Where can you view a lake rimmed in red rock, learn about the evolution of Minnesota mining, watch bald eagles and peregrine falcons, and search for marine fossils that are 80 million years old? Visitors to Hill Annex Mine State Park in Calumet can experience it all. An active open pit mine from 1913 to 1978, Hill Annex produced 64 million tons of iron ore, a raw material of steel and industry.
The park's Club House Museum showcases mining exhibits and fossils formed ages ago when a sea covered this area. Bus tours share the history of Iron Range mining and immigrant workers and show off the site's scenic overlooks and historic buildings and machinery. A fossil hunting tour gives visitors the chance to dig for authentic fossils and take home their finds. Hill Annex Mine is open Fridays and Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Hill Annex Mine Park is located off Highway 169 between Grand Rapids and Hibbing. The mine parking lot is also an access point for the Mesabi Bike Trail.