Hill Annex Mine State Park in Calumet is
the only one of only two Minnesota state parks that honor mining history. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d recommend you check it out this summer. You should anyway, but this might be the last summer the park is open.
Buried in the park’s charter is a provision that it could be closed if the iron ore reserves below the park were ever deemed commercially viable. Essar Steel, which aims to start operations north and west of Nashwauk next year is saying they might be interested in mining there.
Hill Annex Mine Park shows what a mine site looks like and conducts tours of the pit lakes, but also does a lot of exploration into the unique geology of the area.
Scott Stein with the Scenic Range News Forum reported this in last week’s edition. The Scenic is under new management and has invested in putting more work into local reporting.
UPDATE: Duh. Hill Annex isn’t the only mining-related state park. Soudan’s underground mine is also a state park. Was I thinking camping? I don’t know. Anyway, Hill Annex and Soudan are very different animals, despite the mining connections. For instance, they have a secret laboratory at the bottom of the Soudan mine. No bull.