In Northeastern Minnesota, Soudan Underground Mine State Park offers unique recreational activities and sites of historical interest. One of the park’s main highlights are the tours underground into Minnesota’s first iron mine, which originally opened in 1882 and extends over 2,300 feet below the surface.
The tour takes about an hour and a half and runs daily between 10 AM and 4 PM between Memorial Day through the end of September, and weekends only in October. You can make mine tour reservations online or by phone. Alternately, you can check out an MP3 player from the park visitor center for no charge and take a surface-level audio tour.
For a longer walk, there are a number of other trails, even some unmarked and undeveloped that are open to use. Just use caution if you take an unmarked trail. If you enjoy geocaching, there is a geocaching trail with a short or long version. Bring your own GPS or borrow one from the park office.
During the winter, Soudan Underground Mine State Park is open for snowmobiles and snowshoeing. Snowmobiling is permitted on designated trails, and snowshoeing is allowed only on ungroomed trails. The visitor’s center includes a store, tour center, and interpretive exhibits that focus on the mine and mining culture and natural history.
The park offers programs and tours on geology, canoeing, bats, natural history, and other skill building. The park map includes information about historical sites in the park. For overnight visitors, Hinsdale Island campground is available, located in Kabetogama State Forest. Camping is first-come, first-served and provides a rustic camping experience. It is only accessible by water.
Soudan Underground Mine State Park is open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM. Vehicle passes are required for entry except at the main visitor's center parking lot at the mine. Leashed pets are allowed in Soudan Underground Mine State Park, but not into the mine.
Be respectful of park rules and other guests and always remember to pick up pet waste. If you're looking for a unique state park experience with historic sites to explore, bring your family to Soudan Underground Mine State Park for an interesting afternoon.