Voyageur National Park - Mining History - Blueberry Festival in Ely
July 20-23, 2022
Explore Northeast Minnesota
Voyageur National Park - Mining History - Blueberry Festival in Ely July 20-23, 2022
Hibbing’s Mining History & Greyhound Bus Station Historic Wilbert Café in Cotton Hibbing High School Tour & Bob Dylan History Shoulder to Shoulder Veteran’s Memorial Soudan Underground Mine Vince Shute Bear Sanctuary in Orr Voyageur's National Park and Cruise on Rainy Lake in International Falls, MN Ely’s The Blueberry Festival The Root Beer Lady, Dorothy Molter's Cabin
Seating is limited on this tour.
Here’s What We’ve Included in the Explore Northeast MN Tour: · Round Trip Motor Coach Transportation with Trobec Bus Company to include boarding in the following towns;Vadnais Heights, North Branch, Hinckley, and Cloquet PLUS Sartell, Rice, Little Falls (Hibbing & Eveleth are also options) * Three Nights Lodging (Hampton Inn Hibbing & AmericInn in International Falls) * Voyageur's National Park and a Narrated Cruise on Rainy Lake * Dorothy Molter's Cabin (Root Beer Lady) & Blueberry Festival in Ely * Vince Shute Bear Sanctuary in Orr and Soudan Underground Mine; * Hibbing High School Auditorium, Greyhound Bus Station & Hull Rust Mine; * Veteran's Memorial "Shoulder to Shoulder" * Drive Across the Tallest Bridge in Minnesota - The New I-53 Bridge * Seven Meals: Three Breakfasts, Two Lunches, and Two Dinners * Luggage Handling, Taxes, Tips for Porters & Included Meals, and Fully Guided with a Travel Host.
Wed, July 20th Day 1; Travel North along I-35 / 1-53 / 1-169 to the Iron Range Cities -Overnight in Hibbing: Begin with early morning departures on your Happy Trails "Explore Northeast Minnesota" Tour at various venues throughout the Southern and Central part of the state. You'll ride in style on a lovely state-of -the art Trobec Motor Coach with drivers that have your utmost safety and care in mind. Boarding locations offered will begin in Vadnais Heights, North Branch and Hinckley. Other boarding locations offered will include Sartell, Rice, Little Falls. Cloquet and Hibbing are also boarding options. A great day is planned as we embark NORTH along interstate 35 - I-53 with the start of our journey with a bit of Iron Range history.
11:00 pm- Lunch,included at Historic Wilbert Cafe – Here’s a popular stop if you happen to have been riding on a Greyhound Bus back in the day. It’s still a great hot spot for locals and tourists, alike. Menu to be announced. 12:45 pm- Board the coach and travel to Hibbing where a lot of Iron Range history await your arrival. Hibbing High School Auditorium & Bob Dylan Memorial: This stop is one of the Iron Range and Hibbing's most beloved treasures. Built is the early 20's during the mining boom, this 1805 seat theater has hosted famous guests including the Boston Pops and John F Kennedy and many others. The Bob Dylan Memorial is also located on the high school grounds so we’ll be sure to visit there before moving on to our next highlight where we wilL drive by his boyhood home. Greyhound Bus Station: 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. To start the tour, visitors pass through a tunnel that comes alive with auto sounds of 1914 and the Hupmobile that could not be sold. The story continues with the men and machines that created Greyhound Bus Lines using pictorial displays, hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia, audio-visual presentations, and the video "The Greyhound Story" from Hibbing to everywhere. A diorama of WW II illustrates how Greyhound contributed to the war effort. Other exhibits help the visitor understand how, with a Hupmobile car they could not sell and a two-mile route, Greyhound grew to be the largest bus company in the world. 5:00 pm- Check into the lovely Hampton Inn Hotel – This lovely property welcomes your arrival and offers a nice breakfast in the morning, two beds in the rooms, indoor pool and hot tub, coffeemakers in the rooms and free Wifi. 7:00 pm- Dinner is included tonight at the Valentini Super Club in Chisholm. Prepare yourselves for a delightful Family Style Italian Dinner to include spaghetti and meatballs, Italian baked chicken, Salad, Bread and more….
Thu, July 21st Day 2: Soudan Underground Mine - Bear Sanctuary in Orr & Dinner at Dam Supper Club 7:30 – 8:30 am- Enjoy Breakfast, included at the hotel. Begin our morning with another fun stop in Hibbing with a visit to the Hull Rust Mine. We think of Northeast Minnesota as home to thousands of gorgeous lakes, but Minnesota is also home to a "natural wonder" that's actually human engineered. Also known as the "Grand Canyon of the North," the Hull Rust Mine is the biggest open pit iron ore mine in operation in the world. At the present time, it is more than three miles long, two miles wide, and nearly 540 feet deep. It's operated by the Hibbing Taconite Company. You’ll learn so much just by viewing the equipment up close, visit with local retired miners. From here, we'll head northeast along #169 through iron mining country right past the Iron Man Statue. routing ourselves to I-53 so that we cross over the brand-new Highway 53 Bridge, the tallest bridge in the state of Minnesota (204 feet @ a cost of $230 Million). We’ll find our way to Bailey's Lake in downtown Virginia. Here we’ll meet Artist, Gareth Andrews, designer and creator of the Veteran's Memorial, "Shoulder to Shoulder - Even the Fallen Stand Tall". Time will be made for lunch, paying on your own, at one of Virginia’s favorite restaurants. 1:00 pm- We’ll reboard the coach for our next exciting Iron Range hotspot! This next stop will continue to tie in the importance of mining here in the Iron Range. Welcome to the Soudan UndergroundState Park in Tower. Immigrants looking for a better life came to the area to mine what began as open pit mines. Due to safety concerns, mining was moved underground. Nicknamed the Cadillac of underground mines, Soudan was in operation from 1882 to 1962. Over the years, 54 miles of tunnels were dug 2,350 feet deep, and more than 15.5 million tons of ore were mined. Tours show visitors actual mine settings and the various equipment used over the decades the mine was operation, from candles to headlights, chisels to jackhammers. This tour involves an 1/2 mile elevator ride taking you to the 27th level. The mine is very cool (51 degrees). Be sure to dress warm for this event – you need a lined jacket – not just a sweater or sweatshirt. Let us know if you are not able to do this tour. The tour takes about 2 + hours when we include the grounds, the film, and the underground mine. It’s very easy tour to do with little walking. Just be sure you are dressed warm in layers. 3:30 pm- We will depart Soudan and continue our way further North to Orr. About an hour away. 4:15 pm- Arrive to the Vince Shute Bear Sanctuary for our 4:30 pm appointment. Half a century ago, a Minnesota logger who lived in a forest full of hungry bears decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. By the time he died at age 86, Vince Shute had fed generations of black bears, become best friends with a bear named Brownie and inspired bear-lovers all over the world. We'll ride into the lumber camp and learn about this incredible story. It's not unusual to see 30 -50+ bears come to feed. We could see anywhere from this year's cubs and yearlings to very old bears that have been coming there for many, many years. People come from all over the world to study them and learn about the American Black Bears. Travel an hour to International Falls to the AmericInn Hotel with an estimated arrival of 6:45 pm. This hotel has a full-service restaurant in house, two beds in the rooms, and is located on the lovely Rainy River. It has an indoor pool, hot tub and a sauna. There is a bowling alley next door to the hotel that also has a lounge. 7:30 pm- Dinner is included tonight in the hotel’s restaurant. Walleye Pike or a choice of another entrée (yet to be announced) will be on menu. Stay tuned as we continue to finalize the dinner. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Fri, July 22nd Day 3: Beautiful Voyageur National Park – Rainy Lake & International Falls 6 am-8:30 am- Enjoy a Breakfast, at your leisure this morning before heading out for the day’s adventure. Our day will consist of visiting the Koochiching Historical Museum, Smoky Bear State Park and a visit to the at the Island View Lodge. Our day be change up a bit pending on our appointment for our boat cruise on Rainy Lake in Voyaguer National Park. They are in process of finalizing which boats will be used for our cruise. Depending on the size of boat, will determine the length of our cruise along with the time of departure. So just know, we will be enjoying a scenic day on lovely Rainy Lake! Voyageur National Park is located on the Minnesota and Canadian border and has been a well-kept secret for years. But word is getting out and more and more people are finding its beauty. It has been featured in award-winning films and publications, noted for its beauty, serenity and breathtaking display of the Northern Lights. Rainy Lake. The park's name commemorates the voyageurs, French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to frequently travel through the area. Voyageurs National Park lies within the heart of the North American Continent. Here you can see and touch rocks half as old as the world, experience the life of a voyageur, experience the sights and sounds of a boreal forest. Once we visit the attractions listed, we’ll return to the AmericInn for our 2nd night in International Falls.
Sat, July 24th Day 4: Travel to Ely .... Dorothy Molter's Cabin and the Blueberry Festival 6:00-7:00 am - Breakfast is included this morning. 6:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors for the porter. 7:00 am- The bus departs for Ely- just a short drive from Tower – Get checked in for 9 am tour. 9:30 am- Arrive to Dorothy Molter's Cabin /Get Checked in and enjoy our tour. Dorothy was a legendary resident of Minnesota’s famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). For most of 56 years, she lived alone on the Isle of Pines on Knife Lake, 15 miles from the nearest road. When Dorothy died in 1986, she was the last remaining non- indigenous year-round inhabitant of the BWCAW and a legend of the Northwoods. After Dorothy's death, permission was granted to disassemble her cabins and bring her personal belongings to Ely. We'll be sure to enjoy an ice-cold bottle of Rootbeer in Dorothy's memory before leaving here.
10:30 am - Re-board the coach and travel a few blocks to our next venue - Home of the Ely's Annual Blueberry Festival. The festival is held in Ely’s beautiful Whiteside Park where you can find wood and leather products, metal art, photography, paintings, jewelry and pottery, and many other unique hand-crafted items While you are shopping for that special one-of-a kind original piece of art you may want to take a break and listen to one of the musical acts that are scheduled everyday.There are activities for the children as well like the bungie jump and other amusements. Make sure you visit the food court with all kinds of tempting food everything from cream cheese wontons and seafood to authentic Polish Pierogis. There of course are fresh blueberry pies by the slice with ice cream or a whole pie. You are right downtown so if you wish to shop the downtown vendors as well, you've got ample time to enjoy yourselves today. 3:00 pm- Board the coach and begin our journey homeward! A stop will be made in Eveleth to see the largest Hockey Stick! 5:45 pm- Hinckley- Tobies for dinner (paying on own) Staying about 1.5 hours. 8:00 pm- Estimated arrival to Roseville / Vadnais Heights 9:30 pm – Estimated arrival to Sartell
Things to Know Before Your Go on Your Explore Northeast Minnesota Tour: * Let us know of any special needs or requests as soon as you can so we can best prepare a wonderful experience for you. * There are no mask mandates or Covid restrictions in place at this time – However, individual businesses MAY require you to wear a mask in their property. National Parks do require you to wear a mask while in the park, which would include the Voyageur National Park boat cruise. We may require masks on board our coach. Happy Trails Tours has mask on board for your convenience. * Our charter Bus Company is Trobec Bus Company –Google: Trobec Bus Company. * This tour is entirely casual …. PLEASE dress warm (in layers) for the Soudan Mine Tour! It’s about 50 degrees. * The Blueberry Festival is a lot of fun with lots of places to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee/ piece of blueberry pie. There will be lots of people and a fair amount of walking. The downtown area (within walking distance of the park) also offers live musical entertainment and many wonderful shops to explore. * Travel Insurance is highly recommended and can offer financial support to help insure your investment of this tour. It can also offer peace of mind should an unforeseen event occur. Please contact us so we can talk with you and best advise you on this subject. 800-635-7779.
Changes: We reserve the right to adjust this schedule for the benefit of all traveling. If a change of hotel, restaurant or an attraction occurs, we’ll replace it with one of equal value or better. As always, we will inform you of any changes as we learn of them. Disclaimer: Happy Trails Tours acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, theater, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Happy Trails Tours, INC and their respective employees, agents, representatives accept no liability what-so-ever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages, or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, pandemics, local laws or other causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of country in which they are provided. Happy Trails Tours INC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Happy Trails Tours. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.