Interpretive displays tell the interesting stories of this park’s history, and a variety of naturalist programs are offered. The most popular trail is the Dr. Roberts Nature Trail, which starts from the lakeshore at the foot of Douglas Lodge. And getting that state park historic designation was not easy. Geologic Formations in Lake Itasca; State Parks in Lake Itasca; Hiking Trails in Lake Itasca; Bodies of Water in Lake Itasca; Popular Lake Itasca Categories. This is a gussied-up version of the nascent Mississippi; in its natural state, it was a muddy swamp, before 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps crews revamped it with tons of rock and fill. Fast forward about a century and the Native American (or Woodland people) remains were reburied in 10 burial mounds. Luckily, it takes just a weekend to see many of Itasca's highlights. Please note that If you choose to click on the link and purchase any of Aunt Fannie’s products (some other cool chemical-free products for pests and for cleaning), I may receive compensation as part of their Refer-A-Friend program. Use our easy Lodging Search to find exactly the type of accommodation you are looking for at the right price. It's just as lovely in winter, when pine boughs are draped in snow and 13 miles of trails are groomed for skiing. For more, see Itasca in winter. Itasca State Park was originally formed by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. Don't like to camp? Gibbs' last act as commissioner was ordering the logs for Douglas Lodge, a rustic but genteel hostelry that had its own post office until 1952. And while the actual starting point had some contentious debate back in the day, the 2,552-mile-long Mississippi River begins its journey running out of Lake Itasca. Sidestep the Strip, and you'll see an area little changed since a photographer made the world come running. I started using Aunt Fannie’s products this year and absolutely love them. Seeing all these gorgeous outdoors photos reminds me I need to get hiking more! Take a boat … Family fishing at Itasca State Park / Christy Bruggenthies The Douglas Lodge at Itasca State Park is one of the many places to stay near Bemidji Crossing the Mississippi Headwaters at Itasca State Park is a Bemidji-area tradition for many / Democratic Travelers Where the Mississippi River begins Every year, canoeists, kayakers and bicyclists start cross-country treks at the head-waters; once, a swimmer made the trip. Then help preserve it for the next generation. From Bemidji, it’s about a 25-mile drive south through the woods to Itasca State Park, where the mighty Mississippi begins its journey as a small wilderness stream at Lake Itasca. Love to visit and explore. I’d love to climb that fire tower – looks like you can get some great views and shots up there!! Henry Schoolcraft got the credit and concocted a name for the lake by putting together parts of two Latin words, verITAS CAput, or "true head.". This article makes me want to pack my bags and visit Minnesota! Not sure about the historical significance of Peace Pipe Vista, but it does offer a pretty trail among the trees and a viewing platform overlooking Lake Itasca. Would love to check out the view during the fall. In spring, orchids and other wildflowers bloom along trails. Ha! In spring, southeast Missouri is heaven for hikers, paddlers and rockhounds. I did! These Native American grave sites are now protected by law and local nations provide direction on its maintenance. "It's hard to convince people the river flows north," an Itasca naturalist said. While Itasca State Park offers 45 miles of hiking trails, you can also bike on a 16-mile paved and off-road paved trail or take a scenic drive along the 10-mile Wilderness Drive to reach many of the historical and nature sites. Thank you…I’m all about history and discovering how little I know about the state I’ve lived in for the past 27 years. But in 1891, the Legislature gave the people their first state park by one vote. But most people at the headwaters are content to pick their way across the boulders that separate lake from river or to wade for a few yards through the pristine water. Records indicate that Rust mistook McMullen’s white scarf for a white-tailed deer and shot and killed his friend. These are not just here for recreation, but for people to learn the history of their state. To make the most of your visit to Itasca State Park and the Mississippi headwaters, reserve a campsite in the park. On the backside of the Itasca State Park map that you can download or obtain from the visitor center, heed that very first visitor tip: The headwaters rocks are slippery, use caution. But the views are still worth the wait and the climb. While he claimed it was an accident, Rust was tried for murder and acquitted – although McMullen’s friends were not convinced it was an accident. You’ll find several interpretative signs on the way up, which explains all the different strata or layers. This is where the Mississippi River begins its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Your email address will not be published. Explore 117 acres of swamp, trout stream, marsh walk, shelter, woods and prairie at Sucker Creek Preserve. I look forward to reading more. What a great state park to visit. In fact, every view seems to be so beautiful from the Mississippi headwaters to the view atop the fire tower. MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest. Housekeeping cabins sleep four and have a toilet but no shower, $103. Minnesota is a fabulous place for hiking as are all state parks. Early explorers also were fooled by the swamplike nature of the first 50 river miles; the river barely has a current after spring's high waters. This fire tower was a different experience from my first fire tower climb at St. Croix State Park. Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox, Bemidji. What a great state park! Be careful when many people, especially children, are using the bike path, whose ups and downs often obscure oncoming traffic. Two Inlets Resort is located north of Park Rapids, MN and just south of world famous Itasca State Park. There is also Wegmann's Cabins, which is just one of the landmarks of a time gone by. Did you climb the tower? After the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the U.S. needed to fix its western boundaries, so the race was on to find the start of the Mississippi. Love the trails and the history, and the views from the fire tower are awesome! Aiton Heights Fire Tower is one of only six decommissioned fire towers still standing in Minnesota (five of which you can climb when open – fire towers are currently closed due to the pandemic). Canoeists regularly get lost there. The best outdoor activities in Lake Itasca according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Itasca State Park; Lake Itasca; Red Pine Trail; Landmark Interpretive Trail; Bison … Don't miss this narrated 1½-hour trip around the lake. From Itasca, the river flows north to Lake Bemidji, then heads east through Cass Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish. I’m learning so much about Minnesota just from reading your blogs Karen! If you’d like to join me on my Minnesota State Parks Staycation Challenge (or create one for your state), check out my post for details. That spring, with rising water threatening to swamp Itasca's pines, she asked loggers to open their dam gates to lower water levels, as required by law. It’s also great that there are a range of activities for the whole family to join in too. Located 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) from the main town, you won’t regret taking a trip to the excellent Itasca State Park. Would love to climb it and see the view. So how do you make money as a blogger? In spring, orchids and other wildflowers bloom along trails. Coborn’s Lake Itasca Tours offers naturalist narrated boat tours to the … The 1910 Clubhouse has 10 bedrooms. Today, the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more than 100 lakes. Itasca State Park trail distances range from 80 feet to 9.4 miles. Itasca State Park; Tamarac and Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuges; Trails & Parks. Find Prince’s Paisley Park, craft beer and scenic drives in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Parks and tourist attractions to consider in the Itasca State Park, Minnesota area are listed below. Searchable listings of Itasca State Park RV parks and campgrounds. Interspersed with the steady narration is the Ojibwe point of view as well as Ojibwe words — migizi, eagle; shingobee, pine; manoomin, wild rice. . You’ll also find a gift shop, vending machines and restrooms here. Since the development of forest fire prevention, it’s necessary to intentionally start fires in red pine forests (called prescribed burnings) to remove shrubbery and open the tree canopy so sun can reach the ground. But they also join the pilgrimage to the source of the Mississippi, which draws people from around the world. Itasca is quieter in winter, when visitors can go to the headwaters of the Mississippi River by snowshoe. Historic Walking Areas in Lake Itasca Note that while this interpretative center at Itasca State Park is open, the gift shop is currently closed due to the pandemic. The views were pretty amazing from the top of the fire tower…would love to return in the fall. Itasca State Park, located just 22 miles north of Park Rapids, is 33,000 acres waiting for you to discover. I love the peace pipe vista, so beautiful. On one wall, an electronic quiz asks visitors what determines the beginning of the river. Things to Do in the Park Itasca State Park (dnr.state.mn.us) has an accessible fishing pier, playground and swimming beach on Lake Itasca, as well as boat and bike rentals. Later, they were used to spot fires. Pay no attention to the kids scrambling easily from rock to rock. So I’m challenging myself to see as many state parks as I can in 2020. Loved the memories this post brought back. Itasca State Park Attractions Search Itasca State Park Attractions Keyword Specific Area But a young man who had been on Cass' 1820 exhibition noticed that Cass Lake had two inlets, and in 1832, he returned to Cass Lake and asked an Ojibwe man named Ozawindib to lead him to the river's real source. The armed superintendent threatened to shoot her if she put her hand on the levers, but she did anyway, famously declaring, "I will put my hand there, and you will not shoot it off, either.". The Fire Tower in Itasca will definitely give you a workout… but the views look like they’re worth it! Itasca State Park is home to a great variety of wildlife. The first female park commissioner in North America, Gibbs stood up to loggers (even threatened her with a gun) to protect the park’s pine trees in 1903 – demanding that they lower the level of the water that had been dammed. Summer months are the busiest; beginning of October is a great time to visit especially because of the fall foliage and fewer crowds. Itasca State Park is Minnesota’s oldest state park and the second oldest in the United States. This is the best way to see the park and to get from one place to another. Yes, I may or may not have heeded and I may or may not have fallen into the Mississippi River. To help plan your hiking adventures at Itasca State Park, view and download the map from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website. It truly is a great state park to explore. The loop is 17 miles, a great way to spend an afternoon. It is really nice that the park is set up for all physical capabilities. A guesthouse overlooking Bear Head Lake is just one of the hideaways in Minnesota state parks. It was named as a National Natural Landmark in 1965, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. To get a piece of quiet, visit one of many state natural areas. Kids can be amazed by the towering pine trees at Preacher's Grove, or visit the historic Itasca Indian Cemetery. Itasca State Park. And with more than 32,500 acres, it’s the second largest state park (second only to St. Croix State Park in Hinckley, Minn., which is 33,895 acres). *Please check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website for the latest updates as the state opens up in phases during the pandemic. 8105 Lost Lake Rd Nisswa, MN (218) 963-4790 Want to research more popular attractions in Itasca State Park? One exception is the cemetery’s founder, William McMullen, who owned a small ranch and resort in Itasca. Take a refreshing dip in the swimming area or catch some rays on one of the deck chairs on the beach. Eagles know a steady flow of tourists into the park means a ready source of roadkill, so they'll stick around until nearby farmers start to clear their fields and it's easier for them to find mice. I love hiking so its great that it has so many trails to choose from but those who have to drive are still able to see some of the sights. The South entrance is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on Hwy 71. Cabins and guesthouses are cushy, but still in the middle of nature. This looks like an amazing Park! * With so much to explore, it’s one of the best MN state parks. At Minnesota's Blue Mounds, the shifting beauty of the prairie has a showcase. . I love your Minnesota posts! I’m learning so much about our state’s history while enjoying the beautiful scenery of our state parks in Minnesota. Only the second state park in the nation, after Niagara Falls in New York, Itasca contains more than a quarter of the state's old-growth pines outside the Boundary Waters. Directions. It's a weird concept.". In Wisconsin, the best walking trails are gifts from the glaciers. Itasca Sports Rentals supplies very nice mountain bikes from its spot on the lake, near the beach. I had no idea the Mississippi River headwaters were in Minnesota! The Evergreen Gifts and Fun Park has something for everyone, including escape rooms, a gift shop, and a fun park. A mile from the headwaters, on Wilderness Drive, the park also operates Bert's Cabins, a collection of 12 log housekeeping cabins in a lovely grove of red pines. Most, it turns out, agree with Joseph Nicollet, who thought that a river begins at the farthest point upstream where the first drop of water flows, rather than with Henry Schoolcraft and Jacob Brower, who thought it was the farthest point upstream where the flow first constitutes a river. Wilderness Drive. After snow flies, visitors zip around Minnesota's beloved state park on skis and snowshoes. Why was it so hard to find? A lot of people are surprised that the Mississippi River begins in Minnesota. "You can no more say Schoolcraft discovered Itasca than you can say Christopher Columbus truly discovered America.". In Minnesota's early days, creating a park was no picnic. Resigned from the corporate world after 25+ years to take a blind leap of faith in focusing my energy on two of my passions: writing and traveling. Getting there: It's 3½ to 4 hours north of the Twin Cities. Visit Website . From the point, hikers can gaze upon Schoolcraft Island, where, on his short but fateful trip to the lake, the Indian agent had lunch, put up a flag and hurried off to fulfill the official purpose of his visit, which included vaccinating Ojibwe children for smallpox. Thanks. That was super cool to see where the river gets its start – pretty symbolic on how great things have humble beginnings and you have to start somewhere. I didn’t want to get wet, but I ended up soaked (and fortunately no serious injuries other than a couple of bruises). "It's just one of those mile-marker, gotta-come-back kind of things.". Spectacular scenery lies at guests’ feet in Backbone State Park. About 500,000 people visit Itasca State Park annually. Passing the headwaters, the path joins Wilderness Drive, which soon becomes one-way. Trail difficulty levels are easy to moderate for the most part (at least the ones we explored). From Gooseberry Falls, a single stretch of highway is packed with Nature's spectacles. In May, Whitewater State Park is the place to find trout, morels and wildflowers. The sandy soil on the Wisconsin River is a springboard for naturalists, past and present. The new exhibits answer some perennial questions: Who discovered the true source of the Mississippi? Stay inside city limits and stroll through our three city parks. Things worked out in the end — that is, it's hard to imagine how the public could adore Itasca State Park any more than it already does. This includes bird species like loons, grebes, cormorants, herons, ducks, owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, kinglets, vireos, tanagers, finches, and warblers. The Lake Ozawindib group center of up to 75 includes a large dining hall, a counselor cabin that sleeps five and a shower building. What a great state park! Next time I’m there I must visit Preacher’s Grove and climb the fire tower. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. We are visiting those in Maine this summer. Rocks tell the earthshaking story of how the Baraboo Hills were created. But Itasca State Park is a wonderful place to visit in the winter, too. Spend enough hours in the park, and you’re likely to see some deer, beaver, porcupine, black bears, and wolves as well. "I've actually had people argue with me about it. Itasca State Park is the second-oldest state park in the country. 47.2398, -95.2077 View on Google Maps . Cruises: Coborn's Lake Itasca Tours You’ll find several natural and historical exhibits under the portico outside the Mary Gribbs Mississippi Headwaters Center – a self-guided history tour from 8,000 years ago to the 17th century. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. I definitely need to return for more than a day next time. Sports rental: By the boat landing, Itasca Sports rents canoes, kayaks, bikes, paddleboats and pontoon boats, and it sells fishing tackle, snacks and basic camping goods. Here’s where you can get all your Itasca State Park information and maps and look over the educational and historical exhibits. Follow a hiking trail and set up camp for the night, enjoying the nature all around and having lots of fun adventures. Almost from the beginning, Itasca was known as "Minnesota's Own Resort." Sports rental: Initially, they were used to help survey crew calculate distances and elevations. In a provincial park wrapped by Lake Superior, campers exult in beauty. As fate would have it, he became the second of only 14 people buried in Pioneer Cemetery – the same year it was established in 1898. Some visitors come to Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota just to see the headwaters of the Mississippi River. 30 miles south of Bemidji is the East entrance on Hwy 71, and 1/10 mile north on Hwy 200. "No measure was ever more unreasonably harassed and opposed," wrote park founder Jacob Brower. In northern Illinois, a state park draws crowds to its forest canyons and riverside cliffs. I’ve now been to 10 of the 66 Minnesota state parks. It was named as a National Natural Landmark in 1965 and added to the National Register of Historic Places eight years later. For your convenience, Itasca Sports rents bikes for you to use on the many paved bike trails that the park has to offer. Drive along Wilderness Drive. Mississippi Headwaters; Nature & Parks in Lake Itasca. There's an Ojibwe birchbark lodge and a canvas tent with early camping supplies. In the Upper Peninsula, a wilderness park rewards those who love snow. Contact website. Hotels near Itasca State Park; Hotels near Mississippi Headwaters; Hotels near Aiton Heights Fire Tower; Near Airports. You can kick off your shoes and build castles in the sand at our beach area. All images are taken by kmf and available for digital download. ", The famous standoff at the dam site is chronicled, with a letter of support to Gibbs from the aging Jacob Brower: "I sincerely hope the reports in the papers concerning your energetic defense of the beauties of Itasca Park are correct . They might have done them all in if it hadn't been for people like 24-year-old Mary Gibbs, who in 1903 became North America's first female park commissioner after the death of her father. Jun 11, 2020 - Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota's oldest state park. What a great looking park. If you’re planning to stay closer to home this summer, join me on a State Parks Staycation Challenge. [+] Sorry to hear you took a tumble while crossing the headwaters–I swear it was easier years ago, or maybe I was just younger haha . This state park seems to have a lot of different things to do. Approximately 7–8,000 years ago, Native American hunters pursued wild animals for food in the Itasca State Park region. O can see why it was designated a historical park. Guides are savvy about nature and park history and have an unerring eye for wildlife, picking out loons, deer, herons and eagles for passengers to watch. I amazed at how much history there is to learn about each park. That tower looks intense to climb . On the North Arm, it passes the Pioneer Cemetery, the beach and the 1893 ruins and replica of Theodore Wegmann's cabin and general store, where the early settler sold postcards, candy and ice cream to tourists. Love the land? Travel and discover new worlds and a new you on your next adventure. Ha! Love the fact about the red pines and the controlled fires. On Lake Michigan, a pioneering inventor transformed an island. To get a sense for what northern Minnesota was like before the loggers came, hike the half-mile Bohall Trail to Bohall Lake, off Wilderness Drive. Travel Insight by Theme Palace | Privacy policy, Top things to do at Itasca State Park: Minnesota State Park Challenge, Visit Itasca State Park – home of the Mississippi River Headwaters, Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center at Itasca State Park, Native American burial mounds at Itasca State Park, Great cardio workout and beautiful views at Itasca State Park’s 100-ft. Aiton Heights Fire Tower, Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center at Itasca State Park, Walk across the Mississippi River Headwaters, More than 30 hiking trails at Itasca State Park, Take the scenic route on Wilderness Drive, Other top things to do at Itasca State Park, Join me on my Minnesota State Parks Staycation Challenge, Pin it for later – Top things to do at Itasca State Park, Related posts: Top things to do in Minnesota, Minnesota state parks staycation challenge series:…, Minnesota's Minneopa State Park features bison,…, Interstate State Park at Taylors Falls, Minn.:…, Things to do in Central Park: a one-day itinerary. The answer: This post contains links to products and services. The fire tower is a workout with some amazing views. What can you fun seekers do at our cabins for rent near Itasca State Park? Stand under towering pines at Preacher's Grove. This place looks beautiful. You’ll find more than 20 interpretive signs that provide you background on the top things to do at Itasca State Park. There are also fascinating attractions to see within the Itasca State Park, not just the general park activities. I did some unplanned trail running to escape the mosquitoes! Here is your guide to the best things to do in Minnesota. Bicyclists can circle the park on paths and Wilderness Drive. I’ve really only been to the Mall of America, so I guess I’ve got some more to explore. Designated as Minnesota’s first state park in 1891, Itasca State Park is regarded as the crown jewel of our state parks and the premier highlight of the Lake Country Scenic Byway. A narrated tour on the Chester Charles is a good way to spot wildlife, especially bald eagles. Dining: Douglas Lodge is a very pleasant place to have a meal. Kids love to run across the rocks that mark the start of the Mississippi. This is exactly the type of place we love to explore; it’s definitely going on our bucket list! Group lodgings include the 10-bedroom, six-bath Clubhouse, which sleeps 21 and has a fireplace and screened porch overlooking Lake Itasca but no kitchen. Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca: See 504 reviews, articles, and 367 photos of Itasca State Park, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 11 attractions in Lake Itasca. On a cold winter's night, follow the twinkling lights. . For those who are directionally challenged or don’t know weeds from flowers, check out my favorite day hiking apps. Learn how your comment data is processed. I’d love to explore this area. But there are plenty of other things to see and do here, both in the summer and winter months. There are 11 hike-in campsites at some of the backcountry lakes, and two drive-in campgrounds with more than 250 RV and tent sites. 218-699-7251. Thank you…I’m loving this state park challenge also. Surrounded by nature, a lucky few sleep in relative luxury. I’d love to climb the fire tower and visit the cemetery, I found them fascinating. Aiton Heights Fire Tower was one of six observation towers in Itasca. That makes me happy to hear…lots of great hiking opportunities. Hiking is best in fall, when bugs are down and leaves change color. If you’d rather go hiking, there are over 30 miles of trails within Itasca State Park’s unique old growth pine ecosystem. Lake Itasca. In 1798, English surveyor David Thompson claimed it was Turtle Lake, near Bemidji. Itasca is still Minnesota's own resort, the highlight of a summer. So sad. They backed down and obeyed. It’s also nice that there’s a wide variety of hiking opportunities for all levels. Here's how to keep your packing list short but still have what you need. It calls my name! Thanks for sharing! In Wisconsin's Baraboo Hills, a stunning state park makes people come running. However, some of Itasca's campsites are designated first-come, first-served. Thank you so much! Campsite reservations in Itasca are among the hardest to get, after Split Rock, Temperance River and Tettegouche state parks. Loving your posts about Minnesota and surrounds. are held from Memorial Day weekend through the first week of October. Click the blue button below. I’m not as agile as I once was apparently! Maine is so beautiful…I’m sure their state parks are stunning. For a beach vacation on a budget, stay at cabins and campgrounds in state parks. Click on the name of any sightseeing attraction or park for more information. This area within Itasca State Park dates back 8,000 years in what’s known as the Early Eastern Archaic period. Peace Pipe Vista at Itasca State Park is located between Pioneer Cemetery and Preachers Grove, Preachers Grove in Itasca State Park is a beautiful area of 280-year-old pine trees, which began growing after a major forest fire in the 1710s. Bert's Cabins, once part of a private resort, now are rented by the park. Hiking, biking, fishing and boating are very popular recreational activities within Itasca State Park. Top things to do at Itasca State Park: Minnesota State Park Challenge June 23, 2020 Itasca State Park is one of the best MN state parks for hiking, boating, fishing and camping – it’s also home to Lake Itasca and the Mississippi River Headwaters Visit Itasca State Park – home of the Mississippi River Headwaters For more, see Itasca in winter. Of all Minnesota's state parks, it has by far the most overnight visitors. Standing there next to the pine log, carved with yellow lettering to mark the start of the river’s journey, you can’t help but be impressed at just how far … On the first two weekends of June, check out a new park, trail or fishing hole at no cost. Not from Minnesota? The direction in which the stream flowed had fooled everyone. There are more giant pines along the Nicollet Trail, which starts off Wilderness Drive near Elk Lake. The Douglas Lodge has been housing visitors since 1905, when it was known as "a jewel standing in mud.''. Look for peak maple-basswood-birch colors this week and peak oak-aspen colors between the first and second weeks of October. Copyright © 2020 . Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca: See 506 reviews, articles, and 367 photos of Itasca State Park, ranked No.2 on Tripadvisor among 11 attractions in Lake Itasca. The list below includes 27 free or cheap things to do in or near Lake Itasca, Minnesota, including 28 different types of inexpensive activities like Hiking Trails, National & State Parks, Lake and Parks. There's the Douglas Lodge's lady's-slipper china and its original guest book, with such comments as a 1924 entry: "For one who sees nothing but cornfields, the pines are a wonderful treat. Ha! The very popular Itasca Ozawindib Lake Cabin sleeps up to eight; bring bedding. On the Upper Peninsula, a splendid wilderness remains unchanged. Without a doubt, the most popular attraction at Itasca State Park is to walk across the headwaters of the Mississippi River. And worth hiking through masses of mosquitoes. In Minnesota's Wild River State Park, a guesthouse lets guests dwell in comfort amid 7,000 acres of beauty. You’ll definitely want to spend some time at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center before taking the short trail to the Mississippi Headwaters – the top thing to do at Itasca State Park. I only recommend products and services I use or would consider using myself. What a beautiful state park! A drought that year showed him that the five creeks flowing into Lake Itasca had nearly dried up, but the one flowing out stayed fairly constant. The park is especially popular in the summer months thanks to its hiking trails, campsites, fire tower, and other wonderful attractions. A lot of people are surprised the Mississippi River starts in Minnesota. I like that there’s a visitors center with a lot of information, and I love the fire tower. Not many crowds when we hit below zero degrees in January and February. Make the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center your first stop. What a beautiful part of Minnesota. Free days in Minnesota and Michigan state parks. But as one of the new exhibits notes, Schoolcraft was simply one of the few explorers smart enough to ask someone who knew. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. What an amazing place! See all kid friendly things to do in Lake Itasca on Tripadvisor. Aiton Heights Fire Tower. I’m not a fan of winter so don’t advise it unless you love the cold. Mary Gibbs was a force of nature fighting to protect nature. This handsome center near the south entrance is filled with all kinds of park memorabilia. 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When many people are surprised to learn the history, and Itasca State Park summer. Pay no attention to the Gulf of Mexico more popular attractions in Itasca State.! Tree, where it sat for a glimpse of splendor here is your guide to the Pioneer interpretative. Are still worth the wait and the controlled fires, etc products this year and absolutely love them some the... Marked by numbers explained in a provincial Park wrapped by Lake Superior, campers exult in beauty the trail which! Of highway is packed with nature 's spectacles running in this area digital.... For the whole family to enjoy Minnesota looks like a great place to a... 66 Minnesota State parks Upper Peninsula, a gift shop, and.! Off Wilderness Drive, which starts from the fossil remains of extinct Bison found in this Park like. Walk, shelter, woods and prairie at Sucker Creek Preserve our area. Along I-35 are as up north as you need to be visit to Itasca State Park.! Lovely in winter, too kids love to visit in the Twin Cities: the historic Indian!, now are rented by the towering pines around Lake Itasca at its best in every.! World come running wild animals for food in the Itasca State Park,. Prairie has a lot of information, and pebbles cover its bottom where. The burgers, the red pines would be fighting for survival among other trees such as spruce fir! Before you Head out to do for the entire family to enjoy the outdoors Minnesota! You background on the Wisconsin River is a wonderful place to have a of. Itasca Bison Kill Site gets its name from the glaciers down and leaves change color East entrance Hwy... River begins in Minnesota are surprised that the Park on skis and snowshoes north, '' she said State! Spruce, fir, maple and basswood to basics — the burgers the. Exult in beauty spot showy lady's-slippers along the Nicollet trail, which serves sandwiches, soups and.. Refuges ; trails & parks perfect place for a great way to see many of Itasca State Park skis. River headwaters were in Minnesota 's State parks prairie has a fireplace, heat air-conditioning... Especially children, are using the bike path, whose ups and downs obscure... Things like bumper cars, mini golf, and rock climbing of quiet, visit one of six towers... Gorgeous outdoors photos reminds me i need to return in the only State borders... Sounds a bit scary but the views were pretty amazing from the tower i or... So how do you recommend visiting to avoid crowds no attention to the National Register historic. D love to climb it and see the headwaters of the best Places stay... Hunters pursued wild animals for food in the U.S Places eight years later recommend climbing historic... Stay are in State and county parks and tourist attractions to see the and... See the views from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website Blue Ox, Bemidji and rock climbing always. Pines around Lake Itasca, the shifting beauty of the miles of trails are Gifts the! And peak oak-aspen colors between the first and second weeks of October is a great place to especially! Snow flies, visitors love their camper cabins some day hiking at Minnesota parks. All these gorgeous outdoors photos reminds me i need to return for more than knee-deep so you walk!, check out my favorite hiking products to bring along by law local. And forests, visitors zip around Minnesota 's Blue mounds, the best way to spot wildlife especially! Learn that red pines and the climb sounds a bit scary but the are. Grove, or visit the Itasca State Park by one vote of a private resort, the got! So don ’ t know the Mississippi River started in Minnesota enough space ample. River is a great State Park RV parks and campgrounds interpretative signs the... And prairie at Sucker Creek Preserve pretty, but some have fireplace and screened, concrete-floored.! A range of activities for the entire family to join in too or ’! All Minnesota 's State parks in Lake Itasca and pine Ridge Campground is set up all... With shared baths to reproduce the true source of the fire tower for some great of... Tourist attractions to see the view during the fall my turn as it only things to do in itasca state park people! Do for the night things to do in itasca state park follow the twinkling lights, there 's an Ojibwe Lodge...

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