Soudan Underground Mine State Park
The Minnesota Iron Company opened the state's first iron mine here in 1882 and ran open-pit operations until 1892. By then, company engineers were sure that the vein went straight down and switched to underground operations. In 1965, three years after mining finally ceased at the Soudan Mine, its then owner, U.S. Steel Corp., donated the mine to the state. Today, the mine is the nation’s leading deep-underground science and engineering lab. You can see the massive MINOS detector (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) and learn about the CDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) and the search for a WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles.)
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Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Fun Fact:In 1865, a huge iron outcrop was found in what is now known as the ""Iron Range."" Miles from any port, mining couldn't begin until engineers built a railway to the area. Deputy U.S. Surveyor George Stuntz sped this along by describing the area as swampland, making it a steal for investors.