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Explore the Rich History of the Cuyuna Lakes Region and Enjoy a Stay at Cuyuna Lakes Stay

Nestled in the breathtaking landscape of central Minnesota, the Cuyuna Lakes region is a remarkable fusion of natural beauty and fascinating history. This captivating destination invites you on a journey through time, as you explore a rich heritage steeped in the area’s iron mining heyday, which forever left its mark on the land, people, and culture. Cuyuna Lakes Stay is the perfect retreat from which to experience this charming corner of Minnesota, providing the ideal base to delve into the region’s history while basking in the serene beauty of the Cuyuna Lakes region.

The name “Cuyuna” originates from a unique blend of Cuyler Adams – a local mining enthusiast, and Una, his trusted dog. Together, they forged the area’s rich iron mining legacy, which spans over eight decades from the early 1900s to the 1980s. The Cuyuna Lakes region bears the marks of this era through the fascinating remains of abandoned mines, mining boomtowns, and scenic overlooks revealing the majestic open pits. These historical sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past, igniting the imagination, and painting a vivid picture of the lives and challenges faced by the miners and their families.

Cuyuna Lakes Stay welcomes you to immerse yourself in the alluring combination of past and present, as you uncover the hidden stories and enchanting relics of the region’s history while enjoying the inviting comforts and warm hospitality of our accommodations. Allow your curiosity to flourish as you embark on a captivating journey through the Cuyuna Lakes region, delving into the incredible mining history that helped shape the land, people, and culture of the area. Experience the legacy of the past as you create lasting memories during your stay at Cuyuna Lakes Stay.

Traveling Back in Time: Key Historical Sites of the Cuyuna Lakes Region

The Cuyuna Lakes region has several important historical sites and locations that transport you back to the days of bustling mining communities and the story of the region’s iron ore boom. Some of the must-visit sites include:

1. The Croft Mine Historical Park: This 17-acre park in Crosby enables you to step back in time and experience life as it was during the mine’s operation in the early 20th century. Explore the interactive underground mine simulation, marvel at the original mining equipment, and visit the authentic miner’s bunkhouse.

2. The Milford Mine Memorial Park: Pay tribute to the lives lost in the tragic 1924 mine flood at this haunting memorial park. Wander along the interpretive trails, take in the serene beauty of the natural surroundings, and engage in quiet contemplation at this poignant historical site.

3. The Cuyuna Range Heritage Museum: Uncover an intriguing collection of artifacts, historical photographs, mining tools, and other memorabilia at this Crosby museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the region’s mining legacy.

4. Portsmouth Mine Lake Overlook: This panoramic overlook near the Cuyuna Lakes State Recreation Area entrance treats visitors to breathtaking views of the deep blue waters of the Portsmouth Mine Pit Lake, standing testament to the area’s incredible transformation since the mining era.

How Mining Built Communities: The Story of Boomtowns and Relics

The iron ore boom in the Cuyuna Lakes region propelled the growth of several mining communities, some of which were eventually abandoned when the mines closed. Gain insight into life during this thriving era:

1. Crosby and Ironton: The once booming mining towns of Crosby and Ironton offer a picturesque setting to explore the architecture, neighborhoods, and monuments that showcase the area’s mining days. Interesting historical sites include the Crosby Fire Station, The Soo Line Depot, and the Hallett Community Center, which previously housed a library, theater, and bowling alley.

2. Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area: The former mining district is now a beautiful recreation area with an intricate network of both land and water trails. As you pass through these trails, look out for the abandoned mines and boomtown relics that remain scattered throughout, reminding visitors of the region’s storied past.

The Environmental Impact: Mining Legacy to Natural Haven

The cessation of mining activities in the Cuyuna Lakes region paved the way for an incredible natural renaissance. The region’s mining past now coexists in harmony with a vibrant ecosystem:

1. The Reclamation Process: Following the end of mining operations, efforts were made to reclaim the land and promote regrowth. Nature stepped in to rehabilitate the terrain and transform the area into the diverse landscape we see today.

2. Mine Pit Lakes: The enormous open pits left behind by the mining activities have filled with water over time, creating an intricate network of vibrant blue lakes that offer an aquatic sanctuary for various water-based activities like kayaking or paddleboarding.

3. Flora and Fauna: The diverse terrain of the Cuyuna Lakes region has fostered a thriving habitat for various plant and animal species. From towering trees to thriving wetlands, the area now teems with life, providing a valuable refuge for wildlife.

The Mining Tradition Lives On: Modern Interpretations and Art

The region’s mining heritage has inspired creativity and innovation in the present, with modern artistic interpretations and installations continuing to honor the area’s past:

1. Miner’s Mountain Rally Center at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area: This architectural gem is a nod to the heyday of the mining industry. Resembling a raised ore mining structure, the center now serves as a trailhead and gathering point for biking and other outdoor enthusiasts.

2. Local Musical Tales: Local musicians and songwriters have paid tribute to the rich mining history through heartfelt original songs that explore the captivating stories of those who lived, worked, and built their lives around the mines.


Your adventure through the captivating history of the Cuyuna Lakes region provides more than just a fascinating journey into the past – it serves as a testament to the resilience of both nature and the human spirit. As you delve into the remnants of the mining era and witness the incredible transformation of the land, experience the thriving present, and appreciate the region’s rich heritage from your comfortable sanctuary at Cuyuna Lakes Stay. Create unforgettable memories as you reconnect with the living history of the Cuyuna Lakes region, enveloped in the heartwarming hospitality and cozy retreat that awaits you at Cuyuna Lakes Stay.

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    Pet Policy

    When booking a stay with pets at Cuyuna Lakes Stay, you must call the hotel to add your pets to your reservation.

    Pets must not weigh more than 80 pounds.

    You must provide your pets vaccination records if asked for them.

    The hotel will charge additional 25% of the room rate for your pet stay.

    You will be held financially responsible for pet damage to your room.

    Pets may be left unattended in your room, but must be in a crate or pet carrier.

    Pets must be on a leash whenever they are out of your room.

    If you receive two (2) noise complaints you will be asked to leave. (No refunds)

    You must pick up after where ever your pet goes potty. You must have your own potty bags, we do not provide them.

    Thank you.