Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, Onamia

#53 of 142 in Nature in Minnesota
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, also known as Kathio Site, is a Minnesota state park on Mille Lacs Lake. The park preserves habitation sites and mound groups, believed to date between 3000 BC and 1750 AD, that document Sioux Indian culture and Ojibwe-Sioux relationships. The park contains 19 identified archaeological sites, making it one of the most significant archaeological collections in Minnesota. The earliest site dates to the Archaic period and shows evidence of copper tool manufacture. The Sioux lived in this area roughly until the 18th century, when many bands of Sioux were moving southward into the prairies and river areas of southern Minnesota. At the same time, Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) were moving in from the east. Ojibwe oral tradition, published by William Whipple Warren, suggests that there was a battle in which they successfully took control of the area from the Sioux; as of 2012 no archaeological evidence has as yet been found to corroborate this battle narrative.
Around the time of contact in the 1850s, loggers came to the area. The next 50 years resulted in a large quantity of trees being felled and floated down the Rum River or across Mille Lacs Lake to sawmills.
The name "Kathio" is actually a corruption of "Izatys", a name the Mdewakanton Sioux people gave themselves. Explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut visited the area in 1679. He named the area "Izatys", but his poor handwriting led people to mistake the "Iz" as a "K". Further errors led to the name being transliterated to "Kathio".
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Mille Lacs Kathio State Park Reviews
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53 reviews
  • We stayed at Petaga campground and it was one of the greatest campsites I've ever visited. And we've been around... :) Campsites are very nicely wooded and far apart. Great showers! Park is very big w...  more »
  • We stopped for a quick hike on our way home. The biting flys were pretty bad even with bug spray gotta love Minnesota haha. But we had a good hike even with our pesky hunters on the trail with us. The...  more »
  • We had a great weekend! Such beautiful fall colors and so much to do. I can not wait to go back this summer. The camp sites are nice and spread out. We stayed in 36 which was very secluded.
  • Great camping site with clean showers and bathroom. Campsites are far apart from each other which gives lot of privacy. Its surrounded by lot of tress so you wont feel heat on warm days. I booked the site at last minute and was one of my best experience.

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