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Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca
(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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Very nice Lake Park, remarkable mainly because here Mississippi River originates. Ride better in relatively warm season to a) and b) dip switch the primary North American River stones, not fearing it Thunder)) Here is where to stay for the night (both options-in a tent or in a wooden hut) and there is where to dine, and the gift shop a good selection of products (t-shirt with I Walked Across the Missisipi River little where you find).
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  • This little gem was on my bucket list having grown up on the Mississippi. We stayed at Heart Lake which made for a cool drive often crossing over the winding north bound Mississippi! We rented bikes (...  more »
  • We entered the park at the north entrance and I don't know if it was us or what...but it took us about 3 hours to get out the east entrance. That's where I'd start next time I visit...the EAST entranc...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place. Lots of trails are there. If you are here then don't forget to visit the headwaters and the fire tower. We visited during the fall season and the drive is very beautiful. We felt that the map was little confusing. If you are coming from twin cities then enter through east entrance. It's the most nearest entrance. Mary Gibbs center is very nice - Friendly people. Cabins are available inside the state park. We plan to stay there in future.
  • Had a perfect first time with beloved people there last week! I recommend to come in Fall! Leaves are so beautiful. Awesome place, clean, peaceful, good accommodations!
  • Great state park at the headwaters of the Mississippi. You can camp here or rent a cabin. There's lots to do: hike, rent bikes, canoe, fish, and more.
  • 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 :(