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Where Beauty & Nature Intersect

May in the Land of Lakes, Loons and Legends

May brings fishing opener and so much more

Heading west into Park Rapids, a patch of golden flowers – marsh marigolds, also known as cowslips – thrives on the side of a hill sloping down to Mud Lake. Every spring, as the snow melts, anyone driving on State Highway 34 can watch the slope turn green about the same time blue herons return and bloom right before fishing opener. This spring, the marsh marigolds have been blooming for nearly two weeks and fishing opener is two weeks away.

Spring came early to the north woods, delivering its promise of renewal.

Just as the marsh marigolds mark the transition to a new season, the Park Rapids lakes area blossoms every spring. Fishing opener – May 15 this year – becomes a deadline for new businesses to open their doors, for a fresh coat of paint, a new sign, for sweeping the streets and cleaning the ditches along our roadways, all in preparation to welcome anglers and other visitors to our community.

We are fortunate to have several new businesses opening their doors this spring and invite you to visit them when you arrive.

There’s still time to plan your vacation. For decades, the Park Rapids lakes area has welcomed fishermen and families, fun seekers and adventurers to explore our natural areas, forests and pristine lakes. The Mississippi headwaters flow from the mighty river’s source in Itasca State Park, 20 miles north of Park Rapids. The Lake Country Scenic Byway stretches from Itasca to Park Rapids, west past the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge to Detroit Lakes and east through the Chippewa National Forest to Walker.

Resorts and other lodging accommodations in the Park Rapids lakes area provide guests a place to stay at the center of this extraordinary region and will help visitors realize their dream vacation whether it’s lying on the beach with a good book, venturing out to learn more about the local flora and fauna or timing a stay to take in local festivals or cultural events.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber website can also assist with your trip planning with itineraries for day trips, attractions and dozens of ideas for things to see and do. The Festival of Birds May 20-23 at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge draws visitors from throughout the country to view some of a possible 258 species of birds drawn to its diverse landscape. (Go to for more.) Itasca State Park also becomes a Mecca for birders this time of year.

Whether you’re fascinated with fishing or wildflowers, batty about birding or just want to recharge your batteries, the Park Rapids lakes area welcomes you.

If you need help planning a memorable and affordable visit, need more information about the area or have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.


Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber, a Partner of Explore Minnesota Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Northwoods Bank, Partner of Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber Citizen's Bank in Park Rapids, MN Park Rapids Downtown Business Association Park Rapids Lakes Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau