Top 15 Things to Do in Iron Mountain, MI (2023)

Iron Mountain, Michigan is one of the largest cities in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the seat of Dickinson County.

It was named Michigan Main Street Community and served as a gateway to Michigan's Upper Peninsula from Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

By 1879, there were settlers in town, and Iron Mountain got its name from its proximity to a cliff deeply covered in iron ore.

The population of this mining town increased after the discovery of this valuable iron ore nearby.

Residents incorporated Iron Mountain as a village in 1887 and as a city in 1889; According to the 2010 census, the city has 7,624 inhabitants.

Iron Mountain offers many attractions: lush forests, rushing rivers, abundant wildlife, downtown charm, sporting events, festivals, tourist areas, shopping and dining, and much more.

Rich in history, with special emphasis on its mining origins, the village offers a wide range of leisure activities at any time of the year.

If you want to explore even more what Iron Mountain has in store for visitors, check out this list of the best things to do in town.

Visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception

Top 15 Things to Do in Iron Mountain, MI (1)

The Church of the Immaculate Conception is a beautiful structure in the Italian Renaissance style with a distinctive hexagonal bell tower and stained glass windows.

It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1979 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

In 1890, Italian immigrants came to work in the Iron Mountain mines and built a wooden church near the current church known as "The Italian Church".

The original church burned down in 1893.

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In April 1902, Father Giovanni Sinopoli di Giunta quickly organized a community on the Eisenberg to finance the construction of a new building, drawing up the plans himself.

The priest and his dedicated parishioners raised $4,000, and workers began building the church while working in the iron mines in the area.

This beautiful church was built in five months, created by many hearts and hands.

This church commemorates the pride and goodwill of Iron Mountain Italians towards their neighbors.

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Admire the military museum and World War II gliders

Even if you're not a history buff, you're sure to find something fascinating at this military museum.

As the name suggests, the museum features a collection of model CG-4A gliders built by the Ford Motor Company for the US Army - more gliders than any company in the country built during World War II.

There are old newspapers, photographs, documentation and a film showing the construction of this glider in nearby Kingsford, as well as personal stories from glider pilots and pilots who saw action during the war.

Other aircraft, some replicas and some refurbished, are also on display, along with ¾-size models.

Also on display are relics from Nazi Germany, a collection of war photographs, restored vintage cars and a wide range of military uniforms from the Civil War to the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Lastly, there are military and general plaques honoring those who served and an exhibit named after those whose donations and talents were used to maintain and establish the museum.

Admire the Cornish Pump Engine and Mining Museum

Among many engineering marvels, this museum is home to the Chapin Mine Pumping Engine, built in 1889.

It is the largest pumped steam engine ever built in the United States and was officially named one of the greatest machines in the world by the History Channel.

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Its titles include a National Historic Site, a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, and a Michigan Civil Engineering Historic Landmark.

Iron Mountain's Chapin Mine was one of the wettest mines ever to operate in a cedar swamp, and the Chapin Mine Pump Engine helped solve this on-site ore recovery problem, increasing productivity and reducing breakage.

The museum also has the largest collection of underground mining equipment in the state of Michigan.

Here you'll see ore cars, trucks, draglines, drilling rigs, jackhammers, pumps, ore hoppers, mining cars, a steam boiler and much more.

Learn about Iron Mountain's mining history as you explore the museum grounds.

Iron Mountain City Park-Spaziergang

Take a deep breath and relax in this beautiful tree-lined city park.

Enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation on this 69-acre estate with ample amenities and something for everyone.

Picnic and socialize in the spacious picnic areas with barbecue grills, let the kids burn off in the playground with sandboxes and swings, and enjoy walking among the wildlife on the trails.

If you are a sports enthusiast, there are several leisure options: bocce courts, a soccer field, two tennis courts, a skate park or snow slide and a cross-country ski area for the winter.

Learn to play bocce ball, a very popular sport on Iron Mountain, and maybe even watch the residents compete in their tournaments.

You'll also find an enclosed deer habitat to pet and feed these gentle animals.

The park is a popular hub for local activities and a good place to spend your free time on Iron Mountain.

Reading at the Dickinson County Library

You might want to do some holiday reading while taking a break from exploring.

If so, the Dickinson County Library has your literary needs covered!

This library was founded in 1902 with a gift from Andrew Carnegie, who provided that the library and its branches would continue to serve the needs of the county.

This branch of the Iron Mountain library is an iconic facility, a keeper of local history that contains a wealth of photographs and documents about Iron Mountain and the Menominee Range.

It is an iconic source of ancient books, manuscripts and texts about famous people where a genealogical society meets every month.

This library holds events such as lectures by authors, literary conferences, book launches, reading programs for all ages, book clubs and many others.

The library also has digital resources such as historical DVDs and documentaries, e-books and an impressive web database.

Check out the Menominee Range Historical Museum

The Menominee Range Historical Museum is considered one of Iron Mountain's best kept secrets.

It is a collection of over 100 exhibits depicting life on the Menominee Iron Range since the late 19th century.ANDcentury to previous 20ANDCentury.

Upon entering the museum, you will be greeted by a country shop where you can browse the stock of early 20th century staples.ANDCentury.

Other exhibits include a Native American diorama, trading post, real estate office, hunting lodge, logging tools and historic relics from the home area.

There are areas that remain from the everyday life of the 19th century, such as a dentist's office, a doctor's office, a pharmacy, a watch shop and a barber shop.

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Find relics like ancient musical instruments, a hand washing machine, a folding bathtub, mechanical benches and much more to enrich your journey through this era of history.

Enjoy a show at the Braumart Theater

Sit back and watch a show unfold before your eyes as you stop by the Braumart Theater.

It is Iron Mountain's oldest theater and is popularly known as "Milwaukee's Finest Pleasure House".

Its mission is to transform the theater into a dynamic cultural arts center that encompasses arts and artists, gives the city an educational, cultural and economic boost, and provides a social and cultural meeting place for the entire community.

At the theater, see ballets, classic films, Christmas music, cultural festivals, live band shows, science exhibits, traditional dances, local artists and much more.

There is also a special series for your children with talk shows, games and animations.

It's a beautiful, historic theater with admirable architecture and a great atmosphere, and you'd do well to spend a family night out at this famous venue.

Relaxe no Sol Blu Lounge e no Taproom

Socialize and chat with friends at this atmospheric bar in the center of Iron Mountain.

The building has an interesting history: Constructed from locally quarried red sandstone, it was originally part of a commercial block in 1891 and was sold to Iron Mountain in 1990 for use as City Hall.

What was once a bank vault is now a warehouse, giving character and backdrop to the lounge stage, and the tavern mixes history and modernity in a unique combination.

Sol Blue Lounge and Taproom has thrived since 2001 with its signature beers and spirits, signature cocktails and mixes, and high-energy entertainment.

Enjoy a cocktail in good company, enjoy an ice cold draft beer and enjoy a slice of local pizza served in the lounge.

Watch Green Bay Packer games in high definition with a cheering crowd, or enjoy exclusive live music in the hall's signature acoustics.

The venue also offers great veteran discounts and special packages for private parties, so be sure to check out their happy hour specials.

Millie Mine Bat Cave Sightseeing Tour

Millie Mine is an abandoned iron mine that is now home to one of the largest colonies of wintering and breeding bats in North America: over a million bats are known to live in this cave.

It has spectacular sunset views, great bike paths and benches to sit and watch for bats, and steel guardrails to prevent accidents.

Surrounding the grounds are beautiful panoramic views of Iron Mountain, hiking trails, observation decks and comprehensive educational bat signs.

The best time to see the bats inside and outside the cave is April to May or September to October at dusk.

Watch them fly quickly and silently around the windy viewpoint, and if you're lucky, a cloud of them will fly all the way.

Here you can assess bats and their life cycles and how the ecosystem benefits from their presence.

Treat yourself to a getaway at Pine Mountain Ski & Golf Resort

This resort is a prime location for some of the best skiing in the Midwest for skiers and snowboarders of all levels and has one of the highest ski jumps.

It holds the record for both the highest ski jump in the world and the highest mountain in the World Cup, and you can watch some of the most daring jumpers compete here.

It is historically known as "Giant Pine Mountain" and is a competition venue for the Continental Cup.

Have fun on the slopes and watch sporting events while enjoying the stunning views over the mountains.

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In addition to skiing, the resort also offers the Timber Stone Golf Course, an award-winning 18-hole golf course ranked among the best in Michigan and among the top resorts in the United States.

The Timber Stone Golf Course represents a beautiful harmony between nature and golf, with courses among pine trees, lakes, streams and mountainous terrain that challenge golfers of all levels.

Enjoy unforgettable moments in this pristine vacation spot and let the resort meet your needs for an energetic and relaxing getaway.

Pay your respects at the Upper Peninsula Veterans Memorial

Perched atop Pine Mountain is this solemn tribute dedicated to members of the slope service.

It honors all members of Michigan's 15 counties who fought and gave their lives in the United States Armed Forces.

This memorial honors those killed in various armed wars, including the Korean War; First and Second World War; wars in Europe, Vietnam, Japan and Lebanon-Granada; the wars in the Middle East; and others where veterans gave their lives for their homeland.

Here you can see five white pillars that mark the military branches of defense, landmarks with names engraved in granite and plaques.

In the center of the memorial is a flag and at the foot of the pole is a time capsule that will be inaugurated in July 2106, one hundred years after the inauguration of the memorial.

Don't forget to purchase meaningful items and memorial stones to continue to support the maintenance of the monument.

Honor Upper Peninsula veterans and commemorate their sacrifices at this noble monument.

Relax in Lake Antoine Park

If you fancy a lakeside getaway, look no further than this 748-acre waterfront attraction that features a small island, a handful of coves, hiking trails and forested hills.

The camps have picnic and barbecue areas, a drinking water station and toilet, hot showers with running toilets and even a cafe with Wi-Fi, so you can be sure of a comfortable stay with your loved ones.

The shores of the lake are a fantastic camping spot with eye-pleasing views and the water is excellent for swimming, tubing, paddling and water skiing.

Cast a line and go fishing, take a boat out on the lake or rent a bike and hit the road.

If you want to be active there is a volleyball court, basketball court, horseshoe pits and golf course in the area.

Bring the whole family to this park and you'll find a variety of lakeside activities perfect for a weekend camping trip.

Hands-On Rafting with Northwoods Adventures

Northwoods Adventures on Iron Mountain is your one-stop destination for thrills and incredible Michigan whitewater rafting adventures.

It offers a variety of thrilling rafting tours, stand-up paddleboarding and inflatable kayak rentals, as well as cabin rentals with access to fishing and hiking trails.

One of their most adrenaline-pumping tours is the half-day Menominee River trip, where guests are treated to rafting and a downriver escape.

You'll sail thrilling waters, have fun sailing over the falls, snorkel and paddle with your friends, and have fun on your river cruise.

The guides on your trip are experienced in safety and rescue techniques, they know the river like the back of their hand and are always willing to help you choose the experience that best suits your needs.

Exciting diving awaits with Northwoods Adventures with one of the best rafting and whitewater guides in the state!

Other activities nearby

Spot wildlife in the Lake Fumee Natural Area

Just 10 minutes from Iron Mountain is this 1,800-acre conservation area with many unique features.

It is a peaceful and natural place with hundreds of hectares of lake surrounded by hundreds of hectares of land protected by the City of Norway and the Fumee Lake Commission.

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It has several hiking trails, varying in terrain and aptitude, and five miles of unspoilt coastline, described by local fishermen as highly outstanding and unique.

Experienced educators use the Lake Fumee Natural Area as an excellent example of ecological study.

This area was home to rare and endangered bird species such as bald eagles, farmed eagles, common grebes and 40 other bird and waterfowl species.

It is also home to rare plant and wildflower species such as the peregrine fern, parnassus grass, purple rock fly and 17 species of orchids.

Nature recreation opportunities await visitors: hiking, birding, biking and nature photography in the first three seasons, and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter.

Available in all four seasons, the Lake Fumee Natural Area welcomes visitors curious about nature and outdoor recreation.

Enjoy the great outdoors at the Spread Eagle Barrens State Natural Area

On the outskirts of Iron Mountain, 15 minutes from the city itself, is another lush natural paradise worth visiting.

It is a mosaic formed by six different communities established to protect the Pine Barrens area.

The Spread Eagle Barrens State Natural Area has not been used for human development since the 1990s, so anyone visiting will see a truly pristine ecosystem.

It is a high altitude wasteland of 7,400 acres of rolling land with pristine lakes, the wild Pine River forking its length and dirt roads with ample parking and accessibility.

It is a lush landscape dominated by Scots pines, pines, oaks and poplars, with sandy soils supporting rich pastures.

The area is home to more than ten species of birds: winter wren, northern crow, clay sparrow, eastern thrush, black warbler, nightjar, etc.

It supports mammalian species such as black bears, coyotes, red foxes, white-tailed deer, fish badgers and other wildlife.

It also has good access for walks, picnics and bike rides and is generally a great nature spot for the whole family.

See the wonders of this preserve along the Pine River and come face-to-face with nature in the great outdoors.

final thoughts

This gateway to Michigan's Upper Peninsula is an ideal destination for your touring needs.

If you're planning an Iron Mountain vacation, take this checklist with you to see what you can do there.

This town in the heart of Iron Ore Country offers all visitors a wealth of outdoor adventures and fascinating history.

See too: The Best Restaurants in Iron Mountain, Michigan

USA North America things to do Michigan Dickinson County, MI


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