A nice entry-point to paddling our clear-blue mine lakes in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation is the Hungtington-Feigh Mine Lake Loop. This route is a total of 3.3 miles from start to finish. Honestly, the full loop might be a bit long for a first-time paddleboarder if the wind and surface conditions are not still.
Starting at the Miner’s Mountain Rally Center, just north of the City of Ironton, you can take the walkway down to the water’s edge from the parking lot–a very simple and easy access.
Before getting into the water, please read and review all of the safety guidelines the State of Minnesota has provided for paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing (links are below).
Please also note these are mine lakes, which were prior open-pit mines. The drop-off edges are severe, and they descend from shallow to hundreds of feet deep in a very short distance from the shoreline.
Once you are up to speed on the safety guidelines and rules, please follow them accordingly, and then set out into gorgeous Huntington-Feigh mine lake. Rather than heading right down the middle of the mine lakes, stay near the edge where you can see the visually stunning former open-pit-mine drop-off and underwater world.
With a 50-foot water clarity, standing up on a paddleboard allows you to see underwater forests, dark blue drop-offs, bluegills in large numbers, maybe even a beaver, and a former timber shaft if the lighting is right. Optically, this will be an adventure on water that is unlike anything you’ve experienced on a natural Minnesota lake.
Early morning and early evening generally provide the calmest water and potentially, the most gorgeous light.
If you’d prefer to keep your route to a half loop, simply paddle out to the sunken island about halfway out and circle back. Viola, a 1.5-mile loop!
Enjoy, be safe, and be amazed by our clear blue water. Minnesota may have well over 10,000 lakes, but Cuyuna’s are the clearest.
Please read the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Paddleboard Paddling Safety Tips before recreating on the water
Please read the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Canoe and Kayak Paddling Safety Tips before recreatingon the water.