Itasca State Park
Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota's oldest state park. Today, the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more than 100 lakes. Walk across the mighty Mississippi as it starts its winding journey 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Stand under towering pines at Preacher's Grove. Visit the Itasca Indian Cemetery or Wegmann's Cabin, landmarks of centuries gone by. Camp under the stars, or stay the night at the historic Douglas Lodge or cabins. Explore Wilderness Drive past the 2,000-acre Wilderness Sanctuary, one of Minnesota's seven National Natural Landmarks.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
Lantern Lit Event to be a Walk on Saturday, January 24
We may not have deep snow, but the evening Lantern Lit event will continue as a snowboot walk! Come out for Minnesota Bloomers Columnist Steve Maanum for "My Endless Childhood" at 4 p.m. Then head out on the trail for a beautiful evening walk-- route illuminated with kerosene lanterns from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Warm up inside with hot chocolate or apple cider and enjoy the music of Jim and Molly Bauer.
Itasca State Park is a "Checkpoint MN" location
We're thrilled to be one of the twelve stops on Explore Minnesota Tourism's statewide winter scavenger hunt! Now through March 5, you can win prizes by finding checkpoints and sharing your photos. Learn more.
Apply Now for Naturalist Corps - State Summer Aide
Are you interested in a summer naturalist opportunity? Students and graduates can now apply until February 2 for these summer positions. Learn more.
The visitor center is open year-round, and the Douglas Lodge suites and rooms are available to rent year-round.
Water is off in the campgrounds. Shower buildings are closed for the winter.
Last updated January 14, 2015
Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.
Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center:
Visit the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center. Outdoor interpretive displays on the plaza are available for viewing year-round. Be sure to take the short walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, which offers visitors a glimpse of this historic location. The Headwaters Café is a cafeteria-style restaurant located in the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.
The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is open year-round, and the Douglas Lodge Four Season Suites are available to rent year-round.
Wireless internet access is now available at certain locations around Itasca State Park! Please note that signal strength may vary.
Access is available at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center, Douglas Lodge, Pine Ridge Campground, and Bear Paw Campground.
Itasca State Park is not a geocaching demonstration park. The closest demonstration park with GPS units to check out is Lake Bemidji State Park. Enjoy your treasure hunt!
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Itasca State Park.
Bird Checklist at Itasca State Park.
Best time to contact the park:
Memorial Weekend thru first Saturday in October: Daily, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Beginning first Sunday in October thru Thursday before Memorial Weekend: Daily 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470
South entrance to the park is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Highway 71. From Bemidji, the east entrance is 30 miles south on U.S. Hwy 71 and 1/10 mile north on State Hwy 200. The north entrance is 21 miles south of Bagley on State Hwy 92/State Hwy 200.
GPS device users: Lat. 47.194648 Long. -95.165012