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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.

Visitor Alert

July 21 Storm Update

What is open:
The park is open. This includes: All entrances. Douglas Lodge and Forest Inn. Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center, South Contact Station, campground office, and park office. Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center, café, gift shop and trail to the Mississippi Headwaters. The Bike Trail. The tour boat, sports rental and hostel. The boat launch on Lake Itasca. Wilderness Drive. Although open, visitors are asked to drive with extreme caution. Parking to the Aiton Heights fire tower is open. Boat accesses along Wilderness Drive are open. Power has been restored at the park. Park phones are working intermittently. Campgrounds are fully operational. Lodging for most cabins and rooms became available beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. Visitors affected by lodging closures are being contacted by the DNR. Backpack sites are open to campers. Campers are asked to use caution on trails and be aware of hazard trees. Crews are clearing and hauling debris. Please give crews a respectful distance. Be careful around fallen trees.

What is closed:
Watch for a storm Saturday evening. With high winds, new trees may come down. Crews are out clearing trails. They are currently working on Deer Park, Dr. Roberts and Aiton Heights Trails near the Douglas Lodge area. Hiking trails are not recommended until assessment of hazard trees is completed. After trails in area just south of Douglas Lodge are cleared, trails to backpack sites will be cleared. Please check this website for updates. Updated: 4:00 p.m. July 23.

Enjoy Hiking?

Join us in 2016 for monthly hikes This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. on the North Country Trail.

Planning now for a summer visit?

Here are some of the highlights of eventsThis is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. scheduled June through September, including lots of special celebrations of the park's 125th anniversary.

2016 Reservations changes

  • All campsites at this park are reservable.
  • Same-day reservations are now available.
  • If you need help making a reservation, call 866-857-2757.
  • For more details, read the FAQ.

(Updated July 22, 2016)

Park Notes

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Download the Itasca State Park guide and mapThis is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Mississippi Headwaters Webcam

Take a look at the Mississippi headwaters remotely via the Mississippi headwaters webcam

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.

Year-Round Fun:

The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is open year-round, and the Douglas Lodge Four Season Suites are available to rent year-round.

Internet Access:

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, Campground Office, Forest Inn, Mary Gibbs Headwaters Center, Itasca Suites and Bear Paw Campground.


Itasca State Park is not a Geocaching Checkpoint. The closest state park with GPS units to check out is Lake Bemidji State Park. Enjoy your treasure hunt!

State Forest Campgrounds:

Itasca State Park also manages the campgrounds in the Huntersville State Forest, Paul Bunyan State Forest and the Two Inlets State Forests. For information about Huntersville Forest Landing, Shell City Horse, Shell City Landing, Mantrap Lake and Hungryman Lake campgrounds, please contact the Itasca State Park office at (218) 699-7251.

Gift Cards:

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 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Itasca State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Camping

tree Fishing

tree Hiking

tree Historic Site

tree Unique Ecosystem

tree Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center


Best time to contact the park:

Memorial Weekend thru first Saturday in October: Daily, 8:00 a.m. - 10 p.m. Beginning first Sunday in October thru Thursday before Memorial Weekend: Daily 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470

tel: 218-699-7251

fax: 218-699-7210

email: itasca.statepark@state.mn.us

Getting There

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