MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Officials were hoping last spring to open the much-anticipated campground at the newest gem in Minnesota's state park system in July. Then construction delays got in the way.

Now they're just holding out hope for a soft opening in time for the fall color
season at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park.

Scott Kelling, northeast regional manager for parks and trails at the Department of Natural Resources, says they have their sights set on a September opening with a date yet to be confirmed.

The state bought the 3,000-acre site and its picture-postcard views from U.S. Steel for $18 million, saving the land from being developed into expensive vacation homes. Combined with the adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park, the park has 4,000 acres and 10 miles of shoreline.