A popular mine viewing spot on the Iron Range is now closed


The view won't be quite the same anymore.

Mineview in the Sky, a popular spot in Virginia, Minnesota, that offers a high-up view of the Rouchleau mine pit, closed after its final day of operations Sunday.

WDIO reports 800 people showed up for the Mineview's last day. It opened 36 years ago as a spot for locals and tourists to get a sky-high look (it's 1,520 feet above sea level, according to a release) of the local mines.

"It's very melancholy. It's very sad, but it's also progress," Lori Maki, the manager of Mineview in the Sky, told Northland's NewsCenter. "It's an ending, but it's also a beginning."


The attraction saw a significant uptick in visitors through Oct. 1 compared to recent years, according to a post on its Facebook page.


Mineview is rated as the No. 1 thing to do in Virginia on TripAdvisor. Roadside America wrote it was most impressed with the "gift shop, which had an excellent assortment of bleak open pit postcards."

Why is it closing?

The Mineview is a victim of the Highway 53 relocation project.

The major traffic artery, between Virginia and Eveleth, is getting rerouted so United Taconite Mining Company, owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, has better access to nearby iron ore deposits, the project website says.

A committee is looking at moving Mineview to a new spot –possibly along what's known as county dump road, a news release says. It'd be a little higher above sea level, and offer views of United Taconite, ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel mines, as well as the new bridge.

It's not clear when that would be able to happen however.

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