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Itasca State Park


  • bandoura state forest

There is only one place in the entire world where you can tiptoe across the bubbling beginnings of the mighty Mississippi River. Itasca State Park, established in 1891, is Minnesota’s oldest state park and celebrates its 125 th Anniversary in 2016. Located just 22 miles north of Park Rapids, it attracts over a half-million visitors a year to the source of the mighty Mississippi River.

This is where the Mississippi River begins its 2,552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Itasca State Park is regarded as the crown jewel of our state parks and the premier highlight of the Lake Country Scenic Byway.

People come to walk across the rocks at the Headwaters but also fall in love with the pines, as the 49-square- mile park preserves thousands of acres of old-growth white and red pines. Beautiful visitor centers and historic lodging complement the natural wonders of the park.

Come to Itasca and cross the Mississippi, go boating and fishing on Itasca’s many lakes, hike and bike the trails, see the lady’s-slippers and wildflowers, camp, swim and make memories that will last.

For more information on special events in 2016, see MN DNR Itasca

Bird Watching? View the Checklist here!

Explore Itasca with your ABC’s (Auto, Boot, Canoe)

Explore Itasca with Deane Johnson’s book “Best of Itasca”

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