challenging. It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes and dress appropriately for the underground environment.