Iona's Beach – Minnesota - Atlas Obscura

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Iona's Beach

When waves crash onto this section of beach, the rocks sing a song.  


Iona’s Beach is a hidden gem. Instead of silky, golden sand, this stretch of shore is covered in smooth pink rocks that, if you know when to listen, sing.

The beach sings its signature song as the waves come in and disturb the rocks. When the stones resettle, they tinkle like millions of little bells. It’s a soft sound, so you have to stand fairly still and be quiet to hear it.

The unusual musical concert isn’t the only thing intriguing about the beach. Even when Lake Superior is calm and the air is silent, the place still feels magical. The pink rocks, which formed from fallen pieces of a nearby rhyolite cliff, are an eye-catching sight on their own. The stones, worn and weathered by years of erosion, are all wonderfully smooth to the touch.

The beach is also one of the three scientific and natural areas along the lake. It was named after Iona Lind, who owned the resort that once stood on the spot where the beach’s parking area now is.

Know Before You Go

The hike from the parking lot to the beach is only a couple hundred feet.

This beach is a Scientific & Natural Area, which means it is not allowed to collect rocks, plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.


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