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Lake Itasca, Lake Itasca

#4 of 9 in Things to do in Lake Itasca
Water Body · Nature / Park
Lake Itasca is a small glacial lake, approximately 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2; 1,200 acres) in area. Located in southeastern Clearwater County, in the Headwaters area of north central Minnesota, it is notable for being the headwater of the Mississippi River. The lake is in Itasca State Park. It has an average depth of 20 to 35 feet (6.1 to 10.7 m) and is 1,475 feet (450 m) above sea level.

The Ojibwe name for "Lake Itasca" is Omashkoozo-zaaga'igan (Elk Lake); this was changed by Henry Schoolcraft to "Itasca", coined from a combination of the Latin words veritas caput ("true head [of the Mississippi]"). It is one of several examples of pseudo-Indian place names created by Schoolcraft.

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Lake Itasca reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
60 reviews
  • We rented a pontoon for the day and took in all the sites that Itasca had to offer. A bit windy that day, but with the different arms and coves the lake offered plenty of shelter and shade when we...  more »
  • Just wanted to say how amazing it was to pop into this campground on our way home from Minneapolis. What an outstanding and beautiful treasure!  more »
  • Great time. Went there in June. Pet friendly place. The headwaters were gorgeous. Rented a boat and had a glorious 5 hours out on the lake. My daughter caught her first walleye. Epic.
  • It was a busy day, lots of people there visiting the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi. Very well maintained and lots of parking available (even special parking for motorcycles).

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