Itasca State Park 

21 miles North of Park Rapids on US Hwy 71. From Bemidji the park is 30 miles south on U.S. Highway 71.

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Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota's oldest State Park. In this 32,000 acre sanctuary, the mighty Mississippi River begins its 2,552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Points of interest include old growth pine at Preacher's Grove, Peace Pipe Vista, bison kill site and over 100 lakes. The historic Douglas Lodge includes rental rooms, cabins & the Itasca Suites. Great birding site for Common Loon, Black-backed woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, Winter Wren and more. Cross-country ski trails.

In addition to Itasca State Park's more than 200 campsites, the park is home to "Minnesota’s Own Resort," the historic Douglas Lodge, located near the Mississippi Headwaters. It contains guest rooms, meeting rooms, a dining room, lobby & office. A variety of other lodging facilities are available, from log cabins to the Clubhouse, a ten-room log building ideal for family gatherings.

Nestled within you will find the Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary. Established in 1939 within Itasca State Park at the suggestion of the Minnesota Academy of Science, to preserve a part of the wilderness character of the state that existed prior to logging and settlement. In 1965, it became Minnesota's first National Natural Landmark. Most of the Sanctuary (1601 acres) was designated a state Scientific and Natural Area in 1989, as the finest example of Great Lakes Pine Forest in north-central Minnesota.

The SNA is located along the western side of Lake Itasca and protects roughly two miles of undeveloped shoreline along the lake. A mosaic of eighteen native plant occupies the site, dominated by fire-dependent red pine–white pine forest communities.

More than 280 native plant species have been documented here, including several varieties of lady's-slipper orchids. State-listed plant species include but are not limited to Oakes' pondweed (endangered in Minnesota), cuckoo flower and goblin fern (both threatened in Minnesota).


Park permits: $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped, or $7 daily. Camping fees are separate.
Book an online reservation 24 hours a day.
Phone reservations can be made by calling 866-857-2757 (TTY: 952-936-4008)

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