Welcome to the Mille Lacs Kathio State Park virtual tour! Discover interpretive displays and trails, stunning views from the observation tower, a swimming area, and overnight stay options that range from cozy cabins to rustic camping sites. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.
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Located on the shore of Ogechie Lake, the park's council ring is the site of campfire talks, guest presenters, and children's activities throughout the summer season.
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Step inside the Kathio Interpretive Center and explore displays that highlight the natural and cultural history of the park. Large windows and a deck overlooking Ogechie Lake provide excellent opportunities for watching wildlife.
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Inside the Trail Center
The park’s trail center offers a warm, wood interior and plenty of seating at numerous picnic tables. The building is open year-round. In the winter, it is a great place to warm up after a trip on the park’s many ski trails, or after spending time on the sliding hill right outside.
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The park’s horse camp has ten campsites, as well as room for many day riders. Each campsite contains a picnic table, fire ring, and hitching post.
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Originally in service as a fire tower near Isle, Minnesota, this tower was moved to the park in 1981 for visitor observation. From the ground to the floor of the cabin, it is 100 feet up. If you climb the stairway to the top, spectacular views await!
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Top of Observation Tower
A stunning view can be seen from the top of the park’s 100-foot high observation tower. The tower is especially popular during the fall color season.
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Tamarack Bog in Fall
The spectacular array of fall colors at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park includes not only the red and orange hues of the maple-basswood forest, but also the golden color of late-season tamaracks.
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Touch the Earth Trail
The Touch the Earth Trail is a half mile, self-guided interpretive trail. It meanders through the forest and includes a section of boardwalk through a bog. The trail is a wonderful spot to view wildflowers in the spring.
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The park’s swimming area is a human-made pond with a maximum depth of six feet. The sandy beach is conveniently located in the picnic area and near the playground and interpretive center.
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Buckmore Dam on Rum River
The Buckmore Dam is the most popular fishing spot in the park. It is also a great spot to view waterfowl during spring and fall migrations.
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The park has five camper cabins that are available year-round. Each cabin has heat and electricity, and one cabin is handicap accessible. Each cabin has its own outdoor picnic table and fire ring, perfect for enjoying a meal with family or friends.
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Petaga Campground 1
Not far from the Rum River, the Petaga Campground offers campers 22 electric sites and 19 non-electric sites to choose from. Five camper cabins and a shower building are also located within the campground.
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Petaga Campground 2
Most campsites in the Petaga Campground are bordered by tall shade trees. All sites offer a picnic table and fire ring.
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Rum River Access
This Rum River access is the location of the park’s rental canoes, rowboats, and kayaks. Here, at its source, the Rum River's slow current is ideal for family canoe outings. The shallow water can also accommodate smaller fishing boats.
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Group Camp Site 2
This rustic group camp is located near the Rum River access. With multiple tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables, you’ll have plenty of space for your next family reunion, scout group, or other gathering. Group site #1 can accommodate up to 15 people, while group site #2 can accommodate up to 45 people.
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Ogechie Campground 11
Ogechie is the more rustic of the park’s two campgrounds. This scene showcases campsite #11, which is a double site with vehicle parking on two sides. This shaded site offers tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables.
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Kathio Landmark Trail
This one mile, self-guided interpretive trail includes stops at historic sites and excellent views of Ogechie Lake. This scene highlights the Cooper Archaeological Site, the location of a Dakota village in the 1600s.
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Black Bass Lake Campsite
Black Bass Lake is a designated Heritage Lake located over a mile from the nearest road. Power augers and fishing electronics are not allowed here. If you enjoy a quiet, more secluded camping experience, then this backpack campsite may be the spot for you. The site offers a tent pad, picnic table, fire ring, and gorgeous views of this pristine lake.