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Plans finalized for new state park at Lake Vermilion

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A storm over Lake Vermilion
A storm front approaches on Lake Vermilion near Jackrabbit Island.
Rob Nopola

A new state park in northeastern Minnesota could be open for hiking as soon as this fall. Gov.  Pawlenty and a top U.S. Steel executive have finalized a deal in which the state will buy 3,000 acres on the shore of Lake Vermilion for $18 million. It will be Minnesota's first new state park in 35 years.

Cathy Wurzer interviewed Courtland Nelson, Director of Parks and Trails at the Department of Natural Resources. He estimates that it could take six years and another $30 million to fully develop the park but that it could receive at least 300,000 visitors a year.