Mille Lacs Kathio State Park Snapshot Tour

Welcome to the Mille Lacs Kathio State Park virtual tour! Discover interpretive displays and trails, stunning views from the observation tower, a swimming area, and overnight stay options that range from cozy cabins to rustic camping sites. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.


Photo of the park's council ring on the shore of Ogechie Lake.
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Council Ring

Located on the shore of Ogechie Lake, the park's council ring is the site of campfire talks, guest presenters, and children's activities throughout the summer season.


Photo of the inside the Kathio Interpretive Center interpretive displays.
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Interpretive Center

Step inside the Kathio Interpretive Center and explore displays that highlight the natural and cultural history of the park. Large windows and a deck overlooking Ogechie Lake provide excellent opportunities for watching wildlife.


Photo of the wood interior of the park’s trail center.
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Inside the Trail Center

The park’s trail center offers a warm, wood interior and plenty of seating at numerous picnic tables. The building is open year-round.  In the winter, it is a great place to warm up after a trip on the park’s many ski trails, or after spending time on the sliding hill right outside.


Photo of the equestian campground sites.
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Horse Camp

The park’s horse camp has ten campsites, as well as room for many day riders. Each campsite contains a picnic table, fire ring, and hitching post.


Photo of a former fire tower, converted into an observation platform offering great views of the area.
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Observation Tower

Originally in service as a fire tower near Isle, Minnesota, this tower was moved to the park in 1981 for visitor observation. From the ground to the floor of the cabin, it is 100 feet up.  If you climb the stairway to the top, spectacular views await!


Photo of the views inside of top of the park’s 100-foot high observation tower.
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Top of Observation Tower

A stunning view can be seen from the top of the park’s 100-foot high observation tower. The tower is especially popular during the fall color season.


Photo of the golden fall color of late-season tamaracks.
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Tamarack Bog in Fall

The spectacular array of fall colors at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park includes not only the red and orange hues of the maple-basswood forest, but also the golden color of late-season tamaracks.


Photo of the Touch the Earth Trail, a self-guided interpretive trail.
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Touch the Earth Trail

The Touch the Earth Trail is a half mile, self-guided interpretive trail. It meanders through the forest and includes a section of boardwalk through a bog. The trail is a wonderful spot to view wildflowers in the spring.


Photo of the park’s swimming area, showing visitors enjoying the beach.
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Swimming Area

The park’s swimming area is a human-made pond with a maximum depth of six feet. The sandy beach is conveniently located in the picnic area and near the playground and interpretive center.


Photo of the Buckmore Dam, spanning the Rum River.
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Buckmore Dam on Rum River

The Buckmore Dam is the most popular fishing spot in the park. It is also a great spot to view waterfowl during spring and fall migrations.


Photo of one of the park's camper cabins, nestled in the woods.
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Camper Cabins

The park has five camper cabins that are available year-round. Each cabin has heat and electricity, and one cabin is handicap accessible. Each cabin has its own outdoor picnic table and fire ring, perfect for enjoying a meal with family or friends.


Photo of campers using the Petaga Campground.
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Petaga Campground 1

Not far from the Rum River, the Petaga Campground offers campers 22 electric sites and 19 non-electric sites to choose from. Five camper cabins and a shower building are also located within the campground.


Photo of a campsite in the Petaga Campground.
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Petaga Campground 2

Most campsites in the Petaga Campground are bordered by tall shade trees. All sites offer a picnic table and fire ring.


Photo of the Rum River water access, a source for visitors to find rental equipment.
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Rum River Access

This Rum River access is the location of the park’s rental canoes, rowboats, and kayaks. Here, at its source, the Rum River's slow current is ideal for family canoe outings. The shallow water can also accommodate smaller fishing boats.


Photo of picnic tables the rustic group camp near the Rum River access.
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Group Camp Site 2

This rustic group camp is located near the Rum River access. With multiple tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables, you’ll have plenty of space for your next family reunion, scout group, or other gathering. Group site #1 can accommodate up to 15 people, while group site #2 can accommodate up to 45 people.


Photo of the wooded Ogechie Campground featuring a picnic table and fire ring.
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Ogechie Campground 11

Ogechie is the more rustic of the park’s two campgrounds. This scene showcases campsite #11, which is a double site with vehicle parking on two sides. This shaded site offers tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables.


Photo of a interpretive trail featuring historic sites and views of Ogechie Lake.
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Kathio Landmark Trail

This one mile, self-guided interpretive trail includes stops at historic sites and excellent views of Ogechie Lake. This scene highlights the Cooper Archaeological Site, the location of a Dakota village in the 1600s.


Photo of a campsite at Black Bass Lake which is also designated Heritage Lake.
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Black Bass Lake Campsite

Black Bass Lake is a designated Heritage Lake located over a mile from the nearest road. Power augers and fishing electronics are not allowed here. If you enjoy a quiet, more secluded camping experience, then this backpack campsite may be the spot for you. The site offers a tent pad, picnic table, fire ring, and gorgeous views of this pristine lake.


Virtual Tours

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park home page

Legacy Amendment logo

This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.