There are several tunnels in Minnesota, ranging from abandoned railroad tunnels that are popular for graffiti art to underground tunnels in the Capitol Complex that connect buildings. There are also several high tunnels in Minnesota, which are unheated greenhouses used by commercial growers to extend their growing season and protect crops from pests and diseases.
Overall, tunnels in Minnesota serve a variety of purposes, from transportation to storage to growing crops. In this article, you are going to discover the longest tunnel in Minnesota, including its history and current status today. Let’s go!
What Is The Longest Tunnel In Minnesota?
The Cramer Tunnel, which is 1,800 feet long from entrance to exit, is the state’s longest railway tunnel. About 78 miles north of Duluth, in Lake County, Minnesota, is the unincorporated village of Cramer, which is home to the Cramer Tunnel.
What Is The History Of Cramer Tunnel?
The Hoyt Lakes taconite factory and Taconite Harbor on Lake Superior, where LTV Steel’s ore dock was located and from which taconite was transported to eastern steel mills, were connected by the Cramer Tunnel. LTV Steel employed a 72-mile train line to connect its Hoyt Lakes taconite facility with its Taconite Harbor shipping port, which is located close to Schroeder, Minnesota, during the 1950s, when the taconite business was at its height. From the time of its opening until 2001, when LTV Steel stopped operating, the tunnel was continuously used. Since October 2008, the tunnel has been abandoned.
Why Was The Cramer Tunnel Built?
The Hoyt Lakes taconite factory and its ore dock at Taconite Harbor on Lake Superior, from where taconite was shipped to eastern steel mills, were connected by the Cramer Tunnel. LTV Steel employed a 72-mile train line to connect its Hoyt Lakes taconite facility with its Taconite Harbor shipping port, which is located close to Schroeder, Minnesota, during the 1950s, when the taconite business was at its height. After LTV Steel blasted a tunnel to connect the two places, the tunnel was finally opened in 1957.
Why Is The Cramer Tunnel Abandoned?
Until LTV declared bankruptcy and shut down its ore dock in Taconite Harbor, the tunnel was regularly used. Cleveland Cliffs, a company that specializes in the mining, beneficiation, and pelletization of iron ore as well as steel production, bought the property in 2002. Up until 2008, cleanup trains operated on the line to collect any lingering chips and pellets. Since then, the location has been vacant.
Is The Cramer Tunnel Open To The Public?
The Cramer Tunnel is currently open to the public, but visitors explore at their own risk. The steel doors to the entrance of the tunnel had been lowered upon its closure, presumably to discourage entrance, but both doors have since been raised, making it available for visitors to explore. Getting to the tunnel requires a bit of a drive and a short hike.
How To Access The Cramer Tunnel
Out of Silver Bay, travelers must go north on Highway 61 before turning left onto Highway 1 to reach the Cramer Tunnel. Turn right towards Highway 7/Cramer Road in Finland town. 13 miles or so along Cramer Road will bring you to a big railroad trestle bridge. On the main road, continue past the first fork by staying to the left, and at the second fork, turn right. Park close to where the hiking trail ascends the hill to the tunnel. Get ready for a quick hike!
What Does The Inside Of The Cramer Tunnel Look Like?
The Cramer Tunnel is unique in that it is curved and has a slight grade, which allowed trains to travel easier through the rugged terrain. Today, the tunnel is a popular tourist attraction and a part of the Superior Hiking Trail. The tunnel itself is described as an off-the-beaten-path gem that many locals aren’t even aware exists. The tunnel is also covered in graffiti. There are videos and a 360 walkthrough of the Cramer Tunnel available on YouTube, which provide a glimpse of the inside of the tunnel.
The Cramer Tunnel in Minnesota is a unique and beautiful attraction located in Minnesota. It is one of the few remaining tunnels built by hand during the 1900s, and it offers visitors an incredible adventure should they choose to explore it. The tunnel has been somewhat preserved to maintain its original charm, but it is certainly off the beaten path enough to feel as though you are taking a risk visiting it. This site provides a wonderful opportunity for individuals to connect with nature as well as learn about local history!