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Lake Vermilion Area Guide, Cook & Tower

Here's your place to share events and news for all things Lake Vermilion!
By Jean Cole
HTF Editor

 The many faces of Lake Vermilion

 I love Lake Vermilion. I was fortunate to have lived there and raised my children there. Now, like most people, I’m a happy visitor.

The beauty of Lake Vermilion is that it can be most things to most people. I lived it in all seasons from the busy summer holidays to the thermometer shattering 60 below temps of 1996. I’ve traversed the lake in a canoe, paddle-boat, fishing boat, sail boat, houseboat, and a truck. I’ve skimmed its surface on a jet ski, snowmobile, ice skates, and on water- and crosscountry skis. I’ve plunged into it naked from docks, the bows of boats and rock ledges. I’ve slept there in tents, cabins, homes and hotels.

I experienced solitude and wilderness, and busy socializing with friends and neighbors. If I tired of one thing, I could find the other – that is the wonder that is Vermilion.

It is vast enough to contain something for everyone – those looking for peace and quiet, and those looking for restaurants, golf, music and slot machines.

When we lived on Lake Vermilion, we would sometimes have house guests every weekend from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It was hectic sometimes, but we loved sharing our lake with friends and family. Different guests liked to do different things, and we were always able to oblige them.

My favorite time was post-Labor Day. Seasonal visitors were gone, even most of the cabin owners. Only a few people lived on our road year-round. No more cars. No more dust. It was time to take a deep breath and enjoy glorious fall colors, walks with the kids and the dogs, hot saunas and heart-stopping dives into the rapidly-cooling lake water. Soon our world would be transformed by winter, when moonlight would reflect off the lake’s frozen surface and the aurora borealis would pulse in the sky.

About a month ago my oldest daughter asked me, “Mom, do you remember when I was little and you would wake me up in the middle of the night to go sit with you on the end of the dock and watch the fish jump?” Aw, sweet. Yes, I remember, I said. And we were quiet, thinking about all the things we did like that, and there were many, many of them.

You don’t have to live on Lake Vermilion for it to become a special place in your heart. There it is, just sitting there, all 40,000+ acres of it, waiting for you to befriend it. There are public landings, primitive campsites, campgrounds, swimming beaches, hiking trails, and day use/picnic sites. Put some gas in the car, pack a picnic lunch, beg or borrow a canoe, grab a fishing pole, and go have some fun.

Hope to see you there!

Lake Vermilion Ice Out 2010:

A Record-Shattering April 6!

April 10 1915 2009 1934  
1945 April 23 May 1 1933  
April 11 1906 2003 1923  
1910 April 24 1983 May 7  
April 12 1984 1959 1975  
April 13 1942 1957 1944  
April 14 1925 1953 1927  
1939 April 25 1935 May 8  
1998 2002 1926 May 9  
April 15 1991 1924 May 10  
April 16 1980 May 2 1956  
1987 1969 2001 1936  
April 17 1929 1994 1928  
1976 April 26 1971 May 11  
April 18 1977 1968 1972  
1941 1949 May 3 May 12  
1931 1999 1995 1947  
2006 April 27 1970 May 13  
April 19 April 28 1964 1979  
1958 1993 1960 2008  
1940 1990 1914 May 14  
1938 1985 May 4 1996  
2005 1963 1992 May 15  
April 20 April 29 1989 1966  
1986 1952 1982 May 16  
1973 1948 May 5 May 17  
1967 2004 1974 May 18  
1946 2007 1965 May 19  
2000 April 30 1962 May 20  
April 21 1988 1961 May 21  
1930 1954 1951 May 22  
April 22 1943 May 6 May 23  
1981 1932 1978 1950  
1955 1997 1937    


Lake Vermilion Ice-Out dates courtesy of

Lake Vermilion Area Resource Guide

Tower Area Upcoming Events

MAY 21 Farmers’ Market, May 21 - Oct. 22, 4-6 p.m., Tower Depot,

Get your shopping bags ready. The Tower Farmers Market will open for business on Fridays beginning May 21. The early spring has meant area gardeners have a jumpstart on the growing season, and market vendors are expecting to have early spring vegetables and greens, as well as baked goods, jams and jellies, maple syrup, locally-produced meat, and craft items for sale on opening day.

The market is located in the parking lot of the Tower Depot/Civic Center, and runs from 4-6 p.m. every Friday. Shop early for the best selection.

The market had 18 vendors last year along with several business sponsors and was able to generate enough income to just cover the expenses, which include the city permit fee, insurance and signs and minimal advertising costs.

The Tower Farmers Market now has a Facebook page. Vendors will be able to post weekly updates of what they will be bringing to market each week.

MAY 24: Bay View Lodge reopens! 753-2500

JUNE 5-6: Lake Vermilion Harbor Festival (Christina Hujanen, organizer, 780-4645)

JUNE 23: Let’s Take A Kid Fishing (1st Annual),, 753-2340 for info!

JULY 2: Riverfest (Christina Hujanen, organizer, 780-4645)

JULY 4: 4th of July Parade and Celebration

JULY 23-25: Depot Days,, 753-2301 TOWER AREA INFO

Lake Vermilion Resort Association,, 800- 648-5897

Fortune Bay Resort & Casino,, 800-555-1714

Wilderness Golf Course,, 800-992-4680

Bois Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum,, 753-6017

Lake Vermilion Guides League,

Sportsmen’s Club of Lake Vermilion,

Tower-Soudan Historical Society,, 753-2301

Greenwood Township,

Lake Vermilion Info,

Lake Vermilion Chamber of Commerce,

Tower Harbor Project, html

Lake Vermilion State Park,, vermilion/index.html

Trout Lake Portage BWCA - Permits can be reserved and picked up at the La Croix Ranger Station on US Highway 53 in Cook, or at Fortune Bay Resort just off County Road 77 outside of Tower.

Lake Vermilion Day Use/Picnic Sites/, for a map, see www.sportsmensclublakevermilion. org

Hoodoo Point Campground,, 753-6868

McKinley Park Campground,, 753-5921 Soudan Underground Mine State Park, tours begin May 29,, 753-2245

Pike River Hatchery,, 753-5692

Cook Area Upcoming Events

JUNE 5: Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade Fundraiser

The Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade will hold a Family Picnic and Fundraiser and First Annual Meeting on June 5 beginning from 2-5 p.m. at the Crescent Bar & Grill.

Outdoor and indoor games, raffle ticket sales, and a silent auction will be held. The Old Fashioned Picnic begins at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children in advance; $20 for adults and $12 for children at the door. Please R.S.V.P. by sending your check for the total amount no later than June 1 to: LVFB, PO Box 490, Cook, MN 55723. Any questions, call Jeff Stebbins (218) 666-5556 or (952) 292-7331. Website:

JUNE 11-13: Cook Timber Days

The Cook Area Chamber of Commerce and the people of Cook invite you to join them in celebrating Cook’s new, “old” celebration ...Timber Days.

Timber Days recognizes the impact the timber industry has on Cook and the surrounding area. The festival includes logging history and educational displays. It will demonstrate the use of forest products, forest resources and various forest-based art forms. There will also be performing artists such as musicians and the giant parade on Sunday, along with many other activities throughout the weekend.

For more info, contact the Cook Chamber of Commerce at 218-666- 6093. Website:www.cookminnesota. com.


Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade,

Cook, MN Info,

City of Cook,, 666-2200

Cook Chamber of Commerce,, 666-6093

Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary,, 757-0172

Orr Bog Walk, Vermilion Falls, Vermilion Gorge,

Orr-Pelican Lake Association,

Comet Theater,

Wolf Ridge Golf,, 666-0218



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