For access to the Mesabi TrailTM from Hwy 169, exit north onto Hwy 102 and travel .75 mile into downtown Mountain Iron. Turn left on Main Street, then turn right onto Mountain Ave. Trail access and parking is located one block ahead.
On the Trail, three miles west of Virginia is the city of Mt. Iron, where the "Iron Range" began. It was here that Leonidas Merritt discovered ore in 1890. The town still reflects the mining emphasis. Located on the intersection of Highways 53 and 169, the community of 3,500 maintains its mining heritage and showcases its interesting past.
The community is adjacent to Virginia and offers many shared attractions. The eastern edge of Mountain Iron and the western edge of Virginia share the Highway 53 corridor and the "service belt" that runs along it. All these services are within walking or biking distance from the Mesabi Trail.
At the Minntac Mine Overlook, just sounth of town, visitors have a unique chance to view Minntac/U.S. Steel operations. In downtown Mt. Iron, a 1910 Baldwin locomotive, class S-4 switcher, is on display. The Leonidas Merritt Days festival happens every August with fun and games for the whole family.
Area lakes, campgrounds, lodging, and numerous restaurants, service stations, shopping facilities, and more, are located in Mt. Iron.