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Where Beauty & Nature Intersect

Must-See Sights in the Park Rapids Area: Visitors’ Picks

In April, we went to Facebook and asked our followers which places they like to see when they Visit Park Rapids. The following are best places to visit in the Park Rapids area according to the most knowledgeable sources; the visitors!

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Itasca State Park

The post popular answer was, of course, Itasca State Park. Most people know that the park features the the headwaters of the Mississippi River, but did you know the entire park spans a whopping 32,690 acres? It’s located just 21 miles north of Park Rapids, and if you like to hike, camp, swim or do some kayaking, this is the perfect vacation destination.


Paul Bunyan State Forest

One of our Facebook responders, Jordan T., raved about Paul Bunyan State Forest, saying, “It’s always gold.” The forest borders Chippewa National Forest, Welsh Lake State Forest and the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Camping, hiking, motorcycling, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are all popular activities in the forest, due to the hundreds of miles of trails available. There are also trails for ATV riding and horseback riding. No matter your choice of transportation, you’ll find a beautiful place to ride, walk, or roll at the Paul Bunyan State Forest!


Heartland State Trail

This multi-use recreational trail stretches 49 miles between Park Rapids and Cass Lake. It also connects with the Paul Bunyan State Trail around Walker. The Heartland State Trail has both paved and grassy trackways. The paved trail is fantastic fo biking, rollerblading, hiking and more! It’s also a great place to enjoy snowmobiling in the winter. 



american-flag-1850237_640All Veterans Memorial

This Park Rapids memorial was dedicated in 2003 and is much more than a stone monument. It salutes the local war heroes who never returned to the area. Plans for the monument are still in the works. Eventually, there will be a theater, museum and interpretive center at the memorial, along with a rotating schedule of educational programs to be used as a teaching tool by educations from throughout the region. Visit to learn more about how you can help contribute to the memorial’s completion.


Deane Park

Deane Park is a great place to spend an inexpensive yet fun-filled day with your family. The park includes a great place to fish, picnic shelters, grills, a playground area, and much more. You’ll find Deane Park near Fish Look Lake, just north of Park Rapids off Highway 71 on Eagle Point Drive.


We received a ton of great comments about the Park Rapids area. Here are some of our favorites comments about what visitors like best in the area:


  • “The whole area is a must see!” – Barbara C.
  • “All the beautiful lakes in the Park Rapids area!” – Karen B.
  • “Everything. This is a beautiful place.” – Diane W.
  • “Everything is so pretty up there!” – Bev H.
  • “The beautiful flower baskets all over town.” – Janelle S.
  • “Park Rapids area has some great restaurants and cafes….Niecces Italian Restaurant, Good Life Cafe, West Forty for breakfast, Brauhaus German Restaurant plus more.” – Dianne M.


There is plenty more to do and see in Park Rapids. Did your favorite places make the list? Let us know in the comments.





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