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Father Hennepin State Park, Isle

4.4
#64 of 84 in Nature in Minnesota
State Park Nature / Park
Father Hennepin State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, located on the southeast corner of Mille Lacs Lake. The park is named after Father Louis Hennepin, a priest who visited the area with a French expedition in 1680. The 320acre park has 103 campsites and a sandy beach over one mile (1.6 km) long.Cultural historyFather Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan priest of the Recollet order, was dispatched to explore western New France in 1680. Hennepin is not thought to have been in the exact location of the park, but the park is named after him because he was the first to write extensively about the Mille Lacs area. He called the area Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV of France. In the spring of 1680 he and two companions encountered a group of Dakota Indians and were captured, about 15mi from today's Father Hennepin State Park. Their release was negotiated eight months later by Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut. Throughout the experience, Father Hennepin kept a journal describing the lakes, rivers, landscapes, and the lifestyle of his hosts, the Mdewakanton Dakota. In 1683 his writings were published in the book Description de la Louisiane.Local advocates and Catholic groups were instrumental in getting the park established in the years before World War II. The Minnesota Legislature was reluctant to fund a new park, but when 129acre of tax-forfeited land were acquired at little cost, Father Hennepin State Memorial Park was authorized in 1941. However a provision was inserted into the bill barring any state funds from supporting the park for the first five years. County and local funds only went so far, and the park remained largely undeveloped until 1953 when the Minnesota state park system instituted an entrance fee.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
27 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The park is located right on the edge of Isle Minnesota and on the South East shore of Lake Mille Lacs. Overall the park is nice with 2 boat landings and ample camping spots. The park isn't as nice as...  more »
  • We are camping here in our Travel Trailer. The positives are the park is clean and well shaded. They have a nice beach area and a very nice trail that we walked. This park is on the Mille Lacs Lake, w...  more »
  • We were tent camping in number 16E. I like to be near the showers and bathrooms so this location was ideal for us. We noticed park rangers (actually believe it was DNR staff) riding thru several times...  more »
Google
  • We always enjoy going to this campground. Hoping for a bathroom update soon, but they work and just happy they're not outhouses! Campground has lots of walking and biking trails that circle the lake. Beautiful.
  • Great staff. Clean Restrooms. great Camping spot. Great firewood at an affordable Price .
  • Well taken care,of. A showcase of the state. Home of a small heard of Albino whitetail deer.
  • So Heads up keep your receipts. I paid cash for parking and mysteriously I didn't get informed that I needed a parking tag. I only camp once every 8 years or so . Didn't think twice thought it was all on the computer. Next day cashier says he doesn't remember the transaction. Little on me for being naive
  • Great place to camp. Lovely beach and trails. Has a cute little shop at the entrance too where you can grab souvenirs etc. Has showers and restrooms. Nice for families!

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