Quality of Life

Central Iron Range Nature

This region of Minnesota was shaped by ancient glaciers as they made their slow march across the landscape. As a result, the region is dotted with glacial lakes, interesting rock formations and the vast woodland known as the Superior National Forest. One of the nation's few remaining boreal forest areas, it is home to a variety of spruce, pine and tamarack, as well as aspen, some hardwoods, and many species of wildflowers, grasses, wild fruit trees and berries. Animals such as white tail deer, black bear, moose, fox and bald eagles can be glimpsed. Waterfowl and upland birds offer excellent opportunities for bird watchers and sportsmen alike.
    
Mining activity has also shaped the landscape, leaving clear, deep, spring-fed lakes, many of which have public boating, plus camping and swimming access. Some are stocked with fish.

For outdoor recreation, the McCarthy Beach State Park and Sturgeon chain of lakes, located north of Hibbing near Side Lake Township, offer some of the region's best boating, canoeing and swimming opportunities in summer and excellent snowmobile and cross country trails in winter. In addition to campgrounds in the McCarthy Beach area, tent, camper and RV sites abound in and around our communities. The St. Louis River south of Hibbing affords access to a state-designated canoe route, with parks and camping areas along the way. Carey Lake in Hibbing has a large public beach and is surrounded by trails groomed and partially lit for cross country skiing. In Buhl, Stubler and Judson lakes are perfect swimming and fishing. A hiking trail system and campsites are also available.

For more on the many recreational opportunities in the area, as well as events and visitor information, go to www.ironrange.org.