Jul 18, 2012 at 8:37 am
SOUDAN, MN (KNSI) – Consulting and development teams are closer to finalizing a plan for the newest Minnesota state park situated alongside Lake Vermillion.
The state purchased land that will become Lake Vermillion State Park from U.S. Steel in 2010. Despite still weighing the exact options of the park some two years later, officials see the extreme value a state park along the lake will have to Minnesotans.
"One thing that we don't have a lot in the state parks system in Minnesota is parks on larger lakes," park manager Jim Essig told KNSI. "Couple that with the fact it just happens to share a boundary with an existing state park, Soudan Underground Mine State Park...there is actually a 10 mile stretch of contiguous shoreline...and then total land between the two parks is about four thousand acres."
Lake Vermillion State Park will join Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and Father Hennepin State Park on Mille Lacs as three state parks on larger lake bodies in the state.
As for what the park will offer visitors once opened, that plan has shifted due to the nature of the site.
"Initially we are looking at a single campground. But because of the lay of the land out there...you don't have a lot of room to put a large campground, so instead multiple small campgrounds is what we are expecting," Essig said.
Four cabins are scheduled to be built on the site next year to go along with the campgrounds. Eventually campers will be able to choose between the first campground overlooking Armstrong Bay and a second grouping of campsites overlooking Cable Bay on Lake Vermillion.
Even though the park is largely undeveloped people are welcome to visit. In the meantime Essig said the location, once fully developed, will provide some tremendous outdoor opportunities, especially for Minnesota families.
"Even our master plan talked a lot about connecting people to the outdoors and there are a lot of young families who have not had that chance or experience," Essig said. "So a lot of our development is looking at quality sites for young families, more that direction on everything we design."
Lake Vermillion is situated in the northeastern portion of Minnesota on the southeastern edge of the Kabetogama State Forest and about 90 miles north of Duluth.
Temp: 3°F (-16°C)
Wind: 20mph W