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DNR to renovate White Iron boat landing in 2025

Ely Echo - Staff Photo - Create Article

by Parker Loew

The boat landing on the southwest side of White Iron Lake off Hwy. 1 will be renovated as part of a cooperative project between the St. Louis County Highway Department and Minnesota DNR.

The project was approved as part of the DNR initiative to improve more than 40 public water access sites across the state.

The bulk of the funding for these projects, including the White Iron boat landing, will come from the $149.9 million Get Out MORE (Modernize Outdoor Recreation Experiences) investments, $35 million of which will go towards modernizing boating access.

These investments were approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz in 2023.

The boat landing off South White Iron Road is in dire need of revamping, as it is currently little more than a paved extension of the road that slopes into the water, with minimal parking options.

The landing is situated on a bend in the road, and people loading their boats block traffic and create a hazardous roadblock.

The DNR needs more space in order to build a safe and easy-to-use boat launch, so they are collaborating with the St. Louis County highway department, which will be moving the roadway away from the lake to make room for the boat launch.

“With the highway department moving the road away from the lake, it’s going to give us a little extra room for a few parking spots and a nice ramp,” said Joe Majerus, DNR area supervisor in Tower. “It’ll be a fairly basic water access site that’ll be off the road, which will solve all the safety concerns that are currently there.”

The DNR and St. Louis County Highway Department said they will be able to have eight parking stalls at the boat landing when it is completed.

This project has been looked at by the DNR for a few years, but the opportunity finally presented itself this year when the highway department announced they would be doing roadwork on South White Iron Road in 2025.

When the funding from Walz was announced, it gave the DNR even more incentive to improve the boat landing.

One obstacle the highway department has come across is the land they want to use to realign the road is privately owned.

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