Local Activities

Lake Vermilion is one of the most scenic lakes in the United States, whether you’re camping on one of its 365 islands or taking a relaxing boat ride along its 1,200 miles of shoreline.

In the 1940s — a few years after Hod Ludlow began renting cabins on Ludlow’s Island — the National Geographic Society declared Lake Vermilion was one of the most scenic lakes in the country. We think you’ll still agree with that.

Serious Fishing

Lake Vermilion has long been known as a quality fishery. With improved management and stocking programs, Lake Vermilion continues to become a premier lake for muskie, walleye, northern pike and bass.

In the last decade, Lake Vermilion has become a renowned muskie fishery. Many 50-inch muskies are caught every year on the lake. Last year, one angler likely caught a state record-class fish, but he released it before officially measuring it.

You’ll also find great crappie fishing, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and plenty of bluegills. Even the youngest kids can get in on the act with our kids fishing tournament held every week on our docks.

Interested in learning more about Lake Vermilion fishing or finding a reputable guide service? Find more on our Lake Vermilion fishing page.

Lake Vermilion Facts

  • Total area: 40,000 acres
  • Walleye fry stocked in Annually: 5-20 million
  • Maximum depth: 76 feet (in Big Bay)
  • Ice out 2018: April 15th
  • 365 islands (Ludlow’s is the only island resort on the lake)

Where Are We?

Lake Vermilion is located in northeastern Minnesota about 1.5 hours north of Duluth, Minnesota. It is nestled between the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Voyageur National Park.

Fishing Packages

Looking for a great northern Minnesota fishing vacation? Ludlow’s has great Lake Vermilion fishing packages.

BIG ASPEN RECREATION AREA
Twenty-one miles of scenic hiking trails made up of old logging roads and abandoned railroad grades. Opportunities for wildlife viewing such as deer, black bear, fox, raccoon, moose, eagles, hawks, and other birds.

Activities: Hiking, Birding, Wildlife Viewing
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 45 minutes

ARROWHEAD STATE TRAIL
Used for snowmobiling in the winter, this natural-surface trail extends nearly from Tower to International Falls. In the summer, about 70 miles of the trail is dry and suitable for hiking.

Activities: Hiking, Biking
Drive Time from Ludlow’s:  Approximately 20 minutes

LUDLOW’S HIKING TRAIL
A one-mile hiking trail located on our north shore and dotted with swings overlooking Lake Vermilion.

Activities: Hiking, Wildlife Viewing
Distance from Ludlow’s: 5-minute ride in our water taxi

VERMILION FALLS
A torrent of water from the Vermilion River that cascades through a 10-foot wide chasm in the granite. The ¼ miles roundtrip trail to the falls and observation deck is accessible and passes by three picnic sites overlooking the river. Picnic sites are available, but campfires are not allowed.

Activities: Hiking, Wildlife Viewing
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: 60 minutes

VERMILION GORGE
At a leisurely pace, this 1 ½ mile (one-way) trail can be hiked round trip in around 3 hours. The last portion of the trail parallels the Vermilion River Gorge, a rugged landscape of sheer granite cliffs and rock outcrops.

Activities: Hiking, Wildlife Viewing
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: 65 minutes

BEAR HEAD LAKE STATE PARK
Secluded in the northwoods, this park contains pristine lakes and is home to a variety of wildlife including nesting eagles, fox, wolves, and moose.

Activities: Hiking, Wildlife Viewing
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: 55 minutes

MESABI TRAIL
Currently 75 miles, the Mesabi trail will span 130 asphalt-paved miles through 28 Iron Range communities when complete.

Activities: Biking, hiking, inline or roller skating
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 50 minutes

LAURENTIAN DIVIDE RECREATION AREA
The Laurentian Divide Recreation Area serves as the trailhead for the Lookout Mountain Trail and Laurentian Divide Fitness Trail which includes a 15 mile hiking trail system and a ½ mile fitness trail with 7 exercise stations. The recreation area features scenic overlooks, 4 picnic sites, an Adirondack shelter, and interpretive signs.

Activities: Birding & wildlife viewing, hiking
Drive Time from Ludlow’s:  Approximately 45 minutes

SOUDAN UNDERGROUND MINE STATE PARK
This park is home to Minnesota’s oldest iron ore mine! Travel a half-mile below the earth’s surface, just the way the miners used to. Explore the dry house, drill shop, crusher house, and engine house. Take the boardwalk past one of the deepest open mine pits or take the hiking trails through the forest and past the famous Soudan Iron Formation!

Activities: Birding & wildlife viewing, parks & forests, mining, history
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 45 minutes

GIANTS RIDGE HIKING
Giants Ridge offers some of the most secluded, self-guided, hiking trails in the area. With just over 10 miles in three trails, you’re sure to find the hiking experience you desire.

Activities: Hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, golf, disc golf
Website: http://www.giantsridge.com/hiking.html
Drive Time From Ludlow’s: Approximately 70 minutes

LAKE VERMILION STATE PARK
Lake Vermilion State Park is one of Minnesota’s newest state parks, located just south of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Explore trails, view the scenic overlooks and beautiful shoreline, and learn about Minnesota’s mining history.

Activities: Wildlife viewing, hiking
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 40 minutes

VINCE SHUTE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
This unique haven offers travelers a rare glimpse into the world of wild black bears. An observation deck keeps viewers a safe distance from the bears, and offers a close-up view of bear behavior. Trained naturalists are on hand to inform visitors about these wonderful creatures

Activities:  Wildlife Viewing
Website: http://www.americanbear.org/
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 45 minutes

INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER
At the International Wolf Center in Ely, a stunning and informative series of exhibits chronicles the history of the wolf as it evolved in nature. It also examines the wolf’s role in cultures which either idolize or demonize the animal.

The Center’s own wolf pack includes 2 Arctic wolves that may be viewed by visitors as an interpreter describes their behavior. Special feeding and tracking sessions are available.

Activities: Wildlife viewing
Website:  http://www.wolf.org
Drive Time from Ludlow’s:  Approximately 1 hour

NORTH AMERICAN BEAR CENTER
The mission of the North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide while also working to conserve bear habitat, stop poaching for bear body parts, rehabilitate injured and orphaned bears back to the wild.

The Center’s ambassador bears can be viewed from indoors or outdoors, giving visitors an insight into the behavior of black bears that cannot be found anywhere else.

The Center also features a Cub Room for kids, a theater, interpretive trails, a gift shop, and daily programs and events.

Website: http://www.bear.org/website/
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 1 hour

WOLFRIDGE GOLF COURSE
Wolfridge is unique for its rugged terrain, challenging play, and reversible layout. Golf clubs and carts available for rental, and snacks, beer, and liquor are available at the clubhouse.

Activities: Golf
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: 30 minutes

VERMILION FAIRWAYS GOLF COURSE
This par-36, 9-hole course is ideal for beginners, but golfers of all skill levels will appreciate the pristine wilderness views. Carts are available for rental, and assorted snacks, burgers, pizza, beer, and mixed drinks can be purchased at the clubhouse.

Activities: Golf
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: 5 minutes

THE WILDERNESS AT FORTUNE BAY
The Wilderness offers beautiful panoramas of Lake Vermilion and world-class golf. Fine dining, pro-shop, complete practice facilities, and state-of-the-art GPS systems in all carts.

Activities:  Golf
Website: http://www.golfthewilderness.com
Drive Time from Ludlow’s:  Approximately 35 minutes

THE LEGEND AT GIANTS RIDGE
This par 72 course features bent-grass fairways, white sand bunkers, lakes, giant boulders, and towering trees. Pro-shop on site, full-service restaurant and lounge, snack bar, PGA pro on-site, golf instruction, driving range, practice green, and club rental available.

Activities: Golf
Website: http://www.giantsridge.com/golf
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 70 minutes

THE QUARRY AT GIANTS RIDGE
The Quarry honors the region’s industrial past in a unique and culturally significant way. Each hold is named for area mines, past and current. Pro-shop on site, full-service restaurant and lounge, snack bar, PGA pro on-site, golf instruction, driving range, practice green, and club rental available.

Activities:  Golf
Website: http://www.giantsridge.com/quarry.html
Driving Directions: Approximately 70 minutes

GIANTS RIDGE DISC GOLF AND HIKING
Covering over 80 acres and up to 10,000 feet of fairway distance, Giants Ridge is one of the world’s largest. The 18-hole mountain course features dual concrete tees, multiple pin placements, a pro shop, practice tee, and driving range. Average play time for 18 holes is 2 ½ hours.

Giants Ridge also offers some of the most secluded self-guided hiking trails in the area. With just over 10 miles in 3 trails, Giants Ridge offers a great hiking experience.

Activities: Disc Golf, Hiking
Website: http://www.giantsridge.com/summer-activities-disk-golf.html
http://www.giantsridge.com/hiking.html
Driving Time From Ludlow’s: Approximately 70 minutes

VIRGINIA GOLF COURSE
The Virginia Municipal Golf Course, with its brand new log clubhouse and remodeled course, offers mature pine trees, water hazards and various sand traps. Three new hole designs are now open. Log clubhouse features complete pro shop and full service restaurant and bar. New driving range open.

Activities: Golf
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 45 minutes

EVELETH MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE
This 9-hole course plays along St. Mary’s Lake and is one of the most scenic and challenging courses on the Iron Range.  Pro-shop on site, beverages, snack bar, golf instruction, rental carts and clubs, and practice green available.

Activities: Golf
Drive Time From Ludlow’s:  55 minutes

MINNESOTA MUSEUM OF MINING
As a visitor to The Minnesota Museum of Mining, you will have the rare opportunity to climb aboard historic equipment used to mine the Mesabi Range’s rich iron ore. Your experience will begin at the very unique stone castle, constructed in 1933.  Browse the Gift Shop, and view the first of many displays of mining history inside the Castle. Then move outside to tour the many outdoor displays located around the beautiful Museum grounds. Climb aboard mining trucks, see the 1907 steam locomotive, and tour replicas of an underground mine and mining town!

Activities: Mining, history, places of interest
Website: http://www.mnmuseumofmining.org/
Driving Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 1 hour

ACTIVE MINE TOURS
Experience the life of a miner as you take an exciting tour of a modern day mining company. Visitors have the opportunity to watch miners and their massive equipment at work up close. Watch 30-yard capacity shovels, so big that a 4X4 truck could fit inside their buckets, load overburden into 3-story 240-ton mining trucks. See 80-car trains pulled by three locomotives filled with taconite pellets cruise near 500-foot deep iron laden canyons. Discover 100-ton maintenance trucks, large drilling rigs and huge bulldozers. A knowledgeable guide will narrate your adventure.

Tours are for ages 10 and up, and are approximately 2 hours long. Long pants and tennis shoes required. Advance reservations strongly recommended, as space is limited.

Activities: Mining, history, places of interest
Website: http://www.mndiscoverycenter.com/visit/hibbing-taconite-tours-minnesota-discovery-center/
Phone Number: (218) 254-7959
Drive Time From Ludlow’s:  55 minutes

HULL RUST MAHONING VIEW
View the second largest open-pit iron ore mine in the world, more than eight miles long, 3.5 miles wide and 535 feet deep. This man-made “Grand Canyon of the North” was the first strip mine on the Mesabi Iron Range. The amazing view continues to grow as the Hibbing Taconite Company Mine expands its mining operations. Rotary drills, 33-cubic-yard shovels and 240-ton production trucks can been seen in action at this National Historic Site. Occasionally, you’ll be able to witness a mining dynamite blast used to clear bedrock away to get to the iron ore. Since 1895 more than 1.4 billion tons of earth have been removed on its 2,000 acres of land, and more than 800 million gross tons of iron ore have been shipped from the mine. At peak production in the 1940’s, as much as one quarter of the ore mined in the United States came from the Hull Rust Mine. A video presentation in the Visitor Center explains the colorful history of the mine and early miner’s activities. A Visitor Center, observation deck, mine exhibits, mine shovel bucket, mining truck, interpretive graphics and a walking trail make the trip to the Hull Rust Mine View memorable. Area information brochures and gift shop available onsite.

Activities: Mining, history, places of interest
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 70 minutes

BOIS FORTE HERITAGE MUSEUM
Located on the grounds of Fortune Bay Resort & Casino, the museum is dedicated to telling the Bois Forte Ojibwe story.

Activities: Museums, places of interest
Website: http://www.boisforte.com/divisions/heritage_center.htm
Driving Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 40 minutes

GREYHOUND BUS MUSEUM
Hibbing is recognized as the birthplace of the bus industry in the United States. Visitors can now see and hear the story at Hibbing’s newest attraction, which includes seventeen historical buses.

Activities: Museums, places of interest
Website: http://www.greyhoundbusmuseum.org/index.html
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 70 minutes

HIBBING HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM
The Hibbing Historical Society Museum tells the story of Hibbing through photos and exhibits, including a model village as it appeared in 1893. See logging and mining tools, exhibits of artifacts from past eras in the region’s history. Exhibits with photos, documents and artifacts take visitors through past decades of history. A film provides perspective of the town, while knowledgeable volunteers answer questions. Learn about the city that was once the richest village in the world.

Activities: Museums, places of interest
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 70 minutes

UNITED STATE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME MUSEUM
Eveleth, Minnesota has been designated “The Capital of American Hockey” because of its rich hockey traditions. No community the size of Eveleth has produced as many quality players or has contributed more to the development of the sport in the United States.

Beginning in 1973, the Hall has honored and recognized outstanding coaches, players, builders and administrators who have contributed to the success and promotion of American Hockey.

While you’re in Eveleth, be sure to stop and see the world’s largest authentic hockey stick.

Activities: Museums, places of interest
Website: www.ushockeyhall.com
Drive Time from Ludlows: Approximately 50 minutes

WORLD’S LARGEST AUTHENTIC HOCKEY STICK
Measuring 107 feet and weighing over three tons, this Christian Brothers authentic hockey stick is complete with a giant rubber puck. Located in downtown Eveleth on Main Street – Grant Avenue. A must stop for any children who play hockey. The stick was renovated and was completed in the summer of 2002.

Activities: Places of interest
Address: Grant Avenue, Eveleth, MN
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 50 minutes

MAILBOAT EXCURSIONS
See over 80 miles of scenic Lake Vermilion as you ride along on a unique mailboat, which delivers mail to island residents six days a week.

Activities: Places of interest
Website: http://aronsonboatworks.com/mailboat.shtml
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 40 minutes

PIER 77
Nestled by the shores of Lake Vermilion, Pier 77 is a unique northwoods-themed, 18-hold mini golf course. Wi-fi available.

Activities: Mini golf
Website: http://pier77minigolf.com
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 30 minutes

HISTORIC COMET THEATER
COFFEE SHOP & BOUTIQUE
Established in 1939, The Comet Theater is the longest continuous running movie theater in the state of Minnesota. The Comet Theater is your destination for movies, great coffee & quality shopping, all in one.

Activities: Shopping, movies, places of interest, history
Website: http://comettheater.com/
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 15 minutes

Iron Range OHV Recreation Area
Minnesota’s premier off-highway vehicle recreation area, with 36 miles of OHV trails ranging from easy to difficult. Gas, restrooms, and food are available in Gilbert.

Activities: Off-Road Vehicle Riding
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: 66 minutes

NORTHWOODS FRIENDS OF THE ARTS
The mission of Northwoods Friends of the Arts is to inspire, nurture, and celebrate the arts in our region. Since their inception in late 2010, NWFA has established a vibrant, contemporary, regional arts center providing arts education, exhibition, performances, and community outreach. They represent all the many facets of visual and performings art disciplines including dance, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, literary readings, musicians, drama, and more!

Activities: Art
Website: http://nwfamn.org/
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: Approximately 15 minutes

COUNTRY CONNECTION
Interact with and learn about farm animals. Learn how to grow something or about local history. Shop the “farm store,” or hike the nature trails.

Activities: wildlife viewing
Website: https://cookscountryconnection.com
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: approximately 10 minutes

FORTUNE BAY CASINO
Located on Lake Vermilion, Fortune Bay has over 750 slow machines, blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and a poker room.

Activities: Entertainment, casino, dining, live music, golf
Website: www.fortunebay.com
Drive Time from Ludlow’s: approximately 40 minutes