Mille Lacs Kathio State Park – Day Trip Itinerary

Two people sitting at a picnic table



  • Nature programs
  • 100 Ft. Fire Tower
  • Historic Sites

Great for:

  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Hiking



Mille Lacs Kathio State Park has so much to offer and discover. Its 9,000 years of human history and archaeological significance has made it a National Historic Landmark. You can learn about its rich history and all of Kathio's other treasures at the Visitor Center. The river, lakes, and park trails offer visitors excellent opportunities to watch waterfowl, bald eagles, osprey, beaver, loons, deer, coyotes, and many others.

Morning Activities

Climb the 100 foot observation tower. This tower was originally a fire tower near Isle, Minnesota, and was moved to the park in 1981 for visitor observation. It sits on one of the highest hills on the Mille Lacs Moraine, a glacial ridge that forms the natural damn holding Mille Lacs Lake. This fire tower is sure to have some great views, whether you want to see all the green you can in the summer or have a spectacular fall color experience.

Head over to Ogechie Lake and walk the Touch the Earth Trail. This self-guided interpretive trail is only a half mile and travels through the forest and bog. There is also an interpretive center explaining the natural and cultural history of the park off the trail!

Minneopa State Park waterfall.

Afternoon Activities

Pack a picnic and grab a table in the swimming/playground area. Enjoy your meal near the beach of Ogechie Lake!

Take a dip in the swimming area! There’s a sandy beach you can relax on, plus the maximum depth is six feet, making this a perfect swim for children.

If you want to be more mobile than a dip in the pond, take a paddle out on the Rum River! You can rent a kayak, rowboat, or canoe at the access point, depending on availability. The access point is the start of the Rum River and has a slow current, making it perfect for family outings.

Minneopa State Park waterfall.

Getting to the park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is off of US-169 N and is on the south-west corner of Mille Lacs Lake. The park is north of Onamia and south of Vineland. The park office is located at 15066 Kathio State Park Road, Onamia, MN 56359.

More explorations nearby

See another side of Mille Lacs Lake at Father Hennepin State Park! Travel east for 15 miles to take advantage of Father Hennepin’s sandy beach, bat accesses, fishing piers, and picnic sites. Perfect for a quick dip in the lake or a hike along the shoreline.

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