• Lake Itasca: Headwaters of the Mississippi River - Park Rapids, Minnesota

      Photo by Michael Roth
      The mighty Mississippi River starts its 2552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico here, as a small 18-inch deep stream flowing out of Lake Itasca. Visitors can easily walk across the river, and even walk or float down the first half mile of the river, enjoying the clear water and wildflowers along the banks.

      If you go:
      While the Mississippi Headwaters are the star attraction, Itasca State Park is the oldest and one of the most popular state parks in Minnesota. The park covers more than 32,000 acres and features more than 100 lakes with a wide range of recreational activities from hiking, fishing, and camping, to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.


      36750 Main Park Drive
      Park Rapids, Minnesota 56470 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Itasca State Park
      +1 (218) 699-7251