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Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web
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.HistoryApproximately 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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  • We visited in the off season in October. Hardly anyone there. The trees were really pretty changing color. Not that cold. 50's day and 30's night. Sadly the bathrooms were closed so had to use vault t...  read more »
  • Itasca State Park is worth the journey! It's simply beautiful and walking across the headwaters of the Mississippi is something you should do! Great for a day trip! 
  • Awesome State Park. Had lunch at the lodge, visited the headwaters. Wish we had more time. Many cabins available, would love to return and enjoy more of the park. 
  • What a wonderful place to Visit!! Tranquil, serene, peaceful.,Synonyms of Itasca state park. Birthplace of the mighty Mississippi River(headwaters). There's visitors center with info regarding the history of the headwaters and so forth. Trails and greenery is awesome. Riding around in a motorycle on the park roads is something I very much enjoy. Roads are winding and slow paced. The yearly state park pass will let you enter this park also along with several other gems in Minnesota. A must visit if you're a nature lover. Even if you aren't one, visiting here may turn you into one!
  • So Many Ticks(Honestly picked off at least 75 on my dog). I was also attacked by so many Mosquitos(that alone made for a miserable hiking experience). Now once we got to our camp site it was amazing. Secluded. Beautiful scenery. Steps to the water. Nice fire pit. Relaxing and peaceful, but the hike getting there boring and miserable :(
  • Several friends and I came up for the weekend and while we enjoyed the scenery and headwaters, we felt the Bear Paw Camp Host treated us unfairly. My friend brought a date and he got out of hand. He and another girl got into an altercation and the cops were called. I slept through the entire ordeal and the next morning after hearing the details, my boyfriend and I went and apologized to our neighbors and assured them the guy had left. While we were cooking lunch the camp host came up and asked to speak with me. He was incredibly rude and apparently a neighbor had told him we had been smoking marijuana. I believe it was the guy who had left who had been smoking and the host told us we had an hour to leave or he would call the police. At the point we felt incredibly embarrassed and uncomfortable about the entire situation and I wasn't arguing with the host to stay. I believe he could have been more polite about asking us to leave (he called me a liar to my face even though he knew I wasn't a witness to the situation as the police can attest to) and I feel like he lumped us in with that guy who none of us had met before. BEAUTIFUL and relaxing scenery, rude customer service! Donna, the woman who checked us in when we arrived, however, was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about camping.
  • Peaceful, beautiful and educational. It's awesome to see where the mighty Mississippi River starts. Also you can look at the headwaters 24/7 online with the camera system they have set up.
  • One of my favorite places in the world. I stayed overnight at a backpack campsite and it was remote and verdant and tranquil. Saw some lady slippers hiking the next morning. And had lunch at Douglas Lodge -- very good.
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