Ever wanted to walk across the mighty Mississippi? It may be a huge river, but it has to start somewhere, and it just so happens it starts in Itasca State Park!
That also means that it's 2,552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico starts small, and it a great place to tick that little adventure off your bucket list!
Itasca State Park covers more tan 32,000 acres, and features over 100 lakes so there are plenty of places to take the family, and get back to nature/
There are also fascinating attractions to see within the Itasca State Park, not just the general park activities.
Kids can be amazed by the towering pine trees at Preacher's Grove, or visit the historic Itasca Indian Cemetery. There is also Wegmann's Cabins, which is just one of the landmarks of a time gone by.
If you fancy getting active, there are plenty of trails and spaces to hike, and with all those lakes you won't be short of a fishing spot either!
Naturalist programs are available all year round, and wildlife is just abundant.
Kids - what species can you spot! Perhaps you might see the cheeky herons or cormorants, or those incredibly fast hummingbirds. If you are lucky, you must spot a mischievous beaver, porcupine, gentle deer, or even the black bear or wolves!
There is so much history within the park too, it's worth immersing yourself whilst you're there to really get a sense of it all. At least 8,000 years ago there were Indian hunters in the area, and a century ago there were explorers making their way through the land.
If you loved Itasca State Park so much and wanted to spend a few more days at the park, you can camp under the starts or enjoy a goods night sleep at the historic Douglas Lodge or cabins.
You can organize tours of Lake Itasca if you want! You can also rent boats, kayaks, bikes, canoes - all at the Lake Itasca boat access.
Groceries are available at the north entrance and Lake Alice. If you are coming for a day trip make sure to pack a picnic and enjoy some family time together!
There is also a full-service restaurants at the Douglas Lodge, as well as Headwaters Cafe.
There are a number of entrances. The South entrance is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on Hwy 71. 30 miles south of Bemidji is the East entrance on Hwy 71, and 1/10 mile north on Hwy 200.
The North entrance is 21 miles south of Bagley on Hwy 92 and 200.
GPS is Lat 47.194648 and Long -95.165012
There are 3 Nature Stores where you can pick up some fun items as well as supplies. The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is open all year round.
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8am - 10pm Memorial Weekend to October. Rest of the year 9am - 3:30pm
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Itasca State Park