On June 8, 2010, the State of Minnesota closed a 3,000-acre land transaction with U.S. Steel, establishing Minnesota's newest state park.
Together with the adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park, the new park will include almost 10 shoreline miles on Lake Vermilion.
For additional information: Minnesota DNR Lake Vermilion State Park information
Boat docks, fishing platforms, picnic shelters, roads, parking areas and a paved bike route that will connect to the Mesabi Trail will be among the features developed in the next two years. Plans also call for four camper cabins to be built as early as 2014 in the adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park.
Future phases of construction, pending funding, will include a visitor center, trail system and group camp, as well as hike-in and boat-in campsites. A Heritage Center, featuring the history of mining in the area, is planned at Soudan Underground Mine State Park.
There are a variety of hiking trails into Lake Vemilion State Park. Right now they all originate from Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The main trail (known as the Alaska Shaft trail) starts by the Alaska Shaft. The 2.4 mile hiking loop includes a spur on the northeast corner that ends in a beautiful overlook into the rolling terrain of the park. It is best to park by the Soudan Underground Mine State Park office (use Stuntz Bay Rd) to start your hike.
This is the only marked and officially developed trail in the park. There are many other trails, but they are not developed and marked, so you should proceed with caution.
If you want to see other areas of the park, one option is to complete the Lake Vermilion State Park geocache (not the avian adventure cache). This geocache takes visitors to some of the more interesting sites on the western portion of the park.
The coordinates for this geocache are N 47 49.243 W 092 14.192. This is a multiple staged cache. There is a short and a long version. If you complete the long version it will be approximately 6 miles round trip.
The day use picnic area is available in Armstrong Bay. Road access is being developed and should be ready by mid-summer 2014.
There are two temporary boat-in campsites available. The sites consist of a fire ring, bear box, and biffy. There is no potable water, so you will need to bring that with you. During this temporary phase there is no fee for the campsites and they are available on a first come, first served basis. Regular park rules apply to the campsites. Please call the park office at 218-753-2245 if you have any questions. Since there are no reservations for these sites, the park does not know on a daily basis if the sites are full.
DNR Parks and Trails staff maintained temporary snowmobile trails through the Park for the 2013-2014 winter season.