Cook Area Recreation

You can stay busy right at Pehrson Lodge, or strike out and explore what the North Woods has to offer away from the resort.  Here are some ideas...



Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary 218-757-0172

A unique opportunity to observe wild black bears in their natural habitat.   This is the best place to see North American black bears in their natural habitat.   A viewing deck gives you outstanding views of the bears.  Biologists are on hand to offer loads of information and answer questions.  Hours are 5pm-8pm with viewing until dusk.  Closed Mondays and during adverse weather.  Located near Orr.


Soudan Underground Mine State Park 218-753-2245

This was Minnesota’s first iron ore mine which opened in 1882.   Experience the life of a miner and learn why this mine was called the “Cadillac” of mines.  Travel a half-mile underground and to learn about the first and richest iron mine.   Everyone learns something from the experience!  Located near Tower.


International Wolf Center 218-365-4695

Features wolves in their north woods habitat and a variety of exciting programs to help you learn and understand about the North American wolf.  Located near Ely.


North American Bear Center 218-365-7879

Watch and learn about bears in their natural habitat both inside and outside viewing areas.   Video exhibits and documentaries teach you all about bear behavior.   Gift shop.  Located near Ely


Bois forte Heritage and Cultural Museum 218-753-6017

Visit Atisokanigamig  “Legend House” and experience the culture and heritage of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe.  Located near Tower.



Dorothy Molter Museum  218-365-4451

Visit the cabins and museum of one of the north woods most colorful individuals, Dorothy Molter the “Root Beer Lady”.  Dorothy carved out her legacy in the north woods by paddling, hiking, fishing and snow shoeing the area until her death.


Minnesota Discovery Center  218-254-7959/ 800-372-6437

Located in Chisholm, Minnesota this center showcases Minnesota’s Iron Range stories through artifacts, exhibits, oral histories, interpretive demonstrations and educational programs.  Board the trolley for a 2.5-mile ride on the Mesabi Railway to the site of a former mining community.


United States Hockey Hall of Fame Museum  218-744-5167

A perfect place for the whole family.   You will see a tribute to the great hockey coach Herb Brooks, try your skills on the replica rink, see a Zamboni and watch the 1980 Olympic Team take home the gold!


Fortune Bay Casino  218-753-8917

Features a wide selection of slots, blackjack tables and high stakes bingo.  25 minutes by car. 




Vermilion Falls

Take a drive about 45 minutes north towards Crane Lake to the Vermilion Falls for a short ½ mile hike along river to a cascading waterfall, very picturesque. 

Vermilion Gorge

Hike the Vermillion Gorge for a 1-½ mile gravel trail of rugged landscape of granite cliffs and rock outcrops.

 Astrid Lake

            Astrid Lake has 7 miles of hiking trail connecting 4 small lakes.

Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Hike the trails in the park through a northern hardwood conifer forest and along the rim of the old open mine pits.   Obtain a map at the park office for the 5 miles of hiking trails.

                                    Orr Bog Walk

The Orr Bog Walk's half-mile long boardwalk surface provides nature enthusiasts of all ages and abilities with easy access to a wide variety of wetlands,

Black Bay Peninsula

Water access only hiking trail system on the northern shores of Lake Vermilion.  An easy 2-mile interpretive trail, 3 plus mile advanced trail and connecting trails between the two loops.   3 dock sites and two-day use picnic areas.   Total trail distance is 8 miles and includes beaver ponds, undisturbed forests and hilly terrain with beautiful views.



Bike the numerous rural roads that wander through scenic Northern Minnesota. Explore the Mesabi Trail, accessed in Virginia. The Holm Logging road, which is to the north on Hwy 24, is a mountain bike adventure.  The Alvina Road, just to the north of the Pehrson Lodge driveway and across the street, is another mountain bike option.




Birding with Dee Kuder     218-750-0047 or 218-993-2445  Dee Kuder is authorized to operate in the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters under a U.S. Forest Service Special Uses Outfitter Guide Permit: LAC6701.


Mini Golf

Pier 77 is about a 25-minute drive toward Tower on County Road 77.

Enjoy North Woods themed miniature golf and ice cream!


Movie Theatres


Cook ‘s Comet Theatre: 218-666-5814

The longest continuous running movie theatre in the state of Minnesota.   Stop in for a Carmel Latte as you browse the new fashions, accessories and home décor items.   The Comet Coffee shop has the finest quality coffees, cappuccinos and teas that you can find.    Movies are shown nightly at 7:00 pm, with 1PM matinees on rainy days by special request for groups of six or more.


                                    Cinema 6/Mountain Iron Theatre:  218-741-2008

Take Hwy 53 south to Virginia, Take US-169 ramp toward Hibbing, turn right onto Hwy 169.  Turn left onto CR-7/23rd Ave. W.   Turn right onto Unity Dr.   Turn right onto Enterprise Dr. S.   8426 Enterprise Dr. S. is on the right.

Take a look at our Area Activities Map for other recreation locations.

As you can see the Lake Vermilion area is full of wonderful vacation opportunities. We are a favorite among Minnesota Resorts in the midwest. If there is anything we can do to make your vacation more of what you want it to be, please call, we can arrange just about anything.