Minnesota’s first new state park in a quarter-century will open in earnest Tuesday, a decade in the making but apparently worth the wait for eager campers.

The Daily Globe reported that just hours after reservations opened last week for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park’s 33 new campsites, many were already booked for the remaining fall weekends.

“And next summer’s dates already are filling in,” said Dawn Voges, assistant manager at the park.

Aptly named Vermilion Ridge Campground sits on the hill high above what is historically ranked as among the most beautiful, island-studded lakes in Minnesota, if not the nation. But you’ll have to walk, bike or boat to get a good view of the lake with the campground set well back from the water.

“Part of that is we wanted to keep the campsites in a sustainable area, and there just isn’t any good place along the lake,” Voges said. “And part of it is that we wanted to keep that feeling, when people are out on the lake, that this is still an undeveloped area. You can’t see the campground from the lake, either.”

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