Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

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The park is currently past peak for fall colors. However,...
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Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park has so much to offer and discover. It's 9,000 years of human history and archaeological significance has made it a National Historic Landmark. You can learn about its rich history and all of Kathio's other treasures at the Visitor Center. Climb the 100 foot observation/fire tower and look across the majesty of Mille Lacs Lake. Take part in Mille Lacs Kathio State Park's extensive interpretive/nature programs or get out by yourself and hike on the park's varied trail system. Kathio has a wonderful swimming beach plus canoes or rowboats you can rent for a trip on the historic Rum River and Ogechie and Shakopee lakes. In the winter, visitors can cross-country ski on trails described as the best in Minnesota or take the family sledding on our popular sliding hill. The river, lakes, and park trails offer visitors excellent opportunities to watch waterfowl, bald eagles, osprey, beaver, loons, deer, coyotes, and many others.

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

Visitor Alert

2016 Reservations changes

  • All campsites at this park are reservable.
  • Same-day reservations are now available.
  • If you need help making a reservation, call 866-857-2757.
  • For more details, read the FAQ.

Park Notes

Things to see and do at the park:

Need ideas? Here's park staff's list of top stops 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

Interpretive Center Fall Hours:

  • Open Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 4 pm through October 16th.
  • Open Saturdays only, October 22 and 29, 10 am - 4 pm.
  • School classes and other groups may schedule visits to the Interpretive Center or outdoor education activities other times by appointment at 320-532-3269.

Photo of an arrowhead found at Petaga PointPetaga Point Archaeological Site:

Petaga Point Archaeological SiteThis is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (5.2 MB)
Traditional and High-Tech Archeology at Petaga Point This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Backpack-in Campsites:

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park has four backpack-in campsites. The sites include Glacial Ridge Campsite, located adjacent to a large beaver pond on a wooded glacial ridge; Kanketanka Campsite that overlooks a woodland pond; Black Bass Campsite, located on the south shore of Black Bass Lake; and Sunset Meadow Campsite, located in an oak and maple forest on the edge of a meadow.

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 Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. for Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Nature Programs

tree Camping

tree Swimming/Playground

tree 100 Ft. Fire Tower

tree Historic Sites

tree Cross-Country Skiing


Best time to contact the park:

Daily, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If no one is available, please leave a message and we will return your call.


15066 Kathio State Park Road
Onamia, MN 56359

tel: 320-532-3523


Getting There

Go to mile post marker #221 on US Hwy 169, about 8 miles north of Onamia. Watch for the Kathio Arrowhead sign and take County Road 26 for about a mile, to the park entrance.