Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Soudan, MN
A miner for a day! Ok, about an hour, maybe less, but they gave me a hard hat, and that is what I appreciate about the Soudan Mine. I am not sure anyone over eighteen has ever been so excited about riding down an elevator shaft, deep into the ground, to take a cart further into the Earth, and walk around a hollowed out piece of rock.
Somehow it isn’t that scary. Even though you are deep in the Earth, it’s probably one of the safest mines that you could go into. They call it the Cadillac of mines. The ore is high quality and there aren’t those dangerous patches of gases and such that you have to watch out for in other mines.
The underground tour is a must see. It is super informative. If you have kids you should definitely take them for this educational tour. They have small hats for the little ones. You do have to give the hats back at the end of the tour. You can reserve your spot so that you don’t have to wait, or at least know that you will get onto the tour. We reserved a spot and then ended up swapping it for an earlier tour.
Once you finish the tour, or before you go, you need to explore the above ground operation at the mine. You can observe the cable operator at work. He is the guy that will raise or lower you into the mine. They use a system of clicking to know how far down to send you. The machine is amazing to watch.
Once you see the cable at work you can follow it outside and view the large cable that heads up over your head. There are a few other buildings around the property that you will want to see. You can see where they break up the ore and pile it below.
I like the machine shop sign. It seems very appropriate. It reads, If you are injured, no matter how little, tell your foreman, right away. There is a little sign under it that reads, Save your eyes, wear goggles.
There are some beautiful flowers around the property as well. Really, head up the Soudan, MN and visit the mine. Take the tour and enjoy.