Itasca State Park

Itasca lodging opportunities

In the area

  from Explore MN Tourism

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Itasca State Park

Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota's oldest state park. Today, the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more than 100 lakes. Walk across the mighty Mississippi as it starts its winding journey 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Stand under towering pines at Preacher's Grove. Visit the Itasca Indian Cemetery or Wegmann's Cabin, landmarks of centuries gone by. Camp under the stars, or stay the night at the historic Douglas Lodge or cabins. Explore Wilderness Drive past the 2,000-acre Wilderness Sanctuary, one of Minnesota's seven National Natural Landmarks.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Visitor Alert!

Deer hunts October to December

There will be deer hunts at Itasca State Park from October to December. A special youth hunt is restricted to portion of the park, during October 24 through October 25. A map will be sent to participants. Map for youth huntPDF

Regular firearms season is during November 7 through November 17. The park will be open to visitors and hunters with a valid special hunt permit during the regular firearms deer hunt.

Muzzleloader season is during November 28 through December 13. The park will be open to visitors and hunters with a valid special hunt permit during the muzzleloader deer hunt. 

View mapPDF 

For more information: state parks during fall hunting season.

(Updated Oct. 9, 2015)

Park Notes

Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park!
Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Download the Itasca State Park guide and mapThis is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center:

Visit the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center. Outdoor interpretive displays on the plaza are available for viewing year-round. Be sure to take the short walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, which offers visitors a glimpse of this historic location. The Headwaters Café is a cafeteria-style restaurant located in the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.

Year-Round Fun:

The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is open year-round, and the Douglas Lodge Four Season Suites are available to rent year-round.

Internet Access:

Wireless internet access is now available at certain locations around Itasca State Park! Please note that signal strength may vary.

Access is available at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center, Douglas Lodge, Pine Ridge Campground, and Bear Paw Campground.


Itasca State Park is not a Geocaching Checkpoint. The closest state park with GPS units to check out is Lake Bemidji State Park. Enjoy your treasure hunt!

State Forest Campgrounds:

Itasca State Park also manages the campgrounds in the Huntersville State Forest, Paul Bunyan State Forest and the Two Inlets State Forests. For information about Huntersville Forest Landing, Shell City Horse, Shell City Landing, Mantrap Lake and Hungryman Lake campgrounds, please contact the Itasca State Park office at (218) 699-7251.

Gift Cards:

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

Don't move firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Itasca State Park.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Itasca State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Camping

tree Fishing

tree Hiking

tree Historic Site

tree Unique Ecosystem

tree Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center


Best time to contact the park:

Memorial Weekend thru first Saturday in October: Daily, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Beginning first Sunday in October thru Thursday before Memorial Weekend: Daily 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470

tel: 218-699-7251

fax: 218-699-7210


Getting There

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