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Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca

#1 of 9 in Things to do in Lake Itasca
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Itasca State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, and contains the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The park spans 32690acre of northern Minnesota, and is located about 21mi north of Park Rapids, Minnesota and 25mi from Bagley, Minnesota. The park is part of Minnesota's Pine Moraines and Outwash Plains Ecological Subsection and is contained within Clearwater, Hubbard, and Becker counties.
Itasca State Park was established by the Minnesota Legislature on April 20, 1891, making it the first of Minnesota's state parks and second oldest in the United States, behind Niagara Falls State Park. Henry Schoolcraft determined Lake Itasca as the river's source in 1832. It was named as a National Natural Landmark in 1965, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. About 500,000 people visit Itasca State Park annually.
Approximately 7–8,000 years ago, Native American hunters pursued wild animals for food in the Itasca State Park region. These early people ambushed bison, deer, and moose at watering sites and killed them with stone–tipped spears. The bison kill site along Wilderness Drive in the park gives visitors historical insight about this period.
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Itasca State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
509 reviews
  • We stayed for a couple of nights in the four season suites. The suite was very clean and well equipped. The WiFi and cable TV were welcome amenities in a state park. We enjoyed day time hiking and...  more »
  • This State Park is huge and that’s such a bonus because it can get very busy. We like to do a lot of hiking and there are many trails of all difficulty. There are lots of maps and signs that warn you....  more »
  • Reasonable campground sites. Level, not too tightly packed, big enough for class A rigs. Excellent food at the lodge. Plenty of hiking and canoeing opportunities. Nice information displays at the Mississippi Headwaters visitors center. Maps could use some more detail and information about trails and attractions.
  • It is a nice place there is a good trail system here and lots of hiking. The trails here are hilly and can be a challenge. The lake was beautiful and the park as a whole is really nice. Seriously go here in the fall and look at all the amazing colors, take a long walk in the woods, get kinda lost out there it is a big woods with lots to see.
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