Summer Map and Guide
Summer Map of Itasca State Park (SP) in Minnesota. Published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR).
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ITASCA STATE PARK Scale 1:52,000 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 Scale in Miles © 2021, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources MAP AND GUIDE: ITASCA STATE PARK 36750 MAIN PARK DR. PARK RAPIDS, MN 56470 CLEARWATER/HUBBARD/BECKER COUNTIES 218-699-7251 ITASCA.STATEPARK@STATE.MN.US VISITOR TIPS • The headwaters rocks are slippery, use caution. • Check for wood and black-legged ticks. • Watch for poison ivy. • Share the one-way Wilderness Drive, used by people in both cars and on bicycles. • Bicycling on hiking trails is prohibited. • Help keep our lakes pristine. Check your watercraft for aquatic invasives before launching. • In an emergency call 911. • Non-emergency sheriff numbers: - Clearwater Co., Bagley: 218-694-6226 - Hubbard Co., Park Rapids: 218-732-3331 ONLY HAVE AN HOUR? Follow Main Park Drive: • Include a stop at Preacher’s Grove to view the shimmering waters of Lake Itasca and walk under red pines that have towered there for centuries. • Continue on to the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center for a short (900 feet) walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. • Wade into the shallow water at the point where the infant river leaves Lake Itasca and begins its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico! LOOKING FOR MORE TO EXPLORE DURING YOUR STAY? VISIT: MNDNR.GOV/ITASCA SO EVERYONE CAN ENJOY THE PARK... ABOUT THE PARK At over 32,500 acres, Itasca State Park includes not only the beginning of the Mississippi River, but large tracts of Minnesota’s remaining old-growth red and white pine forest. Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota’s oldest state park and was created to protect the forests and waters surrounding the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Shaped by glaciers over 10,000 years ago, the rolling landscape conceals over 100 lakes within the pine, spruce, birch, oak and maple forests. Centuries of disputes over what lake was the true source of the great river led park founder Jacob V. Brower to settle the dispute once and for all, determining that Lake Itasca is the headwaters of the Mississippi River. A FULL SET OF STATE PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS IS AVAILABLE AT THE PARK OFFICE OR MNDNR.GOV. PARK OPEN 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. VEHICLE PERMITS Permits required; purchase at park office or entrance kiosk. PETS WELCOME Keep on 6-foot leash; pick up after; attend at all times; only service animals allowed in buildings. Wade amongst the first drops of water to flow to the Gulf of Mexico. TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS Mississippi Headwaters Area 0.5 MILES multiple loops Accessible • Concrete • Asphalt • Gravel • Wood boardwalk Discover the Headwaters of the Mississippi River; follow the first quarter-mile of trail along the river and enjoy views across Lake Itasca. Watch for warblers, eagles and common loons in this excellent spring birding area. Dr. Roberts Trail 2 MILE loop Gravel • Wood boardwalk • Grass • Hilly Travel through a bog, marvel at the Old Timer’s Cabin, and climb a ridge overlooking Lyendecker Lake. This is an excellent trail for wildflower photography. A self-guiding plant identification booklet is available in park gift shops. Aiton Heights Fire Tower 0.5 MILES (from fire tower parking lot) Gravel • Grass • Hilly Wind through a maple-basswood forest, look for trumpeter swans and otter at Mary, Allen and Kasey lakes, and climb the 100-foot tall fire tower for a panoramic view of the Lake Itasca watershed. Make this a 3-mile loop route from Douglas Lodge (Ozawindib/Aiton Heights/Deer Park trails). Wilderness Drive 10 MILES one-way (car/bike traffic) Asphalt • Hilly Tour through outstanding examples of red-white pine forest with numerous hiking trail options along the route. This is your best chance to see wildlife such as black-backed woodpeckers, white-tailed deer, fisher and porcupine. Purchase only from park office or approved vendor; no gathering firewood in the park. − CAMPGROUND QUIET HOURS 10 p.m.– 8 a.m.; only registered campers may be in campground during quiet hours. DINING & LODGING IN THE PARK • Dine in the historic Douglas Lodge from Memorial Day weekend through early Oct. • Perk up with a specialty coffee, grab a sandwhich or cool off with an ice cream at the Mary Gibbs Café, open seasonally. • Stay the night in one of over 50 lodging options--or sleep under the stars at a campsite. CURIOUS ABOUT THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER STATE WATER TRAIL? GO TO: MNDNR.GOV/WATERTRAILS/MISSISSIPPI MORE INFORMATION MORE TO EXPLORE AT ITASCA • Pedal 6 miles of bike trail, or complete the Wilderness Drive loop to add another 10 miles • Explore the woods and wildlife—hike over 45 miles of trails. • Discover a free state park naturalist program. • Take home a souvenir from one of three gift shops. • Enjoy a narrated tour on board the Chester Charles II Tour Boat (concession). FIREWOOD • Rent a canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, pontoon or bike at the Itasca Sports Rental (concession). • Travel the river route to the Gulf of Mexico: the Mississippi River State Water Trail, Great River Road and Mississippi River Trail Bikeway all begin here! Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Information Center 500 Lafayette Rd. , St. Paul, MN 55155-4040 888-646-6367 or mndnr.gov/parks The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This information may be available in alternative format upon request.