Most of the ore came from these open pit mines.
The area’s deepest open pit mine can be seen from the
“Mineview in the Sky” overlook at Virginia; the massive
mining truck parked at the overlook is as impressive as
the view. For an up-close look at an open-pit mine, there
are tours of the Hill Annex Mine at the state park at
Calumet. At Hibbing, an overlook provides a dramatic
view of the Hull Rust Mine, the world’s largest open pit
iron ore mine. The bustling mining industry fueled the
birth of the Greyhound Bus Company, which got its start
in Hibbing in 1914, and the Greyhound story is told at a
museum here. Fans of Bob Dylan are drawn to this town
because he grew up here.
Large numbers of immigrants from many European
countries came to work the mines and left a rich heritage
evident at many sites across the range. Minnesota
Discovery Center in Chisholm tells the story of life in the
mining towns for these new Americans through exhibits,
a trolley ride, miner’s homestead, and colorful festivals.
The Iron Range also offers a great variety of outdoor
recreation. North of Chisholm, the sandy beach at
McCarthy Beach State Park is a favorite. Golfers will enjoy
great play in a spectacular wooded setting at two top-notch courses at Giants Ridge near Biwabik. Both The
Legend and The Quarry have been named “best courses”
by national golf media. Giants Ridge is also a major ski
resort, with 35 downhill runs, snowboarding terrain and
60 km. of cross-country trails. When the snow is gone,
Giants Ridge offers mountain biking on its trails.
There’s scenic biking along the paved Mesabi Trail,
which will eventually run for 132 miles, linking 20 Iron
Range communities when the final segments are paved.
There’s a shuttle service and “lodge-to-lodge” biking can
be arranged. The Iron Range OHV Recreation Area near
Golf course at Giants Ridge, Biwabik
Gilbert is a 1,200-acre site for off-road riding on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and 4-wheel drive trucks.
The Iron Range is prime hockey territory, producing
many of the country’s top players, and the “World’s
Largest Hockey Stick” is on display in Eveleth. The town
is also home to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame museum
Several reclaimed mine pit lakes are stocked with
trout. The beautiful lakes and woods of Superior National
Forest offer fishing, camping, hiking, and vibrant fall
color; a ranger station in Aurora has information on the
forest. Aurora is at the western end of the 61-mile
Superior National Forest Scenic Byway, linking the
Iron Range to the North Shore.
“Mineview in the Sky” overlook, Virginia