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Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca

4.8
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Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
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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.
Approximately 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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Itasca State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
534 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We stopped and visited for the afternoon. The visitors centers were great. The park is well kept and we really enjoyed the wilderness drive. 
    We stopped and visited for the afternoon. The visitors centers were great. The park is well kept and we really enjoyed the wilderness drive.  more »
  • I absolutely loved this park! On our way through the general area, we booked camp space here. I just HAD to see the Mississippi River Headwaters, which is within this park. I was delighted to learn....  more
    I absolutely loved this park! On our way through the general area, we booked camp space here. I just HAD to see the Mississippi River Headwaters, which is within this park. I was delighted to learn....  more »
Google
  • Restrooms/shower buildings cleaned daily. Camping site sizes vary. Grounds are well kept. Quiet time starts at 10pm but it was quiet way before then. Nice bike trails, not very long but paved and smooth. Circumnavigation lake Itasca by bicycle is worth the trip.
  • My favorite state park for sure. Love camping in bear paw. The bike trails are so much fun and the water was cool and clear, perfect for the summer heat. I highly recommend kayaking around the lake, the scenery is breathtaking. So many loons! We even saw a bird diving for fish in the water right by our kayaks.

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