Iron Trail Attractions

By highlighting the traditions of immigrants from more than forty countries, the attractions on the Iron Trail provide you the opportunity to discover the region’s colorful ethnic heritage and explore in-depth northeastern Minnesota’s rich mining and logging history.

On the Iron Trail, your family can enjoy  a train ride that’ll take them deep into an underground mine at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park to learn about the miners who worked there. They can go hunting for marine fossils deposited by an ancient inland sea during the Cretaceous Period at the Hill Annex Mine State Park.

This region is the birthplace of the bus industry and Hibbing’s Greyhound Bus Origin Center  displays some of the earliest buses while relating the fascinating evolution of bus travel in the United States.

A trolley ride along the edge of the Pillsbury Mine at Ironworld Discovery Center should be on your family’s vacation must-do list, along with climbing onto the mining equipment displayed at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm, and visiting an antique car exhibit at the Classic Car Museum..

If your family thrills to viewing wildlife at close range, the Iron Trail is for you!  For years, an area logger fed wild bears near his small forest cabin. When he died, the bears continued to assemble in that location, now known as the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. Today, visitors can watch the wild bears in their forest habitat from the safety of a viewing platform.

At the International Wolf Center in Ely, you’ll observe the resident wolf pack in their one-acre territory as they play, sleep, eat and tussle. Several times each day, naturalists introduce the pack and explain the basics of wolf biology, pack structure and communication.

Often,  travelers along one of our seven Scenic Byways get another up close and personal wildlife encounter when they’re compelled to halt their vehicles to allow white-tail deer, or perhaps a moose, a bear, a wolf, a raccoon or a fox to cross the road directly in front of them.

Or you could opt for catching sight of a great gray or snowy owl in the Sax Zim Bog, one of the region’s premier bird-watching habitats. Over 175 bird species can be found in northeastern Minnesota, and it isn’t uncommon to see a bald eagle soaring majestically overhead.

Perhaps your family is more attuned to the sports scene – The Iron Trail’s hockey greats are honored at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. And if you’d rather do than see, Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort is where your family will want to hang out. The resort’s two golf courses have been rated number one in the nation by Golf Digest magazine, and the downhill ski venue at Giants Ridge is rated the best in the Midwest. The resort also features a great terrain park for the best snow-boarding fun ever!

Biking and hiking opportunities also abound on the Iron Trail!  The 130-mile long Mesabi Trail, offers an unforgettable experience with lodge-to-lodge bicycling and easy on/off access points in the 25 communities through which it passes. The trail is also great for those who choose to walk, hike, skate or snowshoe.

Are rugged vehicles more your style? The Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert, Minnesota, offers acres of hill climbing and jolting trail riding for ATVs, off-highway motorcycles and trucks. What’s more, rentals are available!

A visit to the Iron Trail region wouldn’t be complete without a drive past music great Bob Dylan’s childhood home in Hibbing or a tour of the magnificent Hibbing High School where crystal chandeliers grace the ceiling of an auditorium designed after New York’s Capital Theater.

To create family memories that will last a lifetime, come, and take advantage of our good nature! ™

To request a Free Heritage & Attraction Brochure visit our Free Vacation Guide section.