6/25-6/26/20. Site 409
This was our first trip to Lake Vermillion-Soudan and we spent one night here. You can get wood as you enter, it’s in a little shed to pick your own and $6 a bundle. Our site was spacious and grassy, though we could see our neighbors, so it wasn’t the most private. We drove around all campground loops and decided we liked our section best. It had a lot of trees (and hammock spots), but also a lot of RVs. Some of the other loops were more open and had less trees. The campground was very quiet and the cell service was top rate. If you are looking for a state park campground to work remotely, this would be a great choice.
The mine was closed when we visited but it was still fun to explore from the outside. We hiked the hiking club trail loop - which was actually confusing to follow - but it was fun to see some remnants of the old mines and the trail was wooded and pretty. There was also still snow in one of the deep pits. The picnic area was gorgeous with a lot of trees and there was a large fishing dock. There is also a nice boat launch to a quiet bay that brings you right into Lake Vermillion. It was windy so we did not kayak. The state park is kept up and maintained very nicely. We enjoyed our visit.
Beautiful state park with a funky layout. Campsites are very pretty but sites are mostly gravel not ideal for tents more aimed at the rvs. 100-200 campsites seem better for tents over 300 sites. 100-200 have some grassy tent pads with a cool layout. Check it out!
We were in site 402. It is a really nice campground. The bathroom/ shower building is really nice. We had a few big rocks on the border of our campsite that our kids played on. The campsites were a really nice size. The day use area is great. The picnic shelters were really nice. It is a short walk to the fishing pier.
Sites are large and well spaced. Free wifi, several pit toilets along with a new shower/restroom building. No playground or beach. Our kids mainly played at the campsite or rode their bikes around the loop by the sites in the 400s.
In my opinion the sites in the 400s were the most shaded (though none were heavily shaded) and had more grass. Our friends stayed in #402 and their site was similar but with more boulders on the site perimeter. Neither site had good trees for hammocks.
Firewood was a good deal - all you could use for $6/day.
There is a boat launch near the campground as well as a day use area in the park (need to drive there). The day use area is beautiful and you can walk down to the lake, fish, or picnic.
In Ely both the Wolf Center and the Bear Center are great places to visit. If you can only visit one I would recommend the Bear Center as you get to see the animals more up close and the guided tour is very informative.
We stayed at site 312E, pull through site which made it convenient with the boat. We tent camp and it had a nice flat grassy spot for the tent with ample room for the screened in shelter. (+’s)
- New campground - bathrooms were nice and everything was freshly paved
- Not that many sites which mean overall traffic was low
- Boat ramp was within park
- Soudan mine tours were awesome
- Within reasonable driving distance to Ely which has the wolf center, shopping, etc
- It has WiFi!!! This was huge for the kids - devices were ON
- No view of the lake
- No beach
- Garbage was 3/4s of a mile away - made taking the trash out a pain
- No playground
We didn’t do any biking but should bring the bikes next time as the paths look good.
I see this campground more for RV and non-kid groups.
The mine and Lake Vermillion have separate entrances but are considered the same state park. Lake Vermillion is absolutely stunning and the park has very fancy group campsites. The sites are not very private but are a quick walk to the beautiful lake. And Soudan Mine is a must-see! Great way to spend a really hot day!
Nice showers and restrooms. Spacious sites. Lots of hills. No lake view.
new campground in last couple years. facilities are well maintained and the sites are nice and big. we stayed at 314E with our friends at 312E. their site was by far the best, with an awesome rock structure the kids had a blast climbing on.
plusses: main bathrooms and showers are very clean and new. water in sinks is warm. Soudan Mine tour was awesome! travel down in the mine and ride cars to see the way iron ore was mined in early 1900s. hike to overlook we saw a large white tailed deer 20 yds away. the view was amazing and only 3 miles round trip from the campground. pay $6 per day for all the fIrewood you use, vs prIce per sack. paved path was awesome for running or biking. drove to Ely for the day and went to the International Wolf Center - fun to see the wolves up close.
opps: no trash cans in vault toilets makes it difficult at that time of the month. long walk to the lake from campsites. wish there were sites on or closer to the lake. our kids wanted to fish or swim.
Lake Vermilion is a large multi-purpose recreational lake at the edge of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness. It is a very popular lake for fishermen, but until now there was no State Park campground available on its shores. This is a new state park campground, which just had its Grand Opening in June 2018. It is located on land adjacent to the historic Soudan Mine state park, which was a park for history tours and day use only until the park expanded and developed this campground for campers interested in lake recreation, especially a fishing-oriented vacation. With the exception of a handful or remote hike-in and boat-in dispersed campsites which are currently free of charge, the majority of campsites are drive-in and have electric hook-ups. There are also three group campsites, one hike-in with simpler facilities perfect for scout troups etc, and two others with both tent and RV sites and picnic shelters and their own bath houses.
For tent campers, the sites are large but newly cleared so still a bit rough. For RV campers or fishermen with boats and trailers, there is ample room for your vehicle and trailer. All of the sites are carved out of the woods and, though near the lake, are not within viewing distance of it. You do have to drive a bit to get to the boat landing, but it isnt far and has a great brand new ramp and docks. If you want a place to camp that is conveniently located for fishing Lake Vermilion, this is it. It is also a good place to camp if you want to bike on the Mesabi Bike trail, which goes through the park and runs from Ely to Grand Rapids. BWCA trippers will also find this to be a convenient stopove the night before or after a BWCA trip, and no doubt the brand new bathrooms and showers will be very welcome. There are a sporadic park naturalist programs here, but fewer than a lot of other state parks. There are a lot of activities and things to do in the nearby town of Ely though, https://www.ely.org/ and basic supplies located next door to the park in the village of Soudan. A visit to the historic Soudan Mine in the west of the park is quite an experience too.
Note: I visited in mid June, just as summer campers were coming to try out the park. Apparently a big wind storm camp through at the end of June causing some treefall and damage to some areas of the park. check here for updates: