Your guide to living and working in the northernmost reaches of the Northland.
Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Hoyt Lakes, Ely — spanning from west to east, the Iron Range covers a vast inland tract of Northeastern Minnesota. The area is known for its mineral-rich soil, thick forests, and gorgeous lakes, as well as a strong work ethic that has built up around a diverse variety of industries.
Anchoring the West Range is the City of Grand Rapids (pictured above), where you’ll find a family-oriented way of life and vibrant arts scene on the banks of the Mississippi River. Clustered together on the Central Range, you’ll find Virginia, Eveleth, and Hibbing. Major economic drivers across this area include a bustling service industry and robust healthcare sector.
Further east, Hoyt Lakes is perched on the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway and bordered by two beautiful lakes perfect for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Further highlights on the East Range include Aurora, the Town of White, and Biwabik. The latter is known for its Bavarian architecture as well as the Giants Ridge recreation area.
Venture deeper into the wilds, and before you hit the Canadian border you’ll reach Ely (pictured below), the Superior National Forest, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Tower and Babbitt also add to the flavor of the area as small cities with big personalities.
It’s no wonder that much of the economy here goes hand-in-hand with the environment — from timber and paper products to mining and outdoors recreation. High-paying jobs in natural resources and manufacturing are also available alongside opportunities in education, retail, government, and professional services.
The Iron Range is legendary for its dramatic economic cycles fueled by enterprising individuals. This resilient part of the state is experiencing a modern renaissance, propelled by visionaries like the folks behind Iron Range Makerspace. If you want to be a part of it, networking groups like Connect Committee can help you plug into Iron Range communities.
For relocation assistance and more information on the Iron Range, check out these local resources:
- Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation
- East Range Joint Powers Board
- Ely Chamber of Commerce
- Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
- Hello Iron Range
- Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce
- Laurentian Chamber of Commerce
- Iron Range Tourism Bureau
- Itasca Economic Development Corporation
- Thrive Up North