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Itasca State Park

Leaf color:

past peak
Flower color:

past peak
Grass color:
no data
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Where to go:

Final Report: The Tamaracks are now changing a lovely golden-orange color and are the last tree to display their fall color beauty.

Touring by car along the South Entrance road still offers pockets of fall color views across Twin, Josephine, Arco, Deming and Mary Lakes. Continue along Main Park Drive and Wilderness Drive for a 16+ mile tour. Enjoy views of the Tamarack color change past many of the smaller ponds, wetlands and lakes within the park. The Doctor Roberts Trail is another nice option for viewing this deciduous conifer, in particular along the boardwalk section. For a longer trip, follow the Great River Road route to Bemidji and enjoy larger Tamarack stands found along the Mississippi River corridor.

What you'll see:

Typical Fall Color Change:
Maple/Basswood and Ash:
typically change the last week of September.
Oak/Birch/Aspen:typically peak the last week of September into the first week of October.

Tamaracks:typically mid October.

Color change was somewhat slow this fall, most trees are now past peak. The Tamaracks are beginning their color change

Also of interest: The first snow of the season on Sunday, October 20 caused a change in animal activity. Snow Buntings can be seen along road corridors surrounding the park. The Black-billed Magpies are now returning to the deeper woods for the winter season. Sharp-shinned hawks are working over the bird feeding stations as Juncos and Purple Finches continue to arrive at park feeders. Flocks of Canada geese and American Robins continue to wing their way south. Bald Eagles can be seen along the river channel and roadways surrounding the park. Turkeys and this year's young are being seen in the north picnic ground. White-tailed deer are being seen in groups in the pre-dawn and post-dusk. Red squirrels are still busy storing up mushrooms for winter food, and can be seen scampering across park roads with their treasures. Beaver are attempting to stop-up the headwaters and Mary Creek with sticks in preparation for winter. River Otters can be seen playful swimming in Mary Lake. The bugling call of Trumpeter Swans can be heard on the river and park lakes.

Last updated: October 22, 2013 

Special Offer for Park Permits

Canít decide between a one-day or year-round park permit? The DNR has a special offer that can help. Start by purchasing a one-day permit for $5 and visit as many state parks as possible. After visiting the state parks, trade in the one-day permit by the end of that day and get $5 off the purchase of a year-round permit. Year-round permits, which cost $25, provide unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.
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Getting there

36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470

South entrance to the park is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Highway 71. From Bemidji, the east entrance is 30 miles south on U.S. Hwy 71 and 1/10 mile north on State Hwy 200. The north entrance is 21 miles south of Bagley on State Hwy 92/State Hwy 200.

GPS device users: Lat. 47.194648 Long. -95.165012


Phone: 218-699-7251

Email: itasca.statepark@state.mn.us

Best time to contact the park:

Daily, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.