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.
The South Entrance and Wilderness Drive will be closed for winter season.
With snow in the area, the South Entrance and Wilderness Drive are used as ski trails in winter. Visitors can enter the park through the East or North Entrances.
Attention skiers and snowmobile users: construction near the Headwaters Area
Construction will be occurring near the bike trail/ snowmobile bridge during early January. Please follow the temporary detour signs! Thanks for your patience during construction!
With the snow season upon us, warm up from winter sports. The center features exhibits, restrooms, gift shop and area information. The lobby of the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is open 24 hours as a warming shelter.
(Updated January 1, 2017)
Winter Weekend Itinerary:
Spend a winter weekend exploring the park! This itinerary has it all mapped out for you.
Mississippi Headwaters Webcam
Can't make the trip in person? Check out the Mississippi headwaters on this real-time 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.
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, 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.
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, 8:00 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
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