The Best Places to See Wildlife on the Iron Range – A Guide for Nature Enthusiasts

A photo of Gooseberry Falls near Duluth, Minnesota
Waterfall in the Iron Range

The Iron Range: A Haven for Wildlife

The Iron Range, located in the heart of Minnesota, is a nature lover’s paradise. With its vast forests, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or just starting out, the Iron Range has something to offer everyone.

A wolf lays on the forest floor in Ely's Wolf Center on the Iron Range

Exploring the International Wolf Center in Ely

If you’re looking to see some of the most iconic wildlife in this area of Minnesota, then a visit to the International Wolf Center in Ely is a must. This world-renowned facility is dedicated to the study and conservation of wolves, and offers visitors a chance to learn about these majestic creatures up close. From interactive exhibits to live wolf observation areas, the International Wolf Center is a one-of-a-kind experience that should not be missed.

A Visit to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Orr

Another must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts while visiting this neck of the northwoods is the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the American Bear Association, in Orr. This sanctuary was born of an encounter Vince Shute had with American black bears in the area. The result was unintentional feeding, which could not easily be stopped. As a result, the sanctuary continues to feed bears in the area, which keeps them from getting into trouble with the local community. This unique situation offers visitors a chance to see these amazing animals in their natural habitat. With over 360 acres of land, the Vince Schute Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to observe and photograph bears in the wild.

American black bear mother with cubs at the Vince Shute wildlife sanctuary on the Iron Range

Other Wildlife Viewing Opportunities on the Iron Range

But these are just a few of the many opportunities for wildlife viewing on the Iron Range. From bird watching to fishing, the area is home to a wide variety of species that are sure to delight nature lovers of all ages. Some other notable destinations for wildlife viewing include the Sax-Zim Bog, a 200-square-mile wetland complex that is home to over 240 bird species, and the Mesabi Trail, a 135-mile paved trail that winds through some of the region’s most beautiful natural areas.


Tips for Wildlife Photography

Of course, no wildlife adventure on the Iron Range would be complete without some wildlife photography. If you’re planning to take pictures of wildlife, be sure to bring the right equipment and dress appropriately for the weather. Consider taking a photography class or workshop to hone your skills and learn some new techniques. And always remember to respect the wildlife and their habitats by following all posted rules and regulations.

An eagle sits on a pine tree in the Iron Range

Other Wildlife Viewing Opportunities on the Iron Range

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife adventure, the Iron Range is the perfect destination. From wolves to bears to birds, the area is teeming with wildlife just waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to experience the beauty and majesty of nature on the Iron Range. And as always, if you’re hoping to update your family photos while visiting, contact us – we’re happy to help.

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