Itasca State Park in Minnesota is home to one of the most important sites in the US, the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Visit the park and see where the most important river in America has it source, as well as taking some time to enjoy the Minnesota scenery while staying in Itasca State Park cabins.
Places to Stay Near to Itasca State Park
Best Hiking Trails in Itasca State Park
There are 49 miles of trails throughout the park, which are great for hiking in summer and for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. Spend the day exploring before returning to one of the Itasca State Park hotels for the night.
1. Mississippi Headwaters
The short trail along Itasca Lake to the Mississippi headwaters is one of the most popular in the park. Have your photo taken with the sign which marks the start of the Mississippi's 2500-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.
2. Dr Roberts Trail
This guided trail takes you over hills and through some of the most colorful areas of the park. If you are interested in plants, make sure you pick up a guidebook in the visitor center to help you identify all the flowers you see.
3. Aiton Heights
For a great view of Itasca State Park take the short hike to the Aiton Heights fire tower, which you can also climb if you have the stamina.
Best Family Activities in Itasca State Park
Itasca State Park cabins make for a great family vacation and there are plenty of activities in the park for children of all ages to enjoy.
1. Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center
Once you have seen the Mississippi headwaters for yourself, visit the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center where you can find out more about this important waterway and its role in the area's heritage,
2. Itasca Lake
Spend some time enjoying Lake Itasca itself, either on the beach with its designated swimming area, or by hiring a canoe and exploring the lakeshore scenery.
3. Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center
The main visitor center in the park is named after the geologist who came to the area to map the headwaters of the Mississippi. The center is home to an exhibition about the history of the park and the kind of wildlife you might see while visiting, as well as a great place to buy park maps and information and souvenirs.
4. Winter sports
Itasca State Park is also great fun in winter when you can hire ski-ing equipment and show shoes to explore the park in the snowy weather. Kids of all ages will love the chance to explore the snowy woodlands around Lake Itasca.